What is the difference between losing body fat vs. losing weight?
I am also going to give you 3 tips to help you get started on feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
When I start working with clients I always ask them what do they want to see when all is said and done. Typically, the 1st words are “I want to be [fill in the number] on the scale”. Which I usually respond with “If your goal is to weight 150lbs….What if you get to 160 lbs and you love the way you look and feel? Would you still want to see 150? Isn’t the bottom line how you feel in your own skin? So it really doesn’t matter what you weigh on that scale, right?” Click the “like” button if you agree.
What does it mean to lose weight?
This phrase is easily tossed around in most fitness program. I think it’s because everyone can relate to it.
Pretty much every woman born after 1960 knows EXACTLY what her “ideal” scale number is! AM I RIGHT!!
But if I said to you would you like to be 18% or 25% body fat, you’d be like “I don’t even know what that would look like”.
Losing weight means scale weight
The scale is simply the gravitational pull on your body.
That is it.
Your self worth is not tied into that scale. That number does not make you a horrible human being.
It is just a number.
That is neutral.
It’s the thoughts you have about that number that make it a problem for you. We’ll dive more into that in a future video.
Do we really need a scale to tell us if we are overweight??
Unless you have a dysmorphia (where you do not see yourself as you actually are)….you don’t need a scale to tell you if you are overweight.
It doesn’t matter if you are 5 lbs or 100 lbs overweight if you are not comfortable in your own skin you have a “weight problem”
Losing scale weight is not ideal for the long term…..you’ll learn a little bit later why this is NOT a good thing
What does it mean to lose body fat?
Body composition is made up of:
- organs …
- and body fat
Muscle is not the same as body fat.
Body fat does not change into muscle and muscle does not change into fat. You need to have some body fat on your body in order to be healthy. Keep reading to find out why you want to lose body fat and not just scale weight.
The typical way to lose scale weight is to drop your calories and do tons of cardio. If you grew up in the 70 & 80’s this is probably your default.
If we were to take two women with the exact same body structure and put one woman on a weight loss program and the other on a body fat loss program… they will both come out looking totally different.
Take those same two ladies, they can each start out weighing the same but when they are done the scale weight loss woman might show more of a decrease in weight on the scale but she will just be a smaller version of what she was heavier. So if she was pear shaped women (small torso and wide hips) she will still be small up top and still have wider hips just all in a smaller size. She will likely have little to no muscle tone or definition.
The Scale Weight Loss Downsides
- This is where your metabolism will tank.
- You can only cut so many calories and do so much cardio.
- You will stall at some point.
- Injuries are highly likely along with illnesses as well. WHY? Because you are wearing out the joints and putting a ton of stress on the body through all the cardio AND because you are in a huge calorie deficit chances are you will be sick quite often.
- And the psychological effect can be horrible… hence where the “dieter’s mentality” was born.
Benefits Of Losing Body Fat
The other woman on the body fat loss program might actually weigh more, BUT she will be smaller in inches and look lean and toned AND she will be doing less cardio and eating a ton more food!
- You need to gain muscle…”say what Nicole??” Yes you need to ditch the small dumbbells. Click here if you are afraid of lifting weights.
- You need to be a small calorie deficit. Dare I say, you might need to be in a surplus of calories (ummmm yeah! 😉
- You don’t need to do a ton of cardio. If you are doing more than 1 hour of cardio you are doing it wrong.
- Yes that scale number might go up depending on where you are currently at. Muscle weighs more than fat BUT muscle takes up less space (more dense than body fat) a.k.a. smaller girth measurements!!
- Building muscle and losing body fat takes time and patience. It takes waaaaay longer than 12 weeks to do this. It might take a year. Might take 3-5 years. This is why most women will give up. Everyone wants it quick and yesterday.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Now here is why losing body fat is the key!
You are building muscle. You want muscle (I promise you will not look like a beefy man by lifting heavy weights).
By lifting weights and gaining muscle:
- May prevent or slow down osteoporosis.
- You will likely be more active as you age.
- Independent living! You will probably not need anyone to come open your jars for you when you are 90.
- You will be stronger
- Your joints will be happier with less pounding from cardio.
