When you can’t catch your breath, when your muscles are on fire, when your alarm goes off before your early am workout, when you’re hungry, when you’re tired, when the scale won’t budge, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself for how hard you are working to lose weight and get fit this year…Just know this; “Fat WILL Surrender”.
If you are doing everything right, counting calories, and working out regularly, fat WILL eventually surrender and give up the fight. Sometimes it takes a while to break a plateau. Sometimes it takes a while to see the results you want. But, IF you are doing everything right, fat will have to eventually raise the white flag.
Fat and Muscle, What Happens Behind the Scenes
Just because your scale hasn’t budged YET, doesn’t mean you aren’t wearing fat down. You could literally be losing fat and gaining muscle – and your weight could be the same (while you are losing fat). Of course, over time, your weight will eventually drop, but it is common for the scale to remain the same in the beginning of a fitness program because of these changes going on inside.
Our muscle gets fuller from the new activity, causing them to weigh more. That’s why our muscles feel firm and “pumped up”. While our muscles fill out, we are also simultaneously losing body fat, but our weight appears to balance out on the scale (or worse, it actually goes UP!). Have no fear. Just because you don’t see the changes on the scale doesn’t mean you have SERIOUS changes going on inside.
Look at this photo of me holding a replica of 5lbs of fat (left) and 5lbs of muscle (right). See how much smaller 5lbs of muscle is compared to 5lbs of fat? This is why we can appear smaller, but our weight can be the same. That’s also why you can swear you are losing weight, then get on the scale, only to be discouraged that the scale is not agreeing with your belt. Your belt says you’ve lost in your waist, but the scale acts like no changes have been made. If you are feeling thinner, you are right. You are getting thinner – and eventually, the scale will agree.
If Only We Had X Ray Fitness Vision
Without doing a fancy body composition analysis (like the one we have, called the InBody), it’s hard to believe what is really going on. Yet, if you could see that you’ve lost 4lbs of fat and gained 4lbs of muscle, you could celebrate – and let that information motivate you to press on. Unforunately, it’s around this time that people give up. They let the scale sabotage their progress. They’ve worked harder than they ever have before, yet they aren’t getting the reward they want on the scale, so they quit – and they quit RIGHT before the scale would have started to show major progress.
Tomorrow, I will go deeper into fat vs. muscle – and I will address some of the exceptions to the rule, as well as some warnings. I will also give you some ideas of what to expect while you are working toward your goal. If you don’t subscribe, be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
Remember, the key to any fitness program is remembering you are a science project – and science projects have many variables. You have to understand that weight loss may take some trial and error ..and a lot of patience. Just promise me this: Keep Showing Up and Never Give Up! If you do that, Fat WILL Surrender To You!
Learn more about healthy weight loss:
Get weight loss tips and find helpful BMI and calorie counter tools at Reader’s Digest Health section
It’s amazing how easily people adopt certain beliefs or principles just because it sounds good. People spew out headlines from the latest magazine articles without even thinking twice. Or they take pieces of information someone shares with them in the gym, without even questioning it, or researching it further. We are too gullible As a result, the world is riddled with partial truths, misunderstandings and downright lies.
Get After the Truth – pFACT or pFICTION?
Here are 4 statements that are often either misunderstood or just plain wrong. Find out if these claims are fact or fiction.
1. Muscle weighs more than fat.
If you fill one container full of fat, and another matching container full of muscle, the container of muscle would outweigh the container of fat. If you needed the two containers to weigh the same, you’d have to remove some of the muscle to balance the scale. To help our clients understand this better, we actually bought a replica of 5lbs of fat and 5lbs of muscle to show our clients. With the help of our replicas, it’s now easy to see why you would weigh the same but appear smaller if you were to lose 5lbs of fat and gain 5lbs of muscle. Also, it is shocking to see just how BIG 5lbs of fat is. We often act like gaining, or losing, 5lbs is no big deal – but you can see here that it is indeed a HUGE deal. Answer: pFACT. Muscles does weigh more than fat.
2. Muscle can make you bigger.
Look at the replica of 5lbs of muscle. It is clearly smaller than its equal weight in fat – I’d guess at least two-thirds the size. Food makes you bigger, not muscle. And, muscle can get stronger without necessarily getting bigger. If you keep your calories the same and workout, you’ll likely change your shape but not your weight – gaining muscle and losing fat. If you do this, you will actually be smaller, not bigger. The problem is, many people who start lifting weights tend to eat more (thinking they can “afford” to eat more). Or, if they boost their protein, they forget to reduce calories from other substrates to make room. As a result, they accidentally increase their overall calories, causing weight gain. Answer: pFICTION. Muscle can’t bulk you up unless you eat to bulk up.
3. Muscle can turn into fat.
Muscle is always muscle, and fat is always fat. Muscle can’t change its very nature and turn itself into fat, or bone, or anything else for that matter. However, it can decrease in size (muscle waste) if it’s not used and perserved. And, in the event you lose muscle mass, your metabolism can slow down causing weight gain. Another issue is people, like football players and other young athletes, continue to eat how they ate when they were active. As they slow down, their eating should slow down as well. That’s why many once-fit football players are now fat ex-football players. They pack fat on top of their muscle simply because they don’t adjust their eating to fit their new activity (or non-activity) level. Answer: pFICTION. Muscle doesn’t turn to fat.
4. Muscle helps you burn fat.
Muscle is less efficient than fat. Muscle is like a Dodge Viper, and fat is more like a Toyota Prius. Another words, muscle burns through the gas (calories) faster than fat. 1 gram of fat gives you 9 calories of energy, but 1 gram of protein only gives you 4 calories. So, you can see how fat stores give you more “mileage” per say. Why this is important to understand is because we want to BLAST through the calories, we don’t want a fat efficient body. We want a gas guzzling muscle car body that burns gas like crazy. With that said, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – which is very helpful when you are trying to lose weight. Answer: pFACT. A muscular body burns more calories, even at rest.
#GetAfterIt! Ten-Four Good Buddy
As a ambassador for Reebok, I have to say, I’m proud that Reebok is encouraging people to “get after it” (that’s why you may see the hashtag #getafterit in many of my tweets.) It’s not enough to “just do it” we need to GET AFTER IT – and chase your goal like never before. “Get After It” has a sense of urgency, a sense of forward motion, a sense of of taking something all the way to the finish line. Get After it isn’t easy. It’s not just showing up – it’s being in it to win it. As a CrossFit partner, Reebok wants you to put your body to the test and train like a champ. If you are ready to get after it, burn fat and tone muscle with this intense BCx circuit! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
TEN-FOUR BCx WORKOUT
10 rounds of the following 4 exercises for time with little to no rest. You can slow down, but try not to stop.
10 ROUNDS FOR TIME
Note: Track your time each time to track your improvement.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.