Lose Fat, Not Weight
What in the world are you talking about? I want to lose weight any way I can. If I lose weight, I will be losing fat anyway right? Well, not exactly. There is a lot more to the story and this is truly a situation where you will greatly benefit by knowing the whole story. If you are currently above your ideal weight, some of the most important health advice you can receive is to get on your way to your proper weight immediately. But it would not be good advice to get there as fast as possible. Why not get to ideal weight as fast as possible? Simply because losing weight too quickly means you will be losing lean muscle mass as well as fat.
Let me say it this way. The real goal is to lose unnecessary excess fat while retaining muscle on your way to ideal weight. In other words, lose the fat not just weight. You see, muscle weighs 3 to 5 times as much as fat. Therefore, when you lose muscle with fat the numbers on the scale go down much more quickly. This seems great in the short term. Immediate results, we all love that. But what kind of results are you really getting in the long term? Muscle burns many more calories than fat. A pound of fat only burns about 2 to 3 calories a day. A pound of muscle, however, can burn about 40 calories a day. So when you lose lean muscle mass you are losing the highest calorie burning tissue in you body. This means, long term, you will not be able to eat as many calories without gaining weight.
Unfortunately, when you lose weight quickly, lets say by severe calorie restriction, you lose that calorie burning muscle along with some fat. At that point you may be closer to your weight goal but you have also made it much tougher to consistently lose more. Because you have lost some of your ability to burn as many calories due to muscle loss, it will take even more drastic measures to lose more pounds on the scale. This kind of weight loss is achievable but not practical or sustainable. Even more dangerous when you lose weight too quickly is the fact that although you have lost a combination of fat and muscle if you gain back that lost weight it usually all comes back as fat. That makes it even harder to lose next time and why repeating weight loss and weight gain cycles makes it increasingly more difficult to ever get to and maintain ideal weight.
That is why I recommend losing the scale mentality for initial weight loss. Pay no attention to your weight but rather focus on the dietary changes and exercise that are sure to make you a winner in the long haul. Protecting and even increasing muscle mass during weight loss is essential. It may not be too exciting to step on the scale at first when you lose weight, or should I say fat, but even though this method is slower it is also sustainable. When you actually lose fat the way you should you will go at a realistic, healthy pace toward ideal weight. The difference is when you get there it will be much easier to stay there. Losing fat at a reasonable rate means retaining calorie burning muscle. You will be a lean, mean calorie burning machine.
So when it comes to losing weight it is not just a matter of losing weight as fast as you can. Diets that give you quick results are just not as healthy as making realistic changes that can be adopted which can help you get and keep the fat off long term. Eating a well balanced diet, consistent exercise and getting adequate sleep are all essential components of successful weight loss. Remember you are going to lose the fat not just the weight.