For many people setting out on a weight loss program, one of the goals is to turn losing pounds into losing inches. One of the most common things any trainer will hear from a new client is “I just have to lose a few extra pounds, and I want to drop 10.” The client says this with dead serious gaze, and the trainer looks into the client’s eyes, looks at his/her body, back into the client’s eyes….and does an inner calculation about how to best deliver the honest goods to the client at that first meeting. One of the biggest challenges – and the key to success – about transforming your body is setting and visualizing realistic goals. It gives you the patience to persevere, and a more balanced appreciation of what’s involved to get you there.
For most of us, slimming down means less belly fat. Most people want to turn losing pounds into losing inches, especially around the waist. Many of us know that a pound of fat releases about 3,500 calories of energy. But we’re generally concerned about where the fat is coming off. For most of us, our shrinking waistlines are more an indication about our success than our overall weight. While gaining muscle or toning is somewhat predictable, there really is nothing mechanical about how the body loses weight, and where it decides to pull fat from. It’s a function of hormones and the overall processes of fat selection are poorly understood.
So how much fat do we have to lose to drop an inch off our waists? Although we come in all heights and shapes, the consensus is that it’s about 6-8 pounds for every inch you drop, give or take. Obviously if we’re taller, there’s more fat to lose to drop an inch. So when setting your goal, look at yourself in the mirror and visualize how much you want to take off; even massage and pinch your fat pockets to see how much is there. Most people over-estimate how much muscle mass they have, and under estimate how much fat they’re flashing. If you’re thinking that you’re wanting to drop 4 inches, you’re closer to needing to drop 30 lbs than 10. Now do some math: 30 x 3,500 calories / how many calories you burn during your cardio session. So that’s 105,000 / 200 calories (for example) which means 525 visits to the treadmill – assuming you eat perfectly! The sheer impossibility of how that sounds tells us that something else is involved in a core way other than counting calories. We know that losing fat has EVERYTHING to do with changing your biochemistry, and, yes, eating responsibly, but very little to do with restricting calories.
That’s why starting with a body composition test is very helpful. While not 100% accurate, it’s generally close enough to give the client a realistic sense of where their body is at, and how far they need to take it. Another reason this is critical for healthy weight loss is to do periodic testing to make sure the client is losing fat and not muscle. That’s critical because of the danger that most calorie restricted diets will eat into your lean muscle mass in addition to your fat. This happens more often than not. That’s also why at Weights we prefer to redirect your caloric needs to foods that are nutrient rich and help you lean out, rather than restrict your caloric intake. If fact, a common issue is that most of our clients don’t eat enough to lose weight, odd as that sounds to some.
Our focus is on fat loss and body transformation, not the misleading, abstract number of “weight” loss. Because of our focus on body transformation, and fat metabolism, we offer a variety of methods to get the fat off your abs. Ask us about them.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss your fitness or body transformation further! Bryan and I will get you to your goals!