fat loss vs weight loss

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss … 3 part series

Part 1: Eating to lose fat

In the next three posts I’ll be talking about fat loss and the mentality that weight loss is the way to go. I’ll cover diet, weight training and cardio.

I hear it all the time, “my goal is to lose some weight.” But is that really the best goal to have? You see it on “The Biggest Loser” all the time. They reward weight loss rather than concentrating on fat loss. It’s a great show and it has done great things for the participants, but rewarding weight loss isn’t the best way to go about it.

Rewarding fat loss is.

If you’re after weight loss, odds are the weight you want to lose is fat anyways. It’s the weight that will lead to a bunch of health problems including high or low blood pressure and heart problem, along with hundreds of others; it’s also the weight you want to get rid of so you can feel good about how you look.

Too often, people place too much importance on what they see on the scale rather than the inches they have lost around their waste, or the muscle they have gained through their workouts. Using my Mom as an example, she’s lost more than 3 inches around her waste in the past month, but has only managed to lose a couple of pounds. There’s no debate that she’s stronger, healthier and in all around better physical shape, but the scale doesn’t necessarily reflect the strides she’s made.

How do you lose fat?

1. Consume less calories than you burn

For starters you have to consume less calories than you burn. Some of that will come from changing your diet and some of it will come from exercise.

2. Consume good calories

3 types of good calories:

Good fats

Monounsaturated fats – include almonds, peanuts, avocado, canola and olive oil. Help in fat loss.

Polyunsaturated fats – fish oils, sunflower seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids are in this group.

Good carbs

Make sure your breads and pastas are made with 100% whole grains. Vegetables are probably the best carbohydrate because of the amount of vitamins and fiber, as well as their lack of sugar and calories. Fruits are also great. Anything that’s natural and from the ground should make the cut.

Good proteins

Lean meats such as chicken breast and lean cuts of beef or extra lean ground beef. Fish is also great, they’re full of healthy fats that help speed up the fat burning process. Cottage cheese and low fat yogurt is also great.

You should also up your protein intake to a portion of lean protein per serving. Of the three sources of fuel, proteins are the hardest for your body  to break down, in turn your body expends more calories trying to do so.

How to eat

Have big meals that aren’t big in calories. A lot of the time this means switching breads for veggies for carbs and adding in a lean source of protein. I recently shed a few pounds of fat before my trip to Maui and this was a big part of my success. Eating a lot of food that isn’t high in calories ends up boosting your metabolism because it takes a lot of energy to break the food down, especially if their high in proteins. So I’d have the 3 big meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, then fill the rest of my meals in with snacks.

I also tapered my carbs down as the day went on, having more in the morning when I needed the most energy and the least amount at night when I didn’t need to give my body the same amount of fuel because I wasn’t active towards the end of the day.

I also added more fat to my diet, having a handful of almonds or a fish oil pill with every meal. Omega 3’s help speed up the fat burning process. It might sound weird that eating fat will help you burn fat but it’s true. The “good fats” help your body tap in to the “bad fats” and use them as fuel rather than keeping them stored.

Weight training for fat loss – next article…