Weight loss does not equal fat loss. One leads to frustration and more kilos than before. The other to finally getting lean. The difference is crucial.
They only share one common ground, a necessary calorie deficit.
So what is different?
In a weight loss scenario, you typically try to eat as little as possible.
In a fat loss approach, you are trying to eat as much as possible.
Now you want an explanation, I suppose.
If your previous tactics included eating as little as possible, then I would classify this under the category “weight loss”. Not only energy intake is limited but also the uptake of important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc. Under such circumstances, the body will shift into what I call the ‘survival mode’.
- The thyroid slows down your metabolism to keep running important organs and systems.
- The body starts to burn muscle for energy and protects existing fat stores to have one last safety net.
- Hunger and eating is communicated as a loud message from the brain so you can’t hardly think of anything else.
However, avoiding these protective measures in response to an excessive caloric deficit, should be the main objective of any sustainable weight loss program.
Otherwise you will abandon the attempt frustrated even before reaching the weight goal. And in case you had enough willpower to push yourself to the end, what happens after the diet is always the same: after a short time you weigh more than before.
The metabolism remains throttled, the hormones continue to be out of balance and you have less muscles. This inevitably leads to more weight when you eat the same things as you have before the challenge.
In a smart fat loss program, you eat as much as possible to see a weekly reduction of 0.5 lbs to 2 lbs tops. (0.25kg to 0.9kg)
Usually, you achieve this at a calorie deficit of 200 to 300 kcal, with 400kcal as the upper limit.
To ensure that the body receives all essential nutrients and therefore does not go into survival mode, you eat mostly – and you probably just guessed it yourself – real foods such as vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and berries. For carbohydrates you can enjoy fruit, potatoes or gluten-free cereals such as rice, millet, buckwheat or quinoa IN MODERATION.
Now the body obtains all building blocks necessary for repair, maintenance and renewal. It only lacks a little energy, which it easily gets from your fat stores. Bingo!
If you go back to eating more, you will stay lean and fit.
Who should not try to lose body fat?
If you suffer from one or more of the ‘three clinical stumbling stones’:
- Digestive issues
- Thyroid imbalances
- Blood handling problems
In such case, a restriction of calories is hardly rewarded with fat loss.
On the contrary, you only dig yourself into an even deeper metabolic hole.
Typical signs of the stumbling blocks are:
- General fatigue
- Belching after eating
- Gas after meals
- Difficult bowel movements
- Sensitivity to cold (cold hands or feet)
- Excessive hair loss
- Cravings for sweets
- Afternoon fatigue
- Regularly waking up at 3am to 5am
A blood test is the next step to reveal the presence of these banana peels.
If you are affected, you have to fix your health first. Only then you should go after a body composition change.
Feeling fresh energy and a desire to move are usually the first signs showing you are doing the right things. That’s how you know, that your body is ready to get rid of excess fat and reveal your six pack.
Thanks for reading,