Most people that start to engage in some form of fitness regime, generally want to lose some weight i.e. body fat. Some will obviously have more than others, and when the scales read a substantially higher number, this is of course when we want to see those numbers drop. However, when things to start to come right down, and there isn’t much left to lose, this is when we need to stop looking at what the scales are telling us, and look more towards our shape, how clothes are fitting, and what’s looking right back at us when we stare into the mirror.
A pound of body fat compared to a pound of muscle tissue, looks completely different in size (you can see from the picture attached). Muscle tissue is denser, it holds more water, and calorically, it needs lots of energy. When you hold more muscle on your frame, you need more calories to feed that muscle. This in turns allows you to eat more, gives you a higher metabolic rate, helps you stay slim (ever wondered why people with more muscle can eat loads and not get fat?), helps you to move better, makes you feel more confident, as well as looking great when you get naked! wink emoticon
Go into any gym around the world, and I can almost guarantee you that 99.9% of people that have a consultation with either a fitness instructor, or a personal trainer, will say that they ‘want to tone up and lose weight’. Well guess how you tone up? You need to build muscle, and lose body fat.
Generally speaking it works to other way around. Muscle is hard to build when there’s an excess amount of body fat available, so losing the fat is the first part of the battle, then you look to gain some muscle. This is why your diet is so important when you first start out.
Now, muscle is a very hard to tissue to build, especially for women. Lifting heavy weights, isn’t going to make you get huge, unless you’re taking some kind of ‘aid’ (growth hormone, testosterone supplement), the big muscly women that you see in body building shows have had some form of ‘aid’, hence why they get so big, and start to resemble men.
Lifting heavy weights is needed to build muscle, make you look toned, and make you lose weight, simple as that. Those little 2kg dumbbells that you’re lifting for a 100 reps isn’t doing you any favours, get in amongst the men, and squat, ladies (and lots of men)!
So this is where the scales start become the enemy for lots of people. They get the weight down, tone up, lose body fat, but the scales either stay the same, or they go up a little. Remember, muscle is much denser than fat, it holds lots of water, and when you’ve lost that body fat, and gained some muscle, the scales might indeed, go up.
This is why you need to focus more on your shape/size/picture. It will give you a much better, satisfying result. There are a ton of beneficially reasons to have more muscle on your frame. I will go more in depth another day.
For now, keep up the 80% healthy living, and the 20% of slight indulgence, get yourself to the gym, and start lifting!
Stay strong people!