Weight loss is a common topic everyone talks about and even tries to achieve, but for those that are trying to lose weight what type of ‘weight’ are they actually losing? What is weight loss really?
Recently I attended a seminar, ‘Fat loss not Weight Loss’, and early in the seminar the lecturer made a comment I still remember, “You can lose weight just by going to the toilet!”At this moment it really dawned on me just how misleading the term ‘weight loss’ can be. The goal of most weight reduction program should be losing excess fat, fluid, waste or toxins, however for most people the goal and success of a weight loss program is measured simply by a decrease in kilograms on the scales.
In reality most people will go weigh themselves on the scale and see they’re 2kg lighter, and then they assume that they’ve succeeded in being healthy and what they’re doing is working since the number on the scale dropped. But what if that 2kg weight loss came at the expense of a reduction in muscle and bone mass? Muscle mass is heavier than fat mass so when it’s lost it has a dramatic effect on the scales. The irony is that muscle mass drives metabolism and enables you to burn fat more effectively. So while losing muscle mass might look good on the scales, it actually weakens your overall physique and body structure, decrease your immunity and most importantly, it slows fat loss.
Therefor it’s essential that everyone is aware of what type of ‘weight’ they’re actually losing, and not only rely on the number on the scale. I’ve had male clients in the past see their overall weight had increased but their physique has also improved substantially, this is because their increased in weight came from muscle mass which had enabled them to burn more fat. One important take away message from this is, muscle mass although heavier than fat mass, adds tone to the body thus improving its overall appearance, and increases stamina, strength and energy. However with that being said, it’s unrealistic to compare one person’s weight loss success with another because there are so many variables such as some people weighing lighter because they naturally have a smaller frame. It’s also possible to be heavier than somebody else but still be healthier than them simply because you have more muscle than fat mass overall.
My advice to anyone undertaking a weight reduction program is to make sure they monitor and manage their progress with regular Body Composition Assessments (BCA) to ensure that muscle and bone mass isn’t being sacrificed in an effort to weigh less on the scales.
If this article has changed your view on weight loss why not book in an for an initial naturopathy consultation and receive a complementary Body Composition test (valued at $80). Be quick as this offer is only valid for the first 10 clients that book!
To book or find out more information call reception on 9687 5333