Hi everyone! I wanted to address some misconceptions I hear often about fat loss.
First, muscle is NOT built from fat. Your body does NOT turn fat into muscle. I hear this all the time– (Woman looking at her belly) “I really need to go do crunches because I want to have abs like you..” NO! You can honestly do crunches until your blue in the face, are you building muscle? Yes! BUT that muscle is still going to be buried under the adipose tissue. In order to burn adipose tissue, or better known as the dreaded F-word, FAT, you must be in a caloric deficit! In order to do so, you must be stern with a diet and, usually, incorporate cardio into your routine.
It makes me giggle when I am on Pinterest and a pin (like the one shown) shows a before and after of an obese arm turning into a lean, toned, bicep with the title “8 moves to lose your arm jiggle” because I can guarantee that, if that arm is even the same persons arm, the person did NOT manage that transformation just by doing those “8 moves.”
Second, “My weight has stayed the same, I’m eating well and exercising.. why am I not losing fat?” The first thing I ask them is, “How do you think that you look?” Usually, they will think hard, and respond that they feel like they ARE LOOKING better.
Always, Always, ALWAYS take measurements and progress pictures. That scale is a horrible reference for fat loss, because the muscle you are gaining through exercise and weight lifting is going to weigh more! Honestly, you could throw that scale out. The true measurements for fat loss will be measurements and body fat measurements such as bodpod testing, hydrostatic weighing, skin fold calipers, etc. but, these are usually at a cost.
When measuring, measure your arm mid-bicep, your chest, your waist, your hips–over the widest part of your glutes, and measure your thigh. Repeat measurements every month or so. Progress pictures include front, side, and back. You can take these as frequently as weekly. I transfer them from my phone to a file on my computer, so my phones memory is not filled with progress pictures ! haha
Third misconception– “I’ve been taking X supplement, but haven’t seen any changes.” Ei. “I’ve been taking protein powder, but I haven’t gain muscle” or “I’ve tried out this thermogenic fat burner, but I haven’t lost fat” Supplements are just that. SUPPLEMENTS to ADD to your routine. Taking a supplement alone will not be much help for you. But adding a supplement to a work out routine and a solid nutrition plan– that is when the results happen. I am an advocate for supplements, I, myself take supplements on a daily basis. But only when and where I need them. I normally do not supplement protein with protein powders–because I prefer to eat whole foods that contain high protein.
For someone that has little time, yes a protein powder shake would be an appropriate supplement! Those thermogenic fat burners, I do not personally take, but are utilized best with workouts. They are supposed to burn your fat and use it for energy for your workouts–providing you with abilities to perform at a higher level than normal. (Also, increasing your calories burned, leading to fat loss) Moral of the story, supplements are not short cuts. You must put in hard work and proper nutrition. BUT, supplements can enhance your workouts or your results if used with your training regime.
Lastly, “I’ll never be able to lose fat because I get so sick of eating chicken all the time!” I hear it all the time. People believe that the only true way of losing fat is by consuming a stereotypical “bodybuilder” style diet. Consuming nothing but egg whites, chicken, broccoli, and rice. This is absolutely not the case. Your body needs the essential macronutrients– fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
The way your body breaks down a carbohydrate from rice and a carbohydrate from a bagel are identical. If following your specific macronutrients, you will be able to lose fat without giving up the foods you love! I’ve raved about this “If It Fits Your Macros, or IIFYM, diet style before, and I will do it again. It is a diet where you don’t feel like your dieting. You can easily stick to it, because you are able to eat choices that sound more appealing to you than chicken and broccoli–as long as they fit into your magic numbers of macronutrients. Click here for IIFYM in depth and explained
I hope this helped explain some inaccurate facts that may have hindered your fat loss success. Continue on the road toward healthy and happy. You can lose fat! Proper nutrition and exercise –cardio and, importantly, weight lifting will never fail. Keep at it! And take those photos!