The Truth About Weight Loss

The Truth About Weight Loss

Weight loss... we hear the term everywhere we turn nowadays. At the grocery store, on tv, social media, and of course at the gym. In fact, in 2017 the weight loss and weight management industry was estimated to be worth 175 Billion, with a B, dollars!

There are hundreds of different products and services across the industry like diet books, exercise programs, phone applications, supplements, and even surgeries that all are “supposed” to help a person “lose weight” and improve their health but is that even the right goal?

There are two main components of body composition to take into account:

1. Fat Mass- consisting of stored body fat

2. Lean Body Mass- consisting of skeletal muscle mass, water, organs, bone, and skin

 

Often when someone is attempting to “lose weight” they focus on the weight number, but the truth is this number is deceiving and actually not worth tracking! It does not tell us anything about our body composition and what our weight is made up of!

Most people want to lose weight so that they can look leaner, have a better body shape, and eliminate stored body fat. So that is exactly what we need to focus on!

We do this by focusing on “improving our body composition”. Or more simply, focusing on fat loss and lean body mass maintenance/gain.

The first step to improving body composition is to ASSESS. This can be done a few different ways using skinfold calipers, dexa scanning, hydrostatic weighing, and BIA impedance testing. At Power Health and Performance we use the “InBody Scale” which is a BIA impedance test that provides us with comprehensive body composition numbers like body fat percentage, skeletal muscle mass, and lean body mass.

The second step, once we have these numbers, is to set SMART goals for fat loss and as someone progresses through their training and nutrition program we can monitor if they are losing body fat or lean body mass. This information is VITAL to be able to make proper decisions on a training or nutrition plan and lets us know if what someone is doing is working or not, saving tons of time and confusion. Of course, we want to lose body fat and preserve our lean body mass by all means.

Once you know WHAT to track and focus on losing (body fat instead of weight) we must talk about HOW to approach losing it. The first fact we must acknowledge is that everyone has their own unique body and lifestyle so there is no one for all approach to losing body fat. Different components like nutrition, sleep, stress levels, and exercise capacity all have to be addressed and the proper strategies to optimize these components have to be implemented.

To determine how to successfully lose body fat in a safe, sustainable fashion once again we have to ASSESS which in this case can done by looking closely into a person’s daily routine and habits, having a conversation with a health and fitness professional, and filling out intake forms that provide detailed information about health and lifestyle. Once the necessary information is gathered an optimal health, nutrition, and fitness program can be developed and should address the 6 main components of health and performance which are mindset, breathing, sleeping, hydration, nutrition, and movement.

Although a person’s approach to improving their body composition needs to be individualized there are some general rules of thumb you can begin to focus on right away!

1. Engage in a mindful breathing practice. This can consist of breathing exercises or meditation. This will help you begin to manage stress better and will allow the body to remain in a physiological state to improve health and fitness.

2. Sleep 8 hours each night. Once again this will keep stress hormones from elevating and allow for the internal state necessary for health a fitness development.

3. Eat 3 meals per day consisting of whole foods (preferably organic) like grass-fed meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats like avocado. Eat until you are 80% full. Take 15-30 minutes to sit down and eat each meal.

4. Exercise 4-5 times per week for at least 30-45 minutes at a time.

 

So in conclusion, “losing weight” is not the right goal. The right goal to truly optimize our health and fitness is to focus on improving our body composition by losing fat and maintaining/gaining lean body mass. And lucky for you this is something we can offer full support to you in the Power 6 Challenge. See details below. Registration ends this Friday so do not hesitate to contact us with additional questions or click here to learn more.




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