Weight Loss Versus Fat Loss
As a Personal Trainer the most often requested result I am asked about is weight loss and I nearly always answer with; forget about weight loss.
Travesty I hear you cry! Lets break it down.
Weight loss is a nice indicator for statisticians and population studies but really doesn’t give the full picture as to the health of an individual. Here in Epsom we have a huge variety of people walk through the doors and two people of the same age, height and weight can have very different level of function, health and body fat.
Body fat and lean mass are the more important indicators of healthful progress toward a vital and capable physique. The above picture gives you an idea of how two bodies can be of the same weight but very different compositions.
Let me give you an example…[DAP errMsgTemplate=”LONG”]
If for example you start your new lifestyle at 80kg with a body fat of 30% (24kg of fat and 56kg of lean tissue) and after 6 months of intelligent exercise and dietary changes you find your self now weighing 75kg you may, if you are weight obsessed, be upset at the paltry 5kg loss, many are. BUT if you delve a little deeper and look into the real numbers of the amount of body fat and lean tissue then you will see something totally different;
You realise that you now have a body fat of 15% (11.25 kg of fat and 63.75kg of lean tissue) which means you actually lost 12.75kg/28lbs of fat and increased healthy lean tissue by 7.75kg!
That kind of change in body composition is a startling difference in the way you look with very little actual weight lost. Body composition is of far more significance in the way you look than weight itself.
The same person comes in weighing in at 80kg with a body fat of 30% and spends the next six months on a calorie restricted diet and aims to lose 1kg per week of weight irrespective of where that weight comes off so trains in the traditional cardio manner (30-45 minutes 3-5 days per week) with a few token resistance training moves thrown in.
Some weeks the scale goes down. Overall the loss sits at around 15kg which, to the casual observer of the scale, seems like a much better result!
Due to the nature of traditional dieting and an obsession with the scale, when we break down the numbers it becomes clear there is a drastic loss of metabolic lean tissue and a very different capability and shape. We find that the 15 kg lost comprises of mostly fat (9kg) but also rather unfortunately 6kg of lean tissue which may be in the form of muscle,bone density or organ tissue! This is a tragic situation for anyone over the age of 25 to be in due to Sarcopenia (the age related wasting of muscle, a leading cause in falls and injury) as the function and metabolism is subsequently reduced.
So with 9kg of fat lost and 6kg of unspecified lean tissue wasted away you are left with 23% body fat compared to our smart trainees 15%. We know which will look stronger, sexier and healthier on the beach and I can guarantee you that the one who focused on body composition rather than weight will feel better!
Now you understand that weight is of less importance than composition you should search for ways to maximise or maintain as much lean tissue as possible whilst removing excessive body fat and to do this you need to either a) read this blog b) find a source of information that you can depend upon to get you to your goals c) Come to Epsom and have me as your Personal Trainer.[/DAP]
Body re-composition is as much art as it is science in finding how to apply sound principles into your daily routine on a long term basis but this article should give you a better idea of the what to aim for
Richard ‘Peg Leg’ Ham Williams
Epsom Personal Trainer