It’s trivia time – quickly, in less than 3 seconds answer this question “What weighs more – 1lb of muscle or 1lb of fat?” 3…2…1…OK, fine you’re right, it was a trick question – of course they both weigh exactly the same.
A pound is a pound.
However just because they weigh the same doesn’t mean they actually are the same. Muscle is much denser than fat – it takes up much less space. So even though 1lb of muscle and a 1lb of fat weigh the same they don’t take up the same amount of space. That’s why you can see two totally different size people weighing exactly the same but one wears a size 3 and the other wears a size 7 – it’s all about the muscle ratio, or more specifically body fat %.
Or you could have this happen to you. You start working out, you get fitter, toner, and leaner, and you also realize you weigh more. Look at this example. I think we can all agree this lady looks leaner and toner on the right side.
You can see the definition in her stomach. But she is 9 pounds heavier than her starting weight. This is all the more reason ladies, for you to toss out your scale. It doesn’t tell the whole story – especially when you’re trying to look good naked. That’s all about being toned and tight which means having some muscle with low enough body fat to see it.
What is weight loss?
Weight loss simply refers to a lower number on a scale. Time to celebrate, right? Not so much. That number represents the total sum in lbs. or kilograms of all your body parts. Pretty simple. But pretty non specific. If I told you not to eat for 48 hours or not to drink any water for 24 hours, you’d lose weight. Or how about an extreme example – if I told you to cut off your left foot, you’d lose weight. So in all three examples you’ll have lost weight. I’m sure of it. But what else have you done in the process – you’re weaker, smaller, and now only have 1 foot. That’s no good. It really doesn’t tell you anything about how dense you are – meaning how fat you are. Let’s compare this with fat loss.
What is fat loss?
Fat loss is a reduction in the amount of fat you carry in your body. So if you go from 25% body fat down to 20%, you’ve lost 5% fat in your body. Yes, now that would be time to celebrate! Fat loss is much more complicated than weight loss – it involves a process where the body actually starts to breakdown its own fat cells and convert them into energy the body can use. In order to get your body in a state where it can easily burn fat you need to dial in your nutrition. That means eating clean with nutrient dense foods like leafy green or cruciferous vegetables and whole sources of protein. You also need some healthy fat like coconut oil and avocado to optimize your body into a fat burning machine.
When you combine this good nutrition with a slight calorie deficit (you eat slightly less than you expend), that’s the perfect fat loss scenario. On the other hand, when you fuel your body with processed, refined carbs such as flours, cereals, breads, cookies, or muffins, you’ll never access the fat burning potential of your body. You’ll be what we like to call a “sugar burner” – someone who is constantly stuck in the sugar cycle. You’ll find yourself hungry, eat something like a granola bar or a bag of pretzels, initially curbing your hunger, but then again in 2 hours when your sugar spike crashes you find yourself hungry, feeling lousy and in the same place you were 2 hours ago.
A popular but outdated approach to weight loss is through calorie restriction, which doesn’t work in the long run. Has anyone ever had this experience – you cut calories over a period of time, lose some weight, and then find it stops working, and before you know it you are fatter than when you started? Yes. We all have. Yep, that’s what calorie restricted dieting does to you. Once your body realizes that you’re starving it by under feeding, it will start to hold on to fat cells, not burn them. You actually start to hold on to everything you put in your body instead of burn it. You also end up breaking down your own muscle tissue for energy because you’re not getting enough nutrients from your food. This loss of muscle not only ends up increasing your body fat but you end up lowering your basal metabolic rate. The only way to burn actual fat is the old fashioned way – by optimizing your body for it through proper nutrition.
So which one really matters?
If you want to look sexy naked: Than the only one that matters is fat loss.
If you want to be healthy, disease free, and full of energy: The only one that matters is fat loss.
If you want to have better cognitive function: The only one that matters is fat loss.
If you want to feel happy and move your body with ease: The only one that matters is fat loss.
If you want to surf a barrel, climb a volcano, or mountain bike through the rainforest without getting hurt: Again, the only one that matters is fat loss.
And I feel safe saying that the majority of folks trying to get in shape and shed some pounds are looking specifically for fat loss, not weight loss, whether they realize it or not. So go ahead – throw away your scale and let’s shed some fat with these 4 tips.
4 Tips to burning more fat
- Focus on good nutrition – Eat fresh, nutrient dense foods like green leafy vegetables, grass fed meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
- Focus on getting up to 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight.
- Throw away or smash your scale. Instead, take measurements (waist, chest, thigh, and arm) and a full body picture every 2 weeks to track progress. You’ll start to see size reduction in places that the scale could never show.
- Make sure you’re doing some form of strength training. Heavy weights, and intense exercise seems to work the best for building muscle. More muscle = more fat burning.
If you’re looking to supercharge your fat loss just in time for Summer 2016, we have some good news. We’re opening up our 30-day Fat Loss program on May 16th, 2016. Click here to make sure you join the waiting list to get early access and a discounted price.
Have an awesome fat burning day. If you want to take a video of you smashing your scale, that would be cool too.