Statistics show that 41% of the population make New Year’s resolutions. Out of that 41%, 21.4% aim for weight loss and healthier eating, 12.3% aim for self improvement, & 5.5% promise to workout more.
A whopping 92% of new year’s resolution makers do not follow through with their original plan of action. Maybe if we start thinking fat loss before “weight loss” we can get those numbers a little higher on people following through with their plans.
Fat loss is VERY VERY different than weight loss but people seem to use the term interchangeably. After reading this you’ll understand the difference between the two and which you should aim for and how. Let me explain,
Let’s start by defining weight loss. The first thing someone usually says to me is “I need to lose weight”. By this, they mean the number on the scale. What they don’t realize is that that number on the scale has zero meaning other than their gravitational pull on this earth. Your weight on the scale measures the sum of the weight of your bones, muscles, organs, and body fat.
If you want to lose weight, it’s most likely because you carry too much fat. There are people who must lose weight like athletes before a competition but most people should start aiming their goals to LOSE FAT not weight. I can tell you right now, if you don’t eat anything all day today, you’ll be down on the scale tomorrow. If you don’t drink anything all day then you’ll be down on the scale, and if I cut your right arm off, you’ll be down on the scale tomorrow. But how are any of those things helping you in your fitness journey? You’ll still be stuck with the same amount of body fat.
Weighing yourself & why you shouldn’t take that number to heart.
#1 It’s UNRELIABLE. Your body weight can fluctuate dailiy since it’s influenced by the amount of food you’ve eaten, the amount of fluids you’ve consumed, your bowel movements, water loss/retention, muscle loss/gain, and it will just get you frustrated.
#2. It’s irrelevant. People with similar height can weigh the same but look completely different because one has lower body fat than the other.
Here’s how the weight scale can mislead you. Clothes, mirrors and pictures do not lie. But the scale can be your worst enemy by misleading you and killing your motivation.
CARBS AND WATER: Carbs bind to water. So eating less carbs will make you lose water weight. You’ll notice you will feel less “fluffy” when adhering to a lower carb diet. This is because water is exiting your body instead of binding to the carbs you consume.
MUSCLE GAIN AND FAT LOSS. You’ll gain muscle while losing fat when you start strength training. But on the scale it may look like you’ve made no progress. Track your body fat using a body caliper and you’ll see your body fat going down.
Keys to losing fat:
How to Track Progress Efficiently
You don’t need to track progress weekly, changes wouldn’t be drastic enough. Track progress every 2 weeks. Stop Weighing Yourself Daily. The daily fluctuations will mess with your motivation. Weigh yourself once every 2 weeks, not more. Stop Looking in The Mirror. Self-image issues can skew perception. Shoot full body pictures and compare them with old ones.
Track Body Fat. Get a fat caliper and track your body fat every 2 weeks.
Take Measurements. Girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, waist & thighs. Waist should go down, rest should go up. Shoot Pictures. Full body pictures from ankle to neck, front/back/side, every 2 weeks. Compare with your previous pics.
Strength Stats. Log your workouts. Strength going up means muscle gains and strength training prevents muscle breakdown. Listen also to what people say. They’ll notice your body change more than you will. Clothes will start to feel differently too. You Might Not Want to Lose Weight.
**Focus on fat loss first. Once you’ve got your body fat down, check if you like what you see. Then decide if you still need to lose weight. **
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