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Why weight loss is not your goal - Part 3 What you are made of!

Happy New Year!

I know at the end of the last post I promised a continuation on calroies, but I really feel this one is more important...

When people say they want to lose weight, often they mean lose fat, and this is a very different thing. Also offered for your consideration is that almost everything you do to be healthy will make you heavier.

There is very little in our bodies we can change once you look at what our bodies are made of.

  1. Internal organs – your brain, liver, kidneys, heart and lungs etc make up about 25% of you body weight. I’m assuming most people would not choose to loose an internal organ just before SW weigh in.

  2. Skin – This forms about 11% of your total body weight. Again no matter how much you exfoliate you are unlikely to scrub enough away to make a difference and it grows back!

  3. Bones – make up about 15% of your total body weight. It is widely accepted that denser bones are healthier, supporting the prevention of osteoarthritis, so we don’t want to lose weight here.

So we're a little over 50% of your total weight and we are left with 2 factors

  1. Muscle – Through evolution it is incredibly difficult for us to stimulate the body to grow more muscle. But with the right stimulus it can happen, but probably not to the extent we think. A reasonable level of muscle to add every year is about 5lbs. While this may not sound a lot if you train regularly for 4 years and add 20lbs of lean tissue, this would be significant. The question then comes, what do we need in our diet to allow us to grow our muscles. The answer is of course protein and as long as you are consuming about 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight you will be eating enough. So for me as an 87kg male I need 87g of protein. This is not a lot.

So we are left with fat

There are 2 types of fat in the body. Visceral or around your internal organs and subcutaneous or under your skin.

  1. The visceral fat is the stuff when your old man says check out my stomach it’s rock hard and I can’t pinch and inch. All his body fat wrapped around his internal organs is pushing his stomach out against his skin keeping it tight.

2. Then subcutaneous fat is the bit we pinch.

There are several ways to get your body to use its fat supplies. But they all come down to one thing. Reduced energy intake. We are not used to over eating as an evolved animal, but we would have eaten everything when it was available. So this is why when you open a packets of biscuits you eat them all.

The 5:2 system is a really good way of reducing energy intake, and once you have adapted to not over eating on non fasting days then you will be rocking. Or small changes such us reducing energy intake over a period of time to the point where your energy intake is lower than your energy output.

The issue with the fitness industry is it tries to make a link between exercise and the fat you burn as a result. And to a certain extent this is true, but you can never "burn off" the excess energy/calories, we are simply too efficient at using energy. So the best way to reduce your fat levels is to eat to your requirements. And that is the hard part.

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