Losing Weight – FAT LOSS and WEIGHT LOSS compared.
How many of you know a person who put on FAT no matter how little he/she eats?
How many of you have tried out ineffective fad diets and fallen prey to’miracle cures’ to lose weight and fat?
How many of you believe that you can reduce fat from just a particular region using spot specific exercises like abs?
How many to you want to not only lose weight and fat, but also have a lean and athletic build and not looke like a ‘bodybuilder’?
The reason i’m asking all of these questions is because all of these questions are surrounded by myths, conventional wisdom and UTTER BULLSHIT.
But i will come to explaining them by the end of this chapter – just in case you don’t understand them by yourself by the end of this chapter. Which i’m sure you will.
Weightloss is a multibillion dollar market and everybody has their hands in the cookie bowl. From footwear companies, to gyms to pharmaceuticals, to biscuits and foods to clothing lines, to lifestyle gurus and image experts. The extension of the WEIGHT LOSS paraphernalia is endless.
And though it is based in fitness, it has a lot to do with the way the media has projected as whats ‘beautiful’ and ‘aesthetic’.
lets look at the difference in the perception of beauty among women (among women, not to be sexist but because women have been more subject to it that men in a perceivable manner) and accepted fat levels across time:
ample variations in whats percieve3d as ‘BEAUTIFUL’ just by terms of fat percentages right?
Now lets look at attributes that are beautiful irrespective of the era – fitness, the abilty to live your life to the fullest, compassion, intelligence, personality and kindness. Of these, only the first two have anything to do with your fat levels. And both of them require a decent or high amount of muscle mass and strength rather than just low fat levels. Let me get to clarifying that difference.
WHAT IS WEIGHT LOSS and WHAT IS FAT LOSS?
I bet you went like WHAAAAT – there’s a difference? well, yes there is.
Weight loss can be attained by 3 ways – water loss, muscle loss and fat loss.
Losing water is ok. Though too much of it will dehydrate you and even kill you. And it will be back very soon. I personally can lose upto 2kgs of water within a day using only cardio and diuretics that make me pee every half an hour. but the very next day, i’m 2kgs up again.
Muscle Loss is what i dread. and any real fitness professional would dread. Because gaining muscle is tough. Muscle is the strength of your body. It is what makes you FIT and ABLE. It is what gives your body its musculo skeletal shape. Too much cardio and protein deficient nutrition makes you lose muscle mass adn that makes you weak and fragile. A good fat loss plan would never make you indulge in activities that lead to drastic muscle loss.
Fat Loss is the TRUE WEIGHT LOSS. This is the holy grail of fitness for aesthetics. When you lose body fat, the muscles can be seen and that’s what makes your body look aesthetic. Everybody has abdominal muscles aka abs, but only when you lose the fat covering them, can they be seen.
Now – in terms of the difference, how visible is it? and what effect does it have?
As an experiment, being the sadomasochistic self-experimentative psycho i am, i put myself through a test.
And these are the results:
THE FAT TO FIT EXPERIMENT: 4 PHASES
Phase 1: Getting fat:
First, i got myself really fat – not the kind that bodybuilders use in before after pictures – which is just gained weight with gained muscle mass underneath, but really fat. Really fat is when you get fat out of inactivity. For 8 months, I stopped gymming, started eating trash food, cut out activity and gained humongous weight and got lethargic. Actually, the lethargy became a habit and was dragging me down mentally and emotionally along with the physical laziness. I found being fat and lethargic to have an inertia of its own. So i can relate to people who are fat/unfit and how they feel about it. I literally had to will myself out of it.
Now with a low BMR, unfit cardiovascular state and atrophied muscle mass, i really had a challenge to get fit again.
And i decided to do it TWICE – once, the WEIGHTLOSS WAY. and the second time, the FAT LOSS WAY.
Phase 2: Chasing WEIGHTLOSS
I went about losing the flab – but the wrong way on purpose – with high cardio, many high rep sets of weight training and insane amount of endurance workouts like rowing for 3 hours and cycling for 1 hour everyday – combined with a crash diet which was low in protein as well as nutrients.
as evident in pic 2 – i lost all the weight, the full 8 kgs in 2 monbths – but i was weak, unshapely flat and almost pale. I had ruined my health literally with just a minor improvement in aesthetics.
Phase 3: Pursuing Quality Muscle Gain (strength)
The next 3 months i dedicated to getting as strong as i could – gaining back all the muscle mass lost by training in a proper manner now. I followed the K11 strength training protocol and piled on all 8 kgs again – but in more muscle mass than fat.
The K11 protocol : PUSH PULL ROUTINE
day 1:Quads Hams calves
day 2: Cardio
day 3: Back RearDelt Bicep
day 4: Cardio
day 6: Chest Shoulder Tricep
Day 7: REST
DIET: HIGH PROTEIN – MODERATE CARBS
meal 1: protein shake
meal 2: 5 eggs + 2 rotis
meal 3: walnuts and almonds
meal 4: lunch: chicken and vegiies and rotis
meal 5: bhel and boiled eggs
meal 6: post workout shake with creatine
meal 7: dinner: meat/fish salad
meal 8: casein protein shake
(THOUGH NOW I AM A HARDCORE ADVOCATE OF THE KETOGENIC DIET – HERE IM JUST BEING HOENST IN WHAT MY PLAN WAS WHEN I HAD PURSUED THIS PROTOCOL)
I was now stronger than before and my body had more quality muscle mass and shape. I was on a high protein diet with quality carbs at intervals and a good supplementation programme.
Phase 4: FATLOSS
I Changed nothing in my training protocol. It remained the same.
What people dont realise that adding higher reps or adding more cardio dosent really make a huge difference to the results – infact, too much of it creates reduction in muscle mass and therefore reduction in total strength and fitness levels. The only changes i made to attain my goal were in the diet i followed. I went on the ketogenic diet, added natural stimulant6s and natural fat burners and diuretics to my diet and within 2 months, i was there. Back at 64 kgs – but more shapely than ever before.
1. Fatloss > Weightloss in all scenarios – especially for developing a quality physique. Weightloss will lead to weakness and to a flat looking physique while fatloss will lead to a strong, robust and good, shapely looking physique.
2. Training for greater strength leads to higher resting BMR as compared to the temporary spike in BMR that cardio and high rep workouts create and therefore leads to more quality fat loss.
3. Fatloss is a function more of the diet than of the training regimen itself.
Simply eliminating sugars, rice and other high Glycemic index carbs from your diet and adding two protein shakes a day to your diet can result in visible fatloss within the first month itself.
the most effective diet for fat loss is the ketogenic diet. You can lose upto 6 kgs a month using purely the diet alone. But i would still recommend a good weight training programme along with it.
Programmes that do not work optimally for fat loss and yet advertise shamelessly as weightloss and inchloss programmes:
ab maker machines
only tummy tucking or spot reduction programmes of any kind
power yoga and any form of yoga as a matter of fact
(most of these quack programme instructors are just natural ectomorphs and claim to have weight loss from yoga – the fact is the the weight loss you see in the initial months is just due to following a regimen for the first time in your life – it would work for any regimen – and then again, its weight loss most of the time and not fat loss. it returns back as easy as it went. )
dance and crap routines
highly cardiovasular workout regimens using only body weight workouts equating sweat with weight loss
steam and sauna and massage techniques
magic rings and magic pills (i have to mention these coz they exist!)
IN SHORT, simply weight train right and maintain your diet as a high protein diet and you will be saving yourself a lot of trouble of quack-hacking the fat-loss industry.
-Pushkaraj S Shirke