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My weekly journal provides scientific-based recommendations for mature adults and masters endurance athletes on how to get stronger and healthier as they age (+ recipes & workouts).

A Pound of Muscle Weighs More Than a Pound of Fat. NOT!

529617_10151226693765855_1442895215_nEver hear the statement “a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat”? Working in the health and fitness industry I have heard this a gazillion times, I swear. Well my friends, if you really think about what is being said…it’s FALSE! A pound is a pound, they both weigh the same. Yes, it’s true.  But here is the fantastic news – a pound of muscle actually takes up less space within our bodies than a pound of fat. YES!

Check out the picture above. The yellow mass is five pounds of fat and the red mass is five pounds of muscle. There’s a huge difference in volume between the two. Huge! So you can now take comfort in knowing that  when your jeans feel loose and your waist measures smaller, even though the scales haven’t moved down, that you most likely are building lean muscle and burning up fat. All your hard work IS paying off! So be happy instead of sad, the scales aren’t everything.

Now that the real truth is revealed, I hope you can look at your weight loss journey differently. It’s important to realize that it’s not all about those damn scales. Seriously think about it, look at that picture above again and notice how much space the five pounds of fat takes up.  Now, imagine that coming off your body. That’s a lot of space.  To lose five pounds IS a big deal. So maybe you want to look at your body now and ask yourself – do I really have as much weight to lose as I think I do? So many people put pressure on their weight loss goals by declaring what is probably an unrealistic goal in an even more unrealistic time frame.  Rethink this, let it sink in, and go establish a new goal.  Start with a smaller amount of weight to loose over a longer time frame.   Not sure what to set? Email me and I can help you.

I once was obsessed with the scales, weighing myself everyday and sometimes several times. Now I realize not only was that a waste of my time, it was also messing with my mind, and was even a trigger of depression which often sent me into a downward spiral of consuming large amounts of junk food or put me in such a bad mood that I wasn’t fit to be around.  Who wants to live like that? And who wants to be around someone like that?  Really thou, many people do not realize how much in control they are of their own happiness and path in life.   Today I weigh myself about once a month, sometime bi-weekly, but never every day.  It’s silly to do that as our bodies are not that instant.  You can’t go for a run and then come home and expect your body to have lost weight while out running (well it has, but most likely water weight due to dehydration which you need to replenish right away).

1lb of fat

1 lb of fat

Even losing one pound of fat is a big deal. Look at the picture to the right. Imagine that coming off your belly, your legs, your ass, your arms… Some places on your body may not even have a pound of fat to lose. We are all shaped differently and we generally lose weight where we gain it, with genetics and gender being two huge factors. It’s important to also know that there is no such thing as spot training or spot reduction. You CANNOT train a certain area of the body to lose fat off that specific area. It doesn’t work like that, we only wish it did.

While your biological make-up has a lot to do with where you lose the fat, you CAN train a certain body part and shape it to your liking. For example if you want bigger biceps, quads or a six pack of abs you can use a weightlifting regime and other forms of exercise to help you shape your dream body. Keep in mind, a proper diet must accompany your training to help you build muscle, burn fat, and create definition.  This is how you change your body composition, this is how you take control, and anyone can do it if they take the time to learn and dedicate themselves to doing the work.

It’s exactly what I do with my own body. I have the body that I want because I took the time and dedication that was required to create it.  I taught myself how to make health and fitness a natural part of my everyday living.  It’s not a chore for me, it’s a lifestyle, it’s living, and I love it because I not only look good, I feel freakin’ fantastic.  It didn’t happen overnight either, it took years and years and years and…you get my point.  A lot of lesson where learned along the way, including some great successes and some pretty big fails too.  But here is the great thing about all that – I can teach you what I have learned and twist it around to make it work for you.  Every human body is different and no one thing works for everyone.  First you teach me about your body, life, goals, etc. and then teach you how to make it work.  I already have an array of programs that will help you get there, one step at a time, either in group fitness classes or personal fitness coaching. We can do this face-to-face or through live webcam sessions.  But you need a few things before you begin, whether its with me, another organization, or by yourself:

  • GO! Healthy Fit Life Coverdedication to fitness for life
  • a higher value placed on your health
  • a willingness to make better choices
  • an open mind to learn
  • a positive outlook on the journey
  • believing in yourself

The hardest part is to get started but hey, do you want to sit still for the rest of your life?  I didn’t think so.  Start by writing out realistic goals in logical time frames.  You have your whole life to make the changes, there is no need to rush or stress.  The most important thing is to keep moving forward, keep learning, keep trying, and never give up.  One day it will all come together and you can look back and say “WOW, look at me go!”  Most people want instant results but once we realize that our bodies are complicated beings and need time to adapt, we can relax and stop stressing every time we step on those scales.  Be patient, be persistent, and give your body the chance it needs to change.  Eventually, you will get to where you want to be.  Smile

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