Would you like to lose weight?
You’re wrong if you answered yes. Okay, not really true, but what you want to do is lose weight. Everyone can lose weight. You don’t eat. You just don’t sleep. You lose weight, the weight you lose is both fat and muscle.
The goal is to maintain or even add as much muscle as possible while at the same time losing as much body fat as possible. Your body fat percentage is a key indicator of your performance rather than the magnitude. In fact, stay off the scale.
Muscle is vital to your success for losing fat. Muscles have these little fat burning powerhouses called mitochondria. Mitochondria are cellular power plants that are responsible for the production of energy. It’s in the mitochondria that fat is metabolized. There is a positive correlation between the amount of muscle you have and the number of mitochondria. And it stands to reason that the more mitochondria you have, the more the potential to burn fat.
Get more Mitochondria
How do you get more of these powerhouses from small cells? You have to give your body a reason to create more. You do this by exercising with high intensity. One of these approaches is HIIT preparation. Training in weight is another. By creating a high energy demand above and beyond the energy your body already can generate, your body needs to create new mitochondria to prepare itself for the next time your muscles use the energy they need.
Muscle and mitochondria are perfect because they are healthy tissue. Unlike fat, they need constant energy, like fatty acids, to maintain themselves. What does that mean? What does that mean? This ensures that your body will always burn fat–even when you sleep. Sure, in your sleep it’s possible to burn fat, and that’s how.
Don’t Worry About Your Weight
Telling people to ignore their weight is a common theme for us, and for good reason. Too many times a successful diet is sabotaged by a small number on a scale. A scale does nothing but measure the force of gravity of your body. Why should this matter be at all? It can’t tell you if your clothes fit better, it can’t tell you if your body’s fat percentage has changed, and it won’t tell you that you’re looking any better.
When you start dieting, it’s imperative that you track your progress using methods other than scale. You need progress measuring tools that track fat loss–not weight loss. Body fat callipers, tape measures, pictures, sizes of clothes, and people’s comments are all going to be more useful to you. Don’t worry about your weight, even if it’s going to rise. If you look better, your weight doesn’t matter. The only time that matters is when you tell someone who doesn’t understand the difference between weight loss and weight loss.
Preserve your muscle while losing your fat
Right then, if our goal is to lose fat, we’re going to have to focus on preserving muscle while losing fat. People tend to sabotage their diet by eating too little food and too few nutrients, resulting in muscle loss. Once you start to lose your muscle, you’re fighting an uphill battle to lose your fat. This is one of the main reasons why diets fail, just behind food dependence.
To prevent muscle loss, make sure you are following these basic guidelines:
- Get in enough calories for your body size and activity level.
- Make sure those calories are nutrient dense by having them come from fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes, tubers, dairy, and whole grains.
- Aim for calories in the 10-times your body weight range.
- Try to get 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight and divide it evenly between 5 meals.
- Eat enough carbohydrates to support your level of activity. You can start with 150 grams and adjust from there.
- Fill the rest of your calories with fat–healthy fats and EFAs (essential fatty acids).
- Make sure you exercise and give your muscles a reason to maintain themselves. If you don’t exercise, your body is going to shed that unneeded muscle. Force your body to preserve it and even grow it by giving it consistent stimulation.
Follow these guidelines, and you will achieve your true goal not just of losing weight, but of losing that unwanted fat, and of keeping your beautiful muscles.