“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between New Year and Christmas” – Anonymous from a website.
Fat loss is one of those things that border toe the borderline between science and art, fact and fiction, legend and truth. For example, many people are hoodwinked into thinking that sauna suits, abdominal exercise machines and laxatives actually help lose weight. Well, at least the kind of weight that’s really important: fat. I’ve come across many people during my runs inside our village all wrapped up in what looks like a shiny astronaut or radio-active protection suits sans the massive helmets, sweating like there’s no tomorrow and refusing to drink water so that they can lose weight. They’ll lose weight alright, although it’s not the relevant nor healthy kind…all they’re losing is water, which they can gain back in a jiffy. Some people get duped by those very crafty home shopping network infomercials that promise sleek and razor sharp abs simply by using their abdominal contraption for just a few minutes a day. And some people try to force loose bowel movement thinking that by drinking certain teas, they’ll be able to poop out their adipose tissue while in fact, they’re simply excreting more water weight.
WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT NECESSARILY FAT LOSS
Personally, I don’t agree with the term weight loss because weight is not really the health issue…it’s the amount of adipose tissue. Let me share with you my personal experience that has led me to feel this way about the concept of weight loss as we know it.
When I was 14 years old, I was only 5 feet 4 inches tall but I weighed a staggering 210 pounds. Weight loss experts back then told me that based on my height and age, my ideal healthy weight should be 150 pounds. I trusted them so I enrolled in their expensive weight loss program at 205 pounds, which I must admit was worth it. In about 2 and a half months, I lost 55 pounds, tipping the scales at 150 pounds. But something didn’t look right…literally.
People said I looked too thin. Actually, I did look to thin. Also, I felt rather weak. Why? Because my supposed ideal weight was based other peoples’ average weight and didn’t take into consideration my bone structure, i.e. I was big boned. I bulked up a bit after several months to 170 pounds, which made me 20 pounds overweight based on supposed benchmark levels but was the weight where my family and all my friends agreed I looked best in. I also felt energetic and strong at that weight. That experience caused me to doubt the existing fixation with pure weight loss.
It’s also worth noting that not all people who are supposedly within their healthy weight ranges are actually healthy. Why? It’s because many people have high body fat percentages even if their total weight is supposedly healthy. This happens when a person has very little muscle mass to the point that it just offsets the excess levels of adipose tissue when it comes to overall weight. This is the phenomenon known as skinny fat or a fat but skinny person.
So when it comes to both aesthetic and health purposes, we should be more concerned with fat loss instead of weight loss.
FAT LOSS FORMULA
If I were to express the secret to fat loss in a mathematical formula, it would simply look like this:
Calories Burned – Calories Consumed = Fat Loss
To lose fat, we need to burn more calories than what we consume or eat. Otherwise, we would either maintain our present fat levels (calories burned = calories consumed) or increased body fat levels (calories consumed > calories burned).
So the secret to fat loss is really not so much of a secret. Just burn more calories, eat less calories or both.