A lot of people who come to me, are in a putrid state in terms of body composition. When I mean body composition, I mean primarily a total combination of posture, body fat percentage and lean muscle mass.
This is mainly due to two reasons:
-Their own mistake i.e. they are living a sedentary lifestyle, which comprises of a lack of any form of resistance training, eating all kind of junk, deficiency in various nutrients, and are suffering from multiple diseases.
-On the other hand, are those who have lost weight in a wrong manner.
Here I am talking about the second kind of person. Every day I meet people who have lost lots of weight but their body composition is such that, they are in the worse stage of their lives.
Understand that all forms of physical activities are good for the body. But when you prescribe a workout or a diet to an individual for a specific purpose in mind, there are a lot of variations which come into play depending on the requirements of the person. If you make a sprinter practice long distance more often than sprints, then he is being pulled away from his aim.
In terms of weight loss, this happens primarily because the people do not understand the difference between getting thin and getting fit. The difference by the way is huge. This is also the case with most trainers and dieticians who are ready to somehow show you the dip in weight on the weighing scale anyhow, to make you happy. Because that’s what you want to see.
Whenever you see a labourer working, he is not fit, he is thin because of extremely low calorie starvation diet and excessive physical activity. This is what most people are heading to who want to get thin. However, the labourer is still ripped, because he is not doings tons of cardio a day, but primarily doing work which is a kind of high intensity work, like digging, lifting & carrying loads, pulling or pushing movements etc. So he is basically overdoing the physical work, and undereating.
This is where the problem lies. The last thing an obese person needs is excessive cardio and a starvation diet. Long duration steady state cardio workouts are the worst prescriptions in this case. On the other hand, the dieticians almost always give them a low carb diet or a very low calorie diet totally ignorant of the needs of the body for recovery after a hard workout.
The result is a drastic loss in water weight as every molecule of carb carries 3 molecules of water with it. Loss of the most precious component of the body for a good body composition i.e. the muscle mass. A decline in the metabolism i.e. the body becomes more efficient in burning lesser and lesser calories and storing more fat.
This is what you see when you undergo a drastic fat loss and the lose ugly fat is hanging all over the body be it tummy, arms, legs etc. This is the worst thing that could have happened to the body.
Anyone who needs to lose, first understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss and getting thin and getting fit. Resistance training and high intensity cardiovascular workouts should always form the base of the training in such cases along with a healthy and nutritious diet.
One single point I have been pressing upon again and again is that there is a big difference in weight loss and fat loss. It’s the weight which most people aim for, which is simply a reduction in the needle on the weighing scale. This is what your dietician or slimming centre is expert in showing you. Because it’s easy. When you lose weight, you do lose a bit of fat, but majorly muscles and water. What’s challenging is to lose fat, and get lean muscular and stronger. That’s real fitness.
Your muscle cells, have a fat burning powerhouse called as the mitochondria. These mitochondria are responsible for the production of energy. More the muscle mass, more amount of mitochondria, and more the fat burning capacity of the body.
Now, your body needs a strong reason to produce more mitochondria. This reason is weight training and high intensity workouts. These workouts create a large demand for energy above what your body can already produce, your body is forced to create new mitochondria in order to be prepared for the next time your muscles call on that needed extra energy. When we say your muscles are metabolically active, we are talking about these mitochondria, which are a guzzler of energy and need constant feeding. They are like a furnace which always needs fuel to remain hot. Its preferred fuel, fatty acids.
The exact opposite happens when you lose excessive weight faster. You are slowing your metabolism down, as you are losing all your precious muscle mass. When you are training for strength, your muscle mass is going to go up (relax ladies, you cannot build big muscles). When this happens, your fat burning capacity goes up, but also does go up your weight, because muscles are denser than fat. It’s like comparing same weight of cotton and steel. The difference will be in volume. Because your mind is stuck with the needle of that stupid weighing machine, you go crazy with minor weight fluctuations in weight.
Again, it’s not your weight, it’s the fat.