PCF Wellness Page
Weight Loss vs. Body Fat Loss
Weight Loss vs. Body Fat Loss
As a society we have become obsessed with the scale. Our culture has paved the way for that obsession through our dietary habits, media spotlight on celebrities, technology, and our addiction to sugar. Now more than at any time in our history we have a quick easy fixes for weight loss.
Red Ember is a popular weight loss clinic in the area that offers safe, fast, easy pharmaceutical grade supplements to combat that obsession; and they make a killing doing it. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and many other companies taut their weight loss programs by using their super-secret magic methodologies through calorie restrictive diets and meal plans. What all of these businesses have in common is that they all work. Truly, if you follow their programs you will lose weight. Then what?
Weight loss is not a very wise lifestyle approach and here is why. Imagine you weigh 110lbs. Every one that sees you says “Man you look great” or “I wished I was as skinny as you”. These are common phrases I hear often at the gym. Our outside appearance is EVERYTHING. The physiological benefits of looking good in a pair of designer jeans are worth a million dollars. Does that mean we are healthy? 9 times out of 10 when I have a new person come into our gym that has been accustomed to such high praise because he or she looks great in a pair of jeans and I perform a body fat test we find out things may not be as they seem. Let’s take that same individual and measure their body fat and ask yourself “Would you rather be 110lbs and 40% body fat or 110lbs and 20% body fat. Same exact weight, but two entirely different health profiles.
The problem with the big box solutions for weight loss is that they do very little for their overall health. Sure you could argue that weight loss is important to health and it is, but weight loss doesn’t make you healthy. Any good doctor or trainer will trainer will tell you that if you are obese you should lose weight. Also, any good doctor or trainer will tell you that you need much more then weight loss to get healthy. Yet time and time again we focus our energy on weight loss. I mean why not? When is the last time you heard a commercial selling you a product or service that will change your body fat percentage? You won’t because they don’t exist. Weight Watchers continues to build a fortune by sounding the alarm bells to the society that feeds off the whole “I gotta lose weight culture”. They have hijacked our sensibilities and here is how it works and here is why it is bad.
You go through a point system. In that point system you are allowed to eat pretty much anything you want as long as you don’t go over your points. Will it lead to weight loss? You bet it will, but does it do anything to change your metabolism? Very rarely. Now they do a very smart thing and they assign zero points to a lot of fruits and vegetables, but how often will you find someone who is willing to down 5 cups of veggies and 5 cups of fruits a day. Probably never. So through calorie restriction all their clients lose weight without changing their metabolic rate. Weight loss does not transition to fat loss for an inactive person. So what do we do?
If you want real long term change that will last a lifetime it is a combination of healthy eating, and exercise in particular strength and endurance training. It is possible to lose weight by eating 2500-3500 calories per day. It is about energy balance. More energy going out (exercise) and less energy coming in (food). Your body drifts on average 1500 calories per day without doing anything. Add walking, running, or exercise into the mix and that total calorie expenditure could exceed 4000 calories per day. Depending on your eating habits, nutrition timing, and exercise you can actually make your diet a fat burning furnace. When you focus your attention on both exercise and nutrition you experience structural change and ultimately that is what we should be going for. It shouldn’t matter if the scale says 175 lbs. or 130 lbs. as long as you are structurally built of lean muscle and have a low body fat percentage. Your weight is a private number and the more muscle you have the more fat and calories you will burn.
Power Combat Fitness
We wanted to remind everyone that Power Combat Fitness is open at Highland Elementary Our classes will run - . night will be our kickboxing night. So if you have boxing gloves please bring them with you.