Helpful Answers about Exercise & Weight Loss
Dear TTC Participants,
Let me start by congratulating you on a job well done. I know that you are working very hard on building life-long healthy habits that will help you lose weight, get stronger, and enjoy a better-quality life. Today, I wanted to share some really good questions I have heard over the last few weeks. These questions address some of the "common" concerns, obstacles, difficulties that you might have faced, or still facing, in this program. I wanted to share the answers to these questions with everyone so hopefully you will find this beneficial.
Q: I have been working hard (walking more, lifting more..etc) for 3 weeks and I haven't lost any weight! Why?
A: In short: Muscle Weight!
One of the very first things I emphasize whenever I work with any of my private clients is that I want them to lose "fat" not lose weight. Whenever the body loses weight, due to dieting mostly, it loses fat as well as precious muscle tissue. Although this weight loss brings the scale readings down, it also negatively impacts the amount of energy the body needs on a daily basis. Muscle is an active tissue that requires more energy to maintain than fat. The stronger the body gets the more energy it needs. So, when it comes to weight loss, you want to keep the tissue that will keep your metabolic needs up. One sure way to preserve precious muscles is train them with weights. The more intense the strength training, the stronger the muscle gets. The muscles also become more volumized and weigh more. This translates into the scale giving back unfavorable readings.
Another good sign that you are losing fat is the way your clothes fit. Did you notice that your pants or dress is fitting better? Are your clothes getting looser? These are great indicators that body composition is shifting positively.
Finally, I want you to ask yourself the following questions (just be honest with yourself)
I know that this could be frustrating, especially if you have been working hard and the scale is yet to budge. I want to assure you that results WILL show (if they didn't already start in the form of you getting stronger, sleeping better, or your clothes fitting better.) I just ask you to be patient. If you work hard enough, if you push yourself far enough, if you truly make the positive changes towards healthy lifestyle, then it's ONLY a matter of time before you reap the many, many benefits of your healthy hard work.
Q: I measure my body fat using one of those hand-held fat analyzer. I lost weight, but my body composition (body fat) readings are up. What is the explanation for that?
A: Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) is a commonly used method for estimating body composition by determining the electrical impedance, or opposition to the flow of an electric current, of body tissues, which can be used to calculate an estimate of total body water. TBW can be used to estimate fat-free body mass and, by difference with body weight, body fat.
Since BIA is hydration-dependant test, fluctuation in the body hydration level can affect the accuracy of the readings. To insure the best accurate results, attention to the following suggestions should be given:
You should not exercise or perform any vigorous activity for at least 8 hours before your test to ensure accurate body fluid results.
Also, beverages such as caffeine or alcohol in large quantities 12 hours before the test should not be consumed since these beverages are diuretics.
Q: I am going on a vacation next week and I will be away for 2 weeks. What should I do?
A: Same thing that you are doing now:
Remember, this is not a 12-week program. This is a life-long transformation!
Happy Healthy Transformation!
Rami S. Aboumahadi
Personal Trainer and Founder of the Total Transformation Challenge Program.