Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
YOUR weight is not how much fat you have. It includes your body fat. It also includes the weight of your bones, muscle, organs, retained water and stomach contents. Your weight will fluctuate based on if you have eaten lately, how much you’ve had to drink, whether or not you’ve been to the toilet and for numerous other reasons.
If you’re going to use your scale weight as a metric for tracking progress, collect as many data points (weigh ins) as possible and look for an overall trend as opposed to the difference between two weigh ins. Also collect data in as similar a set of circumstances as possible. Personally, I do first thing in the morning, after toileting, in my underwear, before eating or drinking. There will be considerable difference between a morning weigh in and an evening weigh in that has nothing to do with fat loss or gain.
Also: You are not fat. You have some fat (everyone does). There’s a big difference between those statements. It doesn’t define you. It’s like “She is muscle” versus “She has muscle”. See the difference?
You’re probably consuming more calories than you think
Food labels in the states can legally be inaccurate by up to 20%. I couldn’t find any “allowed inaccuracy” for the EU or Ireland. If you count calories bear that in mind.
A lot of people I’ve worked with haven’t realised how many calories are in their favorite drinks. A couple of frothy coffees a day can add up to a couple of thousand extras calories a week. That’s enough to stall fat loss.
The difference between a cook (you at home) and a chef (at a restaurant) is butter and double cream. Old joke. But the difference between a steak and oven chips you cook at home and one eaten out in a restaurant could be hundreds of calories. I’m not saying don’t eat out but if you do it often this is also something to keep in mind.
You should be strength training
Any activity burns calories. Strength training helps prevent muscle loss (and will make very few people bigger). A very simple explanation of how this is beneficial could be: If your arm is half muscle and half fat and you lose both at the same rate, your arm will end up smaller but look and feel the same in terms of “tone”. If you take part in strength training though, so as to lose fat but keep muscle, then your arm might end up being three quarters muscle and one quarter fat and as a result look and feel much more solid and “toned”. And like we already said, all activity burns calories, so you’re burning calories while creating muscle “tone”.
You might not be eating enough… wait, what? (!)
This will NOT apply to everyone but it can be an issue for some and is worth considering. If your daily allowance of calories or portions or whatever is VERY low in order to lose fat fast – so low that you have trouble staying within it when your routine changes like at weekends or when you go out to socialise – then your adherence may also be very low.
Increasing your allowance some – so that you will still lose fat but at a slower rate – but as a result stay within your allowance a much larger percentage of the time could be a really smart move.
A moderate plan you can adhere to while maintaining quality of life in other areas (being able to enjoy socialising or occasional treats for example) has the potential to yield far more sustainable results than an extreme plan you can’t stick to.
For more from me, search @AdamWrightPT on Instagram or Facebook. For more from the Kingfisher Club search @KingfisherClubWaterford