Why You’re Not Losing Weight?
Carla sat down at her most comfy chair in her house and started to cry. She was so frustrated and angry. She had just tried on her favorite dress from some years past and it didn’t fit. Still…
Even after all the dieting and training she’d been doing nothing just seemed to work. Carla had been on every diet program imaginable and some of those had worked, a little, but she still felt fat. She couldn’t get over it. So February rolled around and she joined a gym, hired a coach and started on her journey through fitness. At first she was motivated and positive of future success, but now she was downright ticked off. All that time, all that money, wasted…or so she thought.
She stopped crying and grabbed her gym bag and headed for the door. Her eyes were puffy and stung like she’d been stung by a colony of bees and she was angry. She drove hurriedly through the mobs of people trying to get to work and get their day started. She almost side clipped some car who was pulled out a little too far into the intersection while trying to nose his way into the right lane ahead of traffic. She cursed softly to herself and turned into the gym parking lot. Parking her car in an abrupt parking maneuver she leapt for the gym entrance.
Carla entered the gym and immediately her coach Steve could see something was wrong.
“Hey Carla,” Steve said, “what’s up?”
“My weight is up, that’s what!” Carla said anger oozing from her voice.
“Oh, that bad eh?” Steve said. “Well, let’s try and figure out what’s going on.”
“I don’t want to figure out what’s going on, I want to lose weight,” Carla blurted.
“Yes, yes, I know you do and that’s what I’m here to help you do, but more fat than weight,” Steve said. “How about we sit and talk about this a bit, I can see you’re flustered. We can wait on training for a bit, and look you’re fifteen minutes early anyway,” Steve said appeasingly.
“Alright,” Carla said, “I’m sorry, I’m just not in a good place right now.” “After all the crummy diets and things that I’ve been on with nothing working I’m just so damn tired of it all.”
“Yes, I get that,” Steve said. “You’ve been on several diets that were really horrible for you.” “Let’s see one had to do with like grapefruits was it and then the severe low calorie diet that had you eating like 900 calories a day. Am I right?”
“Yes, those were hard at first, but I got used to them,” Carla said. “And I did lose some weight.”
“Yes, you did,” Steve said. “However you lost a lot of the wrong kind of weight.” “Remember there’s a big difference in losing fat and losing weight.”
“Not in my mind,” Carla said.
“Well, let’s put it in perspective.” “How much weight have you lost?” Steve asked.
“About fifty pounds,” Carla said.
“That’s good.” “Now how much of that weight was muscle mass,” Steve asked.
“I don’t know,” Carla said quizzically.
“Well, if we can extrapolate some of your past physical data, when you started here with me you were about 155lbs and 25% of that was bodyfat,” Steve said. “That being about 39lbs of bodyfat left to burn off or about 15.8lbs to be in a healthy 20% range for women.”
“Yeah, seems about right,” Carla said.
“So before you were 205lbs at a bodyfat of about 35% right,” Steve said, counting off in his head with a quirked eyebrow. “So that’s about 72lbs of fat to lose.” Now it’s a simple math problem. You had 72lbs of fat to lose and you lost 33lbs of it. What about the rest of the 17lbs?”
“I don’t know,” Carla said. “Water?”
“No, you lost muscle tissue,” Steve said. “You know you’re engine, your fat burning engine.” “Now that you’re leaner you appear like you’ve lost weight, which is only one side of the coin.” “You lost a heck of a lot of lean tissue and you’re lucky you didn’t lose more.” “Right now you’re what I would call skinny-fat, which simply means you don’t have much muscle mass and quite a bit of fat.”
“Oh, that’s not good I guess,” Carla said.
“No of course not, you want as much muscle mass as your body can support,” Steve said. “Why?”
“Because muscle burns fat?” Carla said.
“Exactly,” Steve said triumphant at proving his point.
“Muscle not only is denser and weighs more than fat, but it helps you burn off more fat,” Steve said. “If you make your body into a fat burning machine, you can eat more food, even more food that you really like…cake, comeon who doesn’t like cake?”
Carla sort of smiled and then caught herself. “But I want to burn fat!” “I want it to all go away!”
“Yes, yes, I know,” Steve said. “But you’ve gotten yourself into a predicament by following these hair-brained fat loss schemes.” “Sure they help you lose weight, but NOT good weight.” “The only way to succeed at this game is to increase the size of your engine to the point where your body burns fat as a fuel all the time.” “And the bad news? We just started training. It’s going to take a while to actually get to where you have the muscle mass and the strength to work hard and burn off tons of fat!”
“Really,” Carla said. “I thought it would just start coming off with this new nutrition program you put me on and the weight training.”
“No, that’s just the starting point, Carla,” Steve said. “You’re a beginner so the results will come faster than more advanced trainees, but still you’ve got to get your work capacity up to par with the rest of the girls.” “Results will come, but only after you’ve gained some muscle mass and can tear up your workouts.” “Nothing ever is accomplished by the easy way. You’re going to have to build up that muscle, break through some strength barriers and work super hard to get those pounds off. I told you in the beginning that it would be a long road to success.”
“Alright, you win,” Carla said. “I guess.”
“This time I win,” Steve said. “Next time you can win.” Now let’s get ready to build some muscle, after all those weights aren’t going to lift themselves.
“Right,” Carla sat up and grabbed her lifting gloves. She still wasn’t quite settled on the fact that she couldn’t burn fat quite yet, but she was re-motivated to get things back in gear. She’d fit into that dress be damned, no matter how many weights she had to lift, how many miles on the track she had to put in and how many grams of protein, fat and carbs she had to stuff down her face. She would get there!
-CPT SMASH –Starvation dieting causes a person to lose more than just fat, you also lose muscle mass. Don’t fall victim to these types of atrocities. Train like an athlete. Set performance goals, build muscle, build your work capacity and your increase the size of your engine to burn fat.