Everyone is always saying – “I wanna lose weight”, but is that really the right thing to say? Sure we want to be slimmer, fit into smaller clothes etc but the trouble with this statement is this: weight loss can include the loss of body fat, the loss of lean muscle tissue and the loss of fluids and stored sugars. What people typically really want is to lose is fat. Losing fat can result in weight loss but so can other things. Let’s have a closer look.
The vast majority of products and programs out there for losing weight tend to not discriminate between fat and muscle for example, and let’s face it we don’t really want to be losing muscle! Most of us just want to be losing fat in this sort of scenario.
Some of the products and methods that generally claim to be awesome for weight loss but tend to not be much good at discriminating between fat and everything else are:
- Meal replacements and supplements
- Very low calorie diets
- Any meal plans that advocate dramatic reduction of or complete avoidance of any food group
- Steady state cardio training
This is why it is really important not to jump straight into any plan or start using any product until you have a good understanding about how it will work and what type of weight loss you might experience.
Having a chat to a dietitian is also a really great idea before taking on any specific eating plan. You want to make sure that your food intake is nutritionally sound (with some occasional treats) and you’re doing the right types of exercise to promote fat loss as a drop in the scales means nothing if you’re dropping weight through muscle and/or water loss.
In fact, losing muscle may well make it more difficult to lose fat since muscle is very metabolically active. This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn all day every day, less muscle equals less calories burnt.