Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I want to lose fat weight, but not muscle


Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am planning on starting a fat loss exercise program for myself. I have been at all different weights throughout my life and I have learned a lot of information about exercise, nutrition, weight loss, muscle gain, etc. but I am at a point in my life where I am only concerned with losing fat. I am motivated to put the time in to exercise and my only concern is that I am eating right so that I get the most out of my time spent exercising and dieting. Right now, I weigh 220 pounds and I'm 5 foot 6 inches tall. At times in my life I have been all the way down to 140 pounds. I have muscle on me but there is a lot of fat, love handles, etc. that I need to shed. I have been on diets where I have just shrunk my body, become a smaller version of myself but still feel just as fat. I am wondering what the results would be if I simply burn off all the calories that I eat without worrying about muscle loss. Thanks, Peter S.

Dear Peter,

Of course whenever someone goes on a diet we all hope to lose our fat weight and not their muscle! Each person's body loses differently (in different places, etc) and there isn't a lot we can do about it. Some of us will always feel we have too much fat on our "love handles" and others on our abdomen. If you want to maintain a muscular physique you'll have to work on exercising to keep muscles toned during your weight loss regimen.

There's also the chance that you view yourself as 'fat' no matter how much weight you lose because we keep a certain image of ourselves in our mind, no matter what we actually do look like. It might help to check your body fat percentage (either in a gym where they'll perform this test for you, or you can buy a scale by Tanita or another brand that measures your body fat easily and reliably). Then, as you lose weight, you'll have visual evidence that you are truly losing fat as you see this number continue to go lower.

Be sure to keep up a healthy diet while you're losing weight. Include plenty of protein (At least 1/2 gram per pound of your ideal weight, up to 110 grams for now at your current weight) and avoid fatty foods like fried foods, mayonnaise, margarine and butter, creamy salad dressings, and fatty pastries, donuts, chips, and cakes.

While you are reaching your healthy weight you will be developing healthy eating habits and once you get to where you want to be you'll know your future weight won't be yo-yo-ing over the coming years!

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