Tired of being bombarded with the daily demands of becoming ‘skinny?’
Losing weight is often associated with extended cardio sessions and gruelling low calories diets. Yes, this works, but only in the short term. But what about long term effects? Have you thought about what it really means for your body to just religiously pound the pavement with the sole aim of watching that number on the scales go down?
Thin on the outside, fat on the inside or TOFI is often a consequence of our obsession with weight over fat loss.
When we obsess about thinness, we run the risk of becoming thin on the outside, while our insides accumulate more and more fat. Not a pretty picture.
How is it possible to be skinny and fat?
‘Skinny’ or ‘thin’ is an appearance issue. We may want to fit into our pre-baby jeans or fasten our belt an extra notch tighter. The ‘fat’ we are talking about is the fat that is inside, right near those vital organs such as the heart and digestive system.
'Weight loss' is often mistaken as being the same as ‘fat loss’, so as long as the scales go down our mood improves and so does our confidence. Temporarily at least.
However, weight loss on the scales tells us nothing about what parts of the body are actually reducing in size. We may be losing lean body mass, such as bone and muscle, and mistakenly thinking that we are losing body fat!
What should we focus on then?
Shifting our energy from ‘weight loss’ and more to ‘fat loss’ is absolutely essential for metabolic health. When we preference weight loss over fat loss, we're actually heading for a metabolic disaster! Does ‘yo-yo dieting’ ring any bells?
When we enter the mindset of excessive cardio and low calorie consumption, we are tricking our bodies. As soon as we begin eating properly again, or in some cases overeating, our bodies respond by whacking on the weight, and here's the kicker...its mostly fat.
So, rather than embarking on an excessive cardio program, consider resistance training, this is a great way to improve lean body mass. Muscle uses glycogen and this helps to take the pressure off the pancreas and maintain better control of blood glucose levels. Without healthy levels of muscle mass the pancreas goes into overdrive and eventually starts to shut down from fatigue.
Tips to maximise fat loss and let go of our weight loss obsession
● Participate in resistance training 2-3 times per week to improve lean body mass
● Mix up training sessions so that there is an appropriate combination of cardio and resistance training to promote, maintain or increases lean body mass
● Try some HIIT (high intensity interval training) to replace some of the steady state cardio sessions
● Incorporate functional training into your session
● Ensure that there is an adequate intake of nutrients to meet energy demands and promote maintenance and increases in lean body mass