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weight loss or fat loss?

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

Are Weight Loss and Fat Loss the same thing?

weight loss or fat loss?

Which one is healthier for you?

Which one is easier?

People tend to use these phrases interchangeably even though fat loss is very different than weight loss. I have to admit I even use both terms. In my defense, I use them because the public tends to see them as the same thing.

But they aren’t and here is why.

Let’s take a set of identical twins who weigh 180 pounds each and have 40% body fat. Both of these ladies would like to lose 30 pounds.

Twin #1 decides on a nutrition program that promotes weight loss.

Twin #2 decides to try a program that promotes fat loss through healthy eating and working out with weights.

Disclaimer: I have been doing these charts for over 13 years now. The charts you are going to see represent best case scenarios for each woman.

The vitals

At 180 pounds and 30% body fat both twins start out with 72 pounds of fat and 108 pounds of muscle.

180 x .30 = 72 pounds of fat.

180 – 72 = 108 pounds of muscle.

Technically the 108 pounds are made up of muscle, tissue, blood bones etc…but since those variables won’t change much, we will just call it muscle.)

Both women are dedicated to their programs and work hard. In the fitness industry, the one thing we all actually agree on is that a person can safely lose two pounds a week. After 12 weeks both women have stuck to their programs and now have lost weight.

So who did the better job of things? Trick question?

Weight loss

Twin #1 was after weight loss. She now weighs 158 pounds.

weight loss

So why is she still at 38% body fat?

Twin #1 has lost 24 pounds but only 11 pounds of fat.

This is very typical of what happens when you go on a low calorie diet. In addition to losing fat, you lose muscle. Really what has happened to Twin #1 is that she has shrunk herself but stayed at about the same body fat level. There are a couple problems here.

  1. Her height to weight measurement has gotten better but she is still overweight bordering on obese.
  2. Muscles help burn calories. By losing muscle she is automatically lowering her metabolism. If metabolism is the measure of how fast you burn calories, she has slowed her system down. This will make it very easy for her to gain her weight back as soon as she stops her diet.

Yes, she weighs less but is she really healthier?

Fat Loss

Twin #2 combined sensible eating with a weight training program and lost 22 pounds of fat and 17 pounds off the scale.

fat loss

Twin #2 is now at 30% body fat. She was able to successfully burn fat while keeping muscle mass.

Key Points

1. When I train women, there is an initial gain of 4-7 pounds of muscle. It isn’t new muscle, you are just toning up what you have. Guys can expect to gain 5-10 pounds in a few weeks. The nice thing is that the muscle gain is offset by the fat loss. If you start lifting weights, you will not turn into the Hulk. I promise!

2. Any time you can keep muscle and burn fat, you know your diet is spot on. This also means you are also getting stronger, leaner and healthier.

3. Twin #2 has increased her metabolism by keeping her muscle mass. By doing so, those cheat days or cheat meals won’t have as big an effect on her as they will on Twin #1.

So to sums things up:

Weight loss is a temporary thing. This is why most dieters will end up weighing more than when they started. When you burn both fat and muscle, you slow your metabolism down and make future weight loss that much harder. This is not a lifestyle, this is a quick fix way of thinking that has serious emotional consequences.

Fat loss is a lifestyle choice. Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to maintain and you actually feel like you have control over your body. You will look healthier and feel better.

My job as your coach is to show you the difference between constructive and destructive ways of eating. My clients want to learn how to repair and take care of their bodies and that is what M Factor Fitness is all about. Through weight training, corrective exercise and nutrition coaching, you can learn to shape and control how you look for the long-term.

If this sounds interesting to you, please take a moment and fill out my consultation form. It is a free, no-0bligation phone call or visit where we can sit down and talk about yoru goals and how to best achieve them.

Free 30 minute Consult to See if this is right for you!

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Don't feed fear

Donuts vs Exercise: Do you Really Need to Worry About This?

Read Between the Lines

When you see this sign, know that I am going to try and change the way you view food and nutrition.

Not in the traditional sense of making you feel guilty or ashamed of your eating habits but as a way to free yourself from guilt. Nutritionists study the science of food and are very good about telling you what to eat and what not to. They speak in terms of fact and logic. This would be fine if we were robots and could just re-program our brains.

But it never works like that, does it? we are emotional creatures and a majority of our decisions are based on emotion not fact.

Whether that is good or bad doesn’t really matter. That is what we do. There may not be anything in our lives as emotionally charged as food. It works on all five senses, comforts, nourishes, brings back memories…you name it. Food works on many levels of our consciousness at once. So if we can’t separate emotion from food, we need to re-frame our attitude towards it.

So kindly take a look at this infographic.

donuts vs exercise

You may have seen these on social media. What does it really mean? That is a trick question because it is going to mean different things to different people.

What popped into your head first?

“I could really use a donut and coffee about now!”

“I can’t believe I ate a couple of donuts the other day.”

“That is a lot of exercise!”

“Why does everything that tastes good have so many calories.”

For most people, this infographic will have a negative connotation. Donut=bad.

So let me ask you, is this true?

Could you in fact eat donuts and drink lattes and lose weight?

Most nutritionists would say no, I say yes.

A quick overview of my philosophy on food before we get into the science.

My job as your nutrition coach is