In order to lose excess body fat, we need to combine (1) eating in a
manner that allows the body to reduce fat while maintaining daily energy
requirements, (2) a blend of steady state and interval cardio training and
(3) a consistent pursuit of developing lean muscle tissue. There are a lot
of details that we could expound upon, but for this article, let’s assume
we’re on the right track with our nutrition and exercise.
Some people drop the pounds relatively quickly when they incorporate proper
eating and exercise. Others seem to lose more slowly. Hey, we need to face
reality; we’re all different and will respond differently to the same
But just because we might “lose” slower than our friend or spouse, we need
to remember that we ARE making progress. Almost everyone focuses primarily
on the aesthetic change – how you look. In addition to how your body looks,
eating right and consistent exercise improves your energy, reduces your
stress and back pain, improves your mental outlook. There are way too many
benefits for this short article (to read the benefits known by science
But since nearly everyone who starts a healthy nutrition and fitness
program wants to look better (and I don’t blame you), here’s what we need to
We store body fat in essentially 3 places – under the skin (subcutaneous
fat), within our muscles (intramuscular fat), and around our organs
(visceral fat). Although research isn’t yet 100% definitive, studies suggest
that we tend to lose fat first in muscle. Although fat loss is fat loss,
sometimes a new exerciser becomes disappointed when the fat that she can
pinch and pull (subcutaneous) doesn’t seem to be decreasing. And when you
combine that with a lack of perceived dropping of pounds on the scale (go to
Throw Away Your Scale), she’s ready to give up after only a few weeks of
exercise. Don’t quit. You’re on the right track. As the intramuscular fat
reduces, the subcutaneous fat (under the skin) reduction will follow.
If you perceive you’re not losing, change your standard of measurement. Body
composition is the gold standard in terms of measuring change over time.
Taking circumference measurements can also give you a relative good gauge of
your progress. You’re clothing will fit better in due time.
Instead of focusing on the numbers (lost), focus on the behaviors that
ultimately lead to your ideal body shape and all the wonderful benefits of
great health and fitness. For example, if you have four workouts planned for
the week, allow that to be your gauge of progress rather than a scale number
or other measurement. Consistent follow through using the right approach
will surely allow you to achieve your goals.
And remember, this article makes the assumption you are doing everything
right from a nutrition and exercise standpoint. With all the misinformation
that abounds on fitness and nutrition, it’s not a bad idea to check yourself
against the pitfalls that sometimes well intentioned exercise enthusiasts
fall prey to – to review these
Okay, armed with this information, let’s get to it!