My girlfriend is obsessed with The Biggest Loser. No, I’m not referring to myself! I’m referring to the very popular television show in which people compete to lose as much weight as possible, as quickly as they can. I don’t think that she has missed a single episode. She loves to see the dramatic weight loss progress that the contestants make each week. She is so passionate about the show, she convinced me to watch it with her each week. I must admit, the show is quite entertaining and I do enjoy watching it with her.
But, from a weight loss standpoint, I’m not impressed. The goal of the show is to lose weight as fast as possible. In order to do this, the contestants engage in very extreme programs that are designed to cause rapid reductions in bodyweight. Rapid weight loss is great, right? Not so fast! This is not necessarily the case. Here’s why:
First of all, weight loss is not the same as fat loss. More often then not, the “weight” these people lose is composed of lean muscle tissue, water weight, and some body fat. Unfortunately, it turns out that losing muscle actually causes your metabolism to slow significantly, which makes losing body fat even more difficult than it was before. So losing any muscle at all is really not desirable if you intend to maintain your fat loss results on a permanent basis.
Because of this, I have actually found that a rapid reduction in bodyweight significantly increases the chances of gaining all of the weight back.
But everyone wants to lose weight quickly, right? No. When I train a client, I don’t want you to lose WEIGHT…I want them to lose FAT. And of course I want them to lose FAT as quickly as possible, but this must be done carefully, correctly and scientifically, or else you are doomed to regain whatever fat you might manage to lose in the first place.
When a sound fat loss program is executed properly, one can lose excess body fat at an astonishing rate while maintaining one’s lean muscle. Maintaining muscle is essential to keeping your metabolic rate elevated, which is a MUST if permanent fat loss is going to be possible. This is what impresses me; the ability to maintain your fat loss results. I don’t care how much weight you can lose if it’s just going to come right back again. I want to see you change your body forever!
Let’s take a look at what someone does who not only lost their excess body fat but succeeded in keeping it off. For these are the people who have truly achieved real fat loss success.
First, dieters who achieve long term success typically engage in a regular exercise program. More specifically, I have found that maintainers perform 45 minutes or more at least 3 days per week. This exercise regimen should consist of resistance training in addition to cardiovascular training.
On the other hand, many “big losers” simply follow extreme fad diets without increasing their activity. And on the rare occasions when exercise is a part of their protocol, it usually only consists of low-intensity aerobic work.
Another difference that separates the successful from the unsuccessful can be found in their general accountability to themselves or someone else. For example, if you have to meet a training partner at the gym you will be less likely to miss the workout. An example of being accountable to yourself would be regularly taking your body fat percentage.
Some simple accountability can literally make the difference between success and failure. Here are some tips to ensure YOUR Fat Loss Success!
Keep your activity level high. Once you achieve your fitness goals, it is very important to continue to exercise. Oftentimes I will witness someone achieve their goal weight or body fat percentage and then just stop training. It is no surprise when I see them stroll back into the gym a couple months later looking exactly like they did before they ever started their program.
Emphasize resistance training. Resistance training will keep your metabolism buzzing far greater than going for a walk on the treadmill ever could.
Continue to control portion size. If measuring your food seems like too much of an inconvenience for you, simply measure your food portions once to get an idea of your ideal portion size, and then eyeball your food quantities thereafter.
Focus on losing fat and not just weight! Measuring your body fat percentage is the best way to ensure that your weight loss is actually coming from fat and not lean muscle.
Cheat on your diet. Yes you read that correctly. Eat whatever food you want once per week. This will give you something to look forward to each week and prevent you from ever feeling deprived.
There is one rule your must follow when cheating. You must stop your cheat meal and as soon as you’re full. This must not turn into an entire day of gluttonous binge eating. Enjoy it!
If you’re currently embarking on a fat loss journey, follow these simple tips and easily beat the “regain odds”. Success is finally at your fingertips!