Are You Losing Fat or Muscle?

tekintips_logoDo you know if you are losing fat? Or are you losing muscle? If you are just using a scale, there is no way to know. It is physiologically impossible to lose or gain 5 lbs of fat over a weekend, but the scale makes many believe that it can happen.

One of the most important mind-shifts to break is how much you weigh. If you are losing weight and shedding muscle instead of fat (which most dieters are), your metabolism is in TROUBLE!

Muscle is ESSENTIAL for maintaining basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is responsible the amount of calories burned at rest. BMR can also be accounted for by the amount of muscle a person has. A slowed BMR is a predictor of fat gain over the course of 2 years, according to some studies. People with the slowest metabolic rate are shown to have a 4-fold increase in gaining 15 or more pounds over the next 2 years. This explains why 66% of individuals going on weight loss diets end up fatter 2 years later compared to when they started the diet.

I have seen people yo-yo diet and it’s not pretty. Have you ever seen a woman who doesn’t lift weights, stops eating, and loses 30-40 pounds? She is always so excited that she has lost so much weight, but looks 10 years older from all the loose skin and wrinkles she now has. It never fails, a good year will pass and the next time you see her, she has gained all weight back… and then some!

When you lose muscle, you lose your metabolic potential. The best way to lose muscle is the “eat less, exercise more” model. A low calorie diet combined with aerobic exercise may make you smaller for a short period of time, but will end up making you either flabbier and fatter in the long run and it will make losing weight again that much more difficult due to the fact you lost muscle along the way.

If the scale is going down, please make sure you are losing fat, NOT muscle. If you are losing muscle, you better be ready for the weight gain rebound that is sure to come, as well as a less efficient metabolism later. This chronic dieting mindset and attachment to the scale is probably exactly what has caused your metabolism not to respond to your attempts at body change. The weight loss game is rigged against you, so please stop playing it.

To make sure you are losing fat and not muscle, you need to measure fat loss. If you are a CONDITIONED® by Kelly Tekin member, you can stop by Max Drive Nutrition any Saturday between 10am and 6pm to get a body fat test done. A 9-site skin fold test is my favorite method of body fat testing. It takes a skilled practitioner to do and the same person must do it on you every time for accuracy. It is one of the most accurate methods of body fat testing and the most repeatable in my opinion. If you can get this done every 1-4 weeks, I recommend you do.