So, you want to lose 10 pounds? Perhaps the last 10 pounds? First, let’s talk about something very important…

I’ll start with a question. If you had to choose between a weight loss coach and a fat loss coach, which one would you pick?

I know which one you’d search for! There’s over 400 million search results for the term “weight loss” on Google.  Less than 200 million for “fat loss.”

If you’ve never taken the time to scrutinize the difference, I’ll save you a few minutes: weight loss is frivolous. Fat loss is all that matters.

Weight loss has an industry.

An entire industry has been built around weight loss (you mean the mainstream is frivolous? Shocking!). Progress is graded almost solely by that stupid scale.

“Lower number good. Higher number bad.” (Imagine a knuckle dragger in a Global Gym t-shirt repeating that mantra over and over again).

The fitness industry chose the most arbitrary way of measuring progress in health and fitness and convinced everyone that it’s the holy grail.

Wool, meet eyes.

Fat loss has a purpose.

I don’t want you to lose weight if it means that you’re losing muscle. Ideally, you want to lose fat only. I can’t think of a single reason why any human being would want to reduce their lean muscle mass outside of the irrational explanation I’m sure someone will give in the comments.

Houston, We Have a 10 Pound Problem.

Wanting to lose 10 pounds is a frivolous goal. But, what’s the title of every magazine headline? “Lose 10 Pounds for the Summer!”

Make that money, honey.

Why not set a goal that actually means something? Let’s take a look at what I call The Ten Pound Problem.

Let’s say you want to lose ten pounds. If you lose five pounds of fat and five pounds of muscle (highly likely on a “cardio workout plan”), you lost your 10 pounds. The scale moved in the “right” direction. SUCCESS!

But, what do you look like? A bit smaller and a bit softer. Nothing impressive.

If you lose ten pounds of fat and zero pounds of muscle, you’ve lost the same ten pounds. But, what do you look like? Smaller, but not softer. A much better choice. Not impressively different though.

Which do you choose? Here’s where it gets wonky.

Personally, I wouldn’t choose either of those. Certainly, losing 10 pounds of fat and zero pounds of muscle is the better choice of the two. But let’s not pretend we only have two options.

If you lose ten pounds of fat and GAIN five pounds of muscle, you didn’t reach your goal of losing ten pounds. The scale says you lost only five.

Are you a failure? Well, what do you look like?

You’re smaller where it matters and look lean and strong. You actually look healthier; athletic even. It’s a radical change from your former self.

Now, which do you choose? Do you want to lose 10 pounds for the Summer or five? What a predicament.

Look like you lost 10 pounds without losing 10 pounds…

If you do a bunch of cardio in order to reach your goals, you’ll lose more weight than if you shun cardio and focus on building lean muscle mass through strength training.

But the strength training will make you look better and feel better. What you look like has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with lean muscle mass.

Don’t like lifting heavy things? Replace the cardio with high intensity interval training and sprinting and you’ll achieve similar results.

Remember, strength training is amazing for fat burning. You just don’t lose as much weight because you’re not cannibalizing your muscles, you’re building them.

Are you going to wear your scale at the beach, or your bikini? If you’re not going to wear the scale, then do what’s going to make you look better in the bikini (the same advice applies to guys, hopefully minus the bikini part).

Exercise Action Plan: Stop setting frivolous goals. Shun the scale. Cancel the cardio. Learn to love intensity, not duration. Lose less weight but look better. And never forget, if you don’t address the nutrition, sleep, stress, and so on, none of this will matter.

Comments

  • actors lose it all to play roles. just sayin’.

    ;0

  • Mindy says:

    Blah blah blah WHEN does the scale go down ? I’ve been working on this since July and I want to see the scale go down.

    • Kevin Geary says:

      The whole point of the article is that the scale is meaningless…

      • Angela says:

        Amen! Finally! Someone gets it! We’ve become a society so driven by the scale, placing our self-worth into what those little digital green numbers show. It’s mindless, stupid and insane. Because weight is so much more. Eat right, HIIT cardio and weight lifting and wonderful things happen. 🙂 I’m not focused on losing anything but gaining lean muscle mass. My body will transform on its own (on its own… that’s cute… like I don’t have to work hard to get there). That’s why I’m not weighing myself anymore.

        But I’m still lifting heavy. 😉

  • Mindy says:

    I get it ! BUT at some point the scale must go down ! There must be a point when that happens. WHEN is that ? When one reaches a % of muscle mass ? I’m tried of hearing the same thing that the scale does not matter. I understand the concept BUT PLEASE at some point the scale has to move. WHEN?

    • Butch says:

      Hey Mindy,

      While Kevin is right the scale becomes meaningless eventually, we still want to see the results we are creating so, I’ll tell you what I did. On October the 5th I said to myself that’s it, I’m taking it off. So, on October the 6th my weight loss regimen started and I basically adhere to the Atkins approach. So, things started off pretty good with a 12 and a half pounds loss the first week (some water weight I’m sure) but the second week was only 4 pounds then the third week 3 pounds and on to 2 pounds then just one pound…so while this was a little frustrating I decided to figure out what I’m doing wrong and in doing some reading I came across an article that I guess was tailored to the Ketogenic diet but it wasn’t the diet itself that caught my attention in fact I didn’t even bother reading anything about the diet itself, it had to do with the percent of Fat, Proteins and Carbs…well I found it fascinating and decided to incorporate the info in to my regimen and the scale moved a bit more and as of Monday December 1st., it’s been 8 weeks…i did have a little setback because my daughter gave birth on the 23rd of November and then it was Thanksgiving which I cooked a turkey and all my kids came in to town for the new baby so the last 9 days have been a little crazy and while I didn’t gain any weight, I stayed at the same level with a 31 pound weight loss and I’m now back on track…and feel pretty good again :). So, here is what I use that helped me with no doubt…since I don’t know how to use Excel I had to just create a simple Doc file and fill in the blanks in Microsoft Office so I could start tracking my efforts and seeing my results. Now here is how I eat…75% Fat Cal., 20% Protein Cal. and 5% Carbs Cal.. So I eat bacon, sausage, sour cream, high fat cheese and I cook with butter and I lose weight but the most interesting thing about this regimen is I have gone up to 19 hours without eating only because I wasn’t hungry, I’m serious I have no hunger pangs what’s so ever oh, and the craving are all gone, I remember at Thanksgiving looking at all the food…mash potatoes, brown sugar & pecan topped yams, bread rolls, and all the pie’s and I was turn off by it all…I said never again…So, here we are, at a junction and you have to ask yourself how bad do you want it? But, more importantly as all the professional will tell you “no one does anything without a reason” I found when I tied what I wanted (to lose weight) to a reason why (to stop wearing warm-ups and fit back into my pants) it lit a fire in me and now I have a GOAL…I wrote it down so I could see it every day and I put a completion date behind it…So, Mindy I hope this helps in some small way and if there is anything else be sure to post it…

      Butch

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