"But I only lost 1lb this week" is something I hear quite regularly from my clients and having had a client say this to me once again this week I thought it would be a good time to set the record straight, especially as we are now well into the New Year and “resolutions” may be waning.
Its not about losing weight it is about losing fat!
Stepping on the scales every week, (or daily in some cases) is just a futile exercise; it is far better to focus on eating healthily and exercising regularly and the weight will take care of itself. A better way to monitor your progress is to actually have your body fat measured on a fortnightly or monthly basis.
There are some very sophisticated scales out there to purchase or you can ask at your local gym or health centre if they have calipers to measure body fat, which is a far more accurate way of taking body fat readings.
It’s also about doing things gradually; the client in question has lost almost a stone of weight in approx 8 months and her body fat has dropped down dramatically as well. Now, this client has managed to maintain, on average, exercise 2-3 times per week: 1 session of personal training, 1 power walk/jog and 1 exercise class.
However, more importantly than that, she has made lifestyle changes gradually over a long period of time; so now she walks where she used to catch the bus, she drinks more water every day by having a bottle on her desk at all times, she drives more often than not on social occasions so she won’t drink alcohol and she is careful with what she eats. This client does all these things 80% of the time but she will, for the other 20% still have a glass of wine, a pudding and some crisps every now and again etc, and that is absolutely fine.
So, as long as the overall picture is that you are making progress the odd “cheat day” isn’t going to do you any harm.
So, how do you reduce the amount of fat in your body? Well it’s a two-pronged attack: Food and Exercise. Regarding the food, aim to reduce the following:
- Foods that come in a tin or packet
- Food that says it has a fat content above 10% on the label
- Food that says it is fat-free, because it will probably be loaded with sugar!
- Pasta (especially if it’s white!)
Then you want to increase the following:
- Vegetables, up to 7 portions per day
- Fruit, but no more than 3-4 portions per day
- Water, 2-3 litres over and above any drinks like tea/coffee etc
- Foods that are grown in the ground
- Foods that are grown on trees
- Foods high in protein and lower in carbs
These two lists could go on, but you get the general idea hopefully. Make these changes gradually and you will stick to them and you will get results.
With regard to the exercise, you must make sure you don’t just do the same thing all the time, instead try a different exercise class or walk/jog a different route. I obviously think hiring a Personal Trainer is a good idea, but even if you just have one session with a Personal Trainer you could learn so much about how to change your exercise levels and be more effective in what you do.
If you are eating well and exercising regularly then your body fat will reduce and if it reduces gradually then it is much more likely that you will keep reducing it until eventually you can maintain a healthy body fat level. The simple facts are that we should concentrate more on losing body fat and increasing muscle mass.
The infographic below says it all very nicely!
So, in summary think fat loss, not weight loss and aim to do it gradually but make sure it doesn’t drift away from you, so keep on top of one thing, let’s say not eating bread, and then once you got that under control move onto the next thing and so on. Good Luck!
Have you got a story about how reducing body fat has changed your body shape? Or would you like to have a free body fat reading taken by us at our Ealing studio? Get in touch, I would love to hear from you.
If you have any questions after reading this post or would like a free consultation to talk about shaking up your exercise then, again, please get in touch via email or call me on 07921 777477.