Gray Matter


Fat Loss, Not Necessarily Weight Loss, Should Be Your Goal

RT Cunningham | November 26, 2020 (UTC) | Health

fat loss and weight lossPeople tend to ignore fat loss in weight loss discussions. You can’t have one without the other if you’re not building muscle at the same time. A lean person can weigh more than a fat person because muscle is heavier than fat. This is something I learned the hard way when I was in the military.

Fat Loss Should Be Your Goal

People tend to concentrate on weight loss. It’s easy to measure and anyone can do it. Anyone can buy a weight scale and use it, though some are not worth buying in the first place. A self-calibrating digital scale is what you really need.

Fat loss can indicate weight loss if you’re not exercising regularly. If you’re exercising more, you can actually gain weight. I once came close to reaching my weight limit in the military when I started working out every day. I actually had to stop working out for about a week to drop a few pounds.

Dieting May Not Result in Fat Loss

There are pros and cons to every type of diet program. I won’t get into the details because I’m not an expert on any of this. I only know what really works and I’ll get to that in a minute. The biggest disadvantage to a diet program is meal planning. The food you need can cost you more than you anticipate.

In my opinion, and my opinion alone, fasting isn’t a good way to lose fat. You can fast for various reasons, including religious reasons, but you shouldn’t rely on it for fat loss. That is, unless you’ve already tried everything else.

The biggest problem with dieting, without changing your lifestyle, is the “rebound effect”. You tend to regain everything you lose when you stop dieting. This effect makes it harder to try again, both physically and more importantly, mentally.

People tend to get fatter as they get older, especially at middle-age years and beyond. I’m in that group. Fat loss tends to be way more difficult for us than for younger people. Our metabolisms are slower, and we aren’t as active as younger people. Sometimes we choose to be that way but most of us don’t have a choice. We can’t erase injuries and old-age conditions.

A Ketogenic Diet Will Result in Fat Loss

A ketogenic diet, or keto diet for short, is a high-fat, medium protein and low carbohydrate diet. It’s sometimes abbreviated as HFLC. Most people can follow a keto diet with little difficulty. Getting started is the hard part. The fat in your diet is not the same as the fat in your body, just like the cholesterol you get from animals isn’t the same as the cholesterol in your body.

The human body gets its fuel from two sources: Sugar and ketones. We need to rely on ketones to make fat loss a natural condition. I saw a chart on sugar consumption over the last century, and we consume something like 10 times that of our ancestors. That should explain why we’re fatter, in general, than our ancestors.

When I mention sugar, I’m not talking about pure sugar alone. There are different types of sugar, like fructose, sucrose and glucose. Blood sugar is another name for glucose. The carbohydrates we consume, including processed sugar, convert into glucose. Contrary to popular belief, the alcohol from beer, wine and liquor does not convert into glucose.

Over-consumption of sugar increases the number of fat cells. When you drastically reduce your sugar intake, your liver will start converting your fat cells into fatty acids and ketones and then you’ll use them for energy instead of sugar.

Fat Loss and Exercise

Intense exercise, like aerobics, will induce fat loss. So will running, swimming and other intense activities. Certain activities, like weight lifting, will cause muscle mass to increase even when they they don’t induce fat loss. If you combine intense activities with a keto diet, you can’t go wrong. You’ll lose fat faster than practicing one without the other. As I approach my senior years, I can’t do much of anything with intensity.

Doctors recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day. I try to walk more than 30 minutes a day (weather permitting) and I walk faster now than I did when I started doing it daily. Does it induce fat loss? Not really. I have to concentrate on going keto to lose the fat on my belly. Going keto means cutting out the carbs. Breads, pasta, rice and potatoes are some of the highest carbohydrate sources. And… they’re some of my favorite foods. Sigh.

Photo Attribution: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in February 2019.

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