“Losing weight” is a common predicament nowadays for people who are overweight. From diet plan to diet plan to attempted workout routine to dance classes to fasting to “so called” slimming pills…..yet nothing seems to work.
It just becomes an annoying cycle of no results. You get on the scale and the numbers aren’t changing after weeks of jogging every morning and finally you give up wit the excuse……..“Some of us are just naturally fat”.
First we need to realize that fitness / nutrition is a science and that the body is literarily garbage in, garbage out. What you give it is what you get most of the time. First thing to do when tackling weight issues is to must stop trying to lose weight. What you should be trying to lose is fat and not weight. A well-toned muscular body may actually weigh more than a body that is full of fat and atrophied muscles, but may look smaller because a pound of fat is bigger than a pound of muscle. This is the reason why you may workout for weeks but not see a drop in the scale even though the waist of your jeans are a tad looser that they were last week. It’s simple, you have likely built some muscle underneath all that fat and burned some fat as well so your jeans may tell you but your scale may not. And if you don’t know how this works it could be very puzzling.
Building muscle is a touchy subject especially for females because most people associate muscle with looking like hulk. That is one myth I’m here to debunk. The new sexy is actually a higher percentage of muscle to fat in the body.
First, let’s talk diet.
This word alone is enough to cause a headache because it has been so abused. A propet diet is not fasting dear people. A proper diet is not skipping meals, nor is it reducing you chocolate intake to one bar a day. A proper diet is not taking only one bottle of soda instead of 2 or 3 a day. A proper diet is not eating just fruits for a whole week. or living only on veggies or drinking 2 gallons of water a day. A proper diet consists of about least 5-6 meals a day. As much as a skinny person has to also eat 5-6 times a day to gain weight, a fat person also has to eat 5-6 times a day to lose weight. The only variation should be in portion size and content.
For instance. Someone trying to lose fat will not be having the same contents of meals and number of calories as someone trying to gain weight. Fat is a type of energy storage in the body. If we eat a certain number of calories, and our body only needs part of that, the rest will go into storage (fat). Your DNA dictates where that fat is stored. Could be the stomach, hips, thighs, arms.
Here is what happens when you starve yourself or skip meals thinking it will help you lose weight.
First your body goes into starvation mode. Your metabolism slowly shuts down. Your body is thinking it won’t be getting food for a while so it starts to save every calorie and every ounce of fat possible for the “rainy day”. It’s like a survival mechanism that would come in handy if you were stranded somewhere and didn’t have access to food. It is the reason why you can go days without food as opposed to going days without water.
Now after you have skipped a meal or starved yourself there is every tendency to binge on the next meal you eat. Any food or calories taken in at this point is processed differently in the body. If your body has gone into slow metabolism and fat storage then the food you eat after the starvation period will also be stored as well in anticipation of another period of starvation. This means more body fat.
So the only solution to this is to eat. Eat in a way that the body converts food to energy and not fat and this means you have to eat every two to three hours in small portions, so your meal timetable will look something like this
8:30am – Meal one
10:30am – Meal two
12:00 / 12:30pm – Meal three
2:30 pm – Meal four
5:30pm – Meal five
7:30 / 8:00pm – Meal six
This is a very basic meal time table and could vary depending on a number of factors such as your calorie burn level, whether or not you work out, your goals, and your body size. Now it’s not just eating, but what you eat, how much and when you eat is also very important. Even if you are eating pounds of vegetables and fruits but eating them in excess, you are eating more calories than your body needs, it will convert those excess calories into fat.
Now there are two kinds of people. People who eat everything in sight and never get fat (the hard gainers) and people who eat little and blow up. Some people have a very fast metabolism rate. Meaning that their bodies burn food faster than normal. People like this are usually very fidgety and active to overactive. Those are the kind of people that get hungry every two hours and would have to consciously binge on food to add the littlest amount of weight.
For people who are inactive and have a slow metabolism rate, even an apple can make you fat.
This is why I say that fitness plans are not a one size fits all thing. Yes there are general rules but the application of those rules to you will have to be determined by and tailored to meet your body type, needs and lifestyle.
Also genes have a very large impact on what you look like. That’s why if your mama has large hips and you inherited it, there is very little you can do to reduce the size of your hips. Or if you do not naturally have a prominent thigh gap. It will be nearly difficult to create one despite the amount of inner thigh exercises you do.
But despite your genetics, it is very possible to achieve the weight you desire with discipline and hardwork.
In order not to overwhelm you with so much information all at once, I will break this down in my future articles.
Peace, Love and Protein Shakes.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Diego Vito Cervo