- Everyone listen up because you are going to LOVE reading this….when you add more muscle YOU GET TO EAT MORE!!
- Muscle is very metabolic so you will burn calories just sitting here doing nothing. With the correct program, you will be losing body fat!
In conclusion, if you are eating very little and doing tons of cardio (and you probably feel miserable) and nothing is really changing, you need to switch gears to a body fat loss program.
Here are 3 tips to get you started:
- Before you step on the scale tomorrow morning (you know after you’ve peed and are in your birthday suit…I get it)….before you step on ask yourself how you are going to feel about whatever number comes up on the scale. Are you going to accept that it is just a number and that maybe you need some help losing body fat loss OR are you going to want to curl up in the fetal position and berate yourself all day long??? The choice is always yours 😉
- If you are currently working out increase your dumbbell weights so if you were using a 3lb dumbbell try to lift up a 5 lbs weight. Please make sure you know how to properly lift weights. Form is soooo important. You can check out my exercise library over on YouTube at the Shape It Up channel (just search “shape it up” and look for orange in thumbnails pics).
- Ditch the dieter’s mentality and focus on this as being a lifelong journey. Stop focusing so much on the scale weight and start focusing on losing body fat. If you need help putting this all together click here and request a chat with me.
Welcome to Perimenopause!
If you are in that vague area between
“done having babies” and not past the “change”
AND you are done with crazy diets and insane workouts…
you are gonna love the topics on the
Shape It Up live show!
Imagine you’ve just come home from work. It’s been a long day.
Your kids are probably arguing.
Your husband or spouse is kind of grumpy because they too had a long day at work.
You come home and you still have to make dinner.
You don’t want to make dinner…what do you tend to do?
Do you grab for a bag of chips? Do you grab a glass of wine?
What is your trigger?
In the scenario, I gave above… when you get home a lot of times you are not even aware of the things that you are doing.
She Did What??
I had a client who worked at a bakery and I had her do a food log.
She did not realize that every time she walked into the bakery in the morning she actually ate four donuts ..within the first hour!
That is eye opening right?!
So what was her trigger?
Her trigger was that she came into work and the first thing she would do is grab grab a doughnut. This trigger was unconscious to her which lead her to the habit of eating 4 doughnuts to start her work day.
What Are Your Triggers?
So in the scenario above, when you come home there are triggers all around you… like when your kids are arguing or when you’re having an argument with your spouse… where you just had a long day at work when you come home…you’re looking for that mood change.
Sometimes the trigger itself is the mood change.
If you grab a glass of wine you know the wine is the trigger. One sip and all of a sudden everything is calm and wonderful right?
It could be that you’re coming home and you grab some M&Ms as you walk in the door after you place your keys down.
Try to see what kind of habits you do and see if there are triggers that come before them.
I had another client who would get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom and then on the way back to bed they would grab a snack… so I don’t know how hungry they were going to and from the bathroom but that became a habit. They went to the bathroom (the trigger) and then ate a snack (the habit).
Triggers Feed Habits
When triggers start out they are typically very unconscious and then they become habits…
Habits are either moving you towards your goals or away from your goals.
Action Step For Triggers
Your action step for today is to be aware of what you’re doing throughout the day and see if there’s any of those trigger moments.
It might be that you’re going into the break room and you’re getting a cup of coffee but right next to the coffee are some jelly beans and you’re eating the jelly beans.
Or you tend to go visit a person at their desk because they always have butterscotch candies.
Just be aware of what you’re doing and look at the little things that you’re doing that may lead to bigger habits. Once you catch these triggers, you will be able to start changing your patterns and become more likely to succeed in losing weight/inches.
Having trouble sticking to your plan? Read how to have a Plan A for success!
Do you have a plan?
There are some women over 40 who are waiting for the perfect moment to start a fitness program and it’s never going to happen.
Is this you???
I’ve got news for you.
It’s never going to be the perfect time.
It’s never going to be the perfect climate.
There’s always stuff going on.
So how do you approach your fitness plan…
Do you really want to do it??
That’s the first question you should ask yourself.
If you keep putting it off, what is holding you back?
When you’ve committed to doing something healthy for your body and are starting a fitness program, you’re probably are going to jump right in to your plan.
And it’s going to be great! And it’s wonderful!… for like the first two weeks… a.k.a.the “honeymoon phase”..it might even be three weeks if you’re pushing it …
But then after those first initial weeks…
Stuff Comes Up
You know a business meeting.. a last-minute board decision you have to go run to work or your child is sick and have to go pick them up …or a death in the family.
Things come up.
This is life, right?
If we didn’t have those things happen, we wouldn’t have life.
So, I always like to have a couple plans made an advance.
Your Plan A
Your Plan A is your ideal situation.
This plan is when everything is hunky-dory. Your workouts happen at the time you designated, your food is on point, and your meals are all prepped. This is when everything flows nicely.
That’s your ideal situation is Plan A.
Your Plan B
Plan B is going to be your first backup plan.
This plan is going to be when there’s a situation where your workout needs to get bumped back for an hour because you have a meeting at work or your kids are home sick, etc.
Your plan B is going to be what can you do when these certain situations arise.
Say you’re traveling for business, what are you going to do to keep going forward on your fitness goals.
Some things you could do is:
- Have a travel workout you can do in your hotel room.
- Go check out the gym at the hotel.
- Go for a walk.
- Find walking paths near where you are staying.
Your Plan C
Plan C is when life throws you a curve ball.
- There’s a death in the family.
- You get sick.
- You’re going through a divorce.
- You just lost your job.
Whatever big life-changing moments that are going on. That is a time when you’re pretty much in “below maintenance” mode. You are like “okay what is the minimum that I can do so I feel like I’m still creating momentum to get me to my fitness goals”.
Because if a loved one all the sudden is on hospice, you’re going to feel like you need to be there ..and you do need to be there.
So let’s figure out what you can do in the hospital while they’re sleeping.
- Walk the hospital hallways.
- Go up and down the stairs.
- Do squats in the room.
Having a Plan C is good because a lot of times when these big life event happen people fall apart and their fitness goals go right out the door.
A great example is Christmas time.
The holiday season is here. Everybody’s having parties and there’s so much to do because you got to decorate the tree, get Christmas cards and all this other holiday stuff that is taking up your time.
And your fitness goals are the first thing to go out the window.
Then what happens in January when you go “oh my gosh what happened over the past …since November? How did I gain all this weight??”
It’s because you didn’t have a Plan C in place or a even a Plan B.
Recap On Having A Plan
Make sure you have your Plan A which your ideal situation.
Your Plan B which is not ideal but you can do when little stuff comes up.
Plan C is when life changing events happen.
Some of you may need a D or an E or F plans.
That’s totally fine.
The key is just consistency (not perfection) to make sure you stay on the path to your fitness goals.
This is the time of year when you might be getting ready to head south for warmer weather…. I don’t blame you one bit!
Staying true to your fitness goals doesn’t have to get sidelined until you get home.
It Is Possible Lose Weight While Traveling
Here are some travel tips to lose weight while traveling:
- Check out ahead of time where the gym is located or physical activities you can do while away.
- Find out if there’s a running or walking path near by. (Also, a great way to sight-see).
- Pack a jump rope. This is one of the most overlooked piece of fitness equipment you can own and the beauty of it is it’s relatively inexpensive (you can get a good one for about $10) Don’t waste your time on those dollar store ones. Click here for quality jump rope that I use.
- Pack some exercise bands. Again, very easy to fit into your luggage, inexpensive and very versatile. Click here for band workout. With these bands, you can get a great workout without leaving your hotel room. Want to see what I use in my training sessions? Click here.
- Like to swim? Jump in the pool and get a fantastic cardio workout!
- Explore wherever your destination takes you! Sight-see with walking tours. Try to avoid the bus or taxi….your feet were made for walkin’!
- Going to a beach location – walk or run on the beach. Excellent workout!
- This is the most important tip of all!!! Do your workout in the morning. First thing. No excuses. You can do a great workout in 20 minutes. Get up and get ‘er dun! 🙂
Wherever you travel to, you can always get your workout in! Get a quick travel workout here.