There are essentially two ways to lose weight. This probably seems a little simplified given that if you type weight loss into google, over 3 billion results come up!! But essentially it can be filtered down into just 2 ways. You see most diets, whether it’s Rosemary Conley’s fat loss diet, Lighter Life,California, or Sonoma encourage you to reduce the calories that you’re eating. In some cases quite drastically. Now this will result in two things:
- You’re going to lose muscle mass
- You’re going to slow down your metabolism
Don’t Mess With Your Metabolism!
Let me explain in a bit more detail. If you lose muscle mass then you have a slower Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). If you eat less then this also slows your metabolism right down. Around 10% of the calories you eat are burned off during digestion. This is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Stay with me here!
If you’re in energy balance and you’re eating and burning off the same amount of calories each day, and therefore not gaining or losing weight then TEF accounts for around 10% of your metabolic rate. So if you reduce the amount of calories you’re eating then this will decrease the TEF. Let me just bring this theory to life with some numbers:
If you ate 1800 calories per day, and you’re in energy balance, then 10% (180) calories are burned off during digestion. Now let’s put you on a drastic low calorie diet whereby you only consume 1000 calories per day. Not only are you going to feel hungry but your TEF will reduce to only 100 calories per day. Putting this another way – your metabolism is getting messed up!
The other problem with calorie restriction is that you will lose lean (muscle) tissue. We are losing this each year anyway due to the ageing process. Getting old ‘sucks’ as our bodies just start getting softer and more wobbly due to having more fat and a gradual decline in lean tissue. You lose strength, bones become more brittle and you then become susceptible for things like osteoporosis. Why accelerate this ageing process by doing the above??
You see many of these diets talk about successful weight loss but they never measure body fat %. The reason is that although the scales say they are losing weight, in many cases their body fat % is going up!! How rubbish is that? You think you’re doing really well, but actually you’re just adding to the problem in the long run.
What’s The Other Option Then?
So, that pretty much covers the least favored (in my opinion!) and most mainstream way to lose weight. You’re probably wandering what the other one is then?
First of all at Fitter Body Bootcamp we don’t tend to talk about weight loss too much. We try to focus more on ‘fat loss’. We like to specifically help our clients target fat loss. This is about preserving lean tissue while getting rid of the wobbly, unhealthy stuff. So here’s our revolutionary magic formula for long lasting fat loss:
“Eat the right stuff at regular times throughout the day and exercise properly with a combination of cardiovascular and resistance training”
Eating the right stuff is about feeding our bodies with healthy, clean foods that have not been tampered too much with things like sugars, additives, preservatives etc.
The exercise part is essential that it includes progressive weight training. There is too much of an emphasis these days on women doing high rep, low weight aerobic exercise. Unfortunately this will have a limited effect on preserving lean tissue. So, for the reasons given above once you can comfortably perform at least 15 reps with a certain weight, move it up! Keep this going as you get stronger and stronger (and leaner and leaner), and just watch that body fat % keep dropping.
There you have it. Which of the two options are you going to commit to?