Kathleen H. Wood                                    

Empowering Your Healthy Lifestyle                          

Weight Loss Q & A

Isn't losing weight and losing fat the same thing?

Actually no. Your total WEIGHT is composed of the weight of your bones and muscles (which vary only slightly) but also your water, food, intestinal cargo (each varies drastically throughout the day) As you cut calories and "diet", you will lose water and disposables first. If you are only doing aerobic exercise you will lose fat but you are also losing muscle. Make your goal losing body fat rather than losing weight. Here's your assignment-step on the scale first thing in the morning, a couple times during the day and right before you go to bed. Your weight will vary up to 2 pounds during the course of any day.

How do I lose body fat and not muscle?

This is important because muscle is the engine of your metabolism. Every year over the age of 30 we lose 1/2 pound of muscle, which is a large part of the weight creep that happens as we age. Both men and women will preserve muscle by being sure that weight training is a part of your weight management system. This doesn't mean lifting super heavy, and no- women will not get bulky by using moderate resistance. You do need to work the muscle so it will remain strong. If you increase the amount of muscle even slightly, you will burn more calories even when you are sleeping.

Should I be watching the scale or the caliper?

Neither! The best gauge to watch is actually your clothes! The scale will lie to you, your clothes will not! If you are putting on muscle (heavier and denser but more compact) at the same time you are burning off fat, your scale may say you are not making progress, while your clothes are looser- (isn't that the actual goal anyway). I have personally dropped 3 clothing sizes while losing less than 10 pounds by the scale. You should see the scales go down as well, but the caliper will tell you if your body fat % is reducing.

But I don't want to look bulky!

Ladies, very few women have enough testosterone to get bulky. The few hard-body women you see on TV or in magazines work extraordinarily hard to build that degree of muscle, and you see it only because their body fat percentage is extremely low. Go ahead and challenge yourself- when you see the amount of muscle you want, lighten up.

So what is realistic?

On the 6-week strictly maintained plan of aerobic exercise, weight training and moderate calorie reduction, Women should expect to lose 10-12 pounds, and could put on 2-3 pounds of muscle, Men might expect to lose up to 20 pounds of body fat and gain 4 to 6 pounds of muscle. Sorry ladies! Seems unfair to us women, but that is the testosterone helping out men's muscle development which revs up the metabolism and burns fat more effectively.

Where can I find the perfect 6 week plan?

The specifics of your life and health will have to be considered in developing a plan that is right for you. Email me if you would like a plan developed for home or gym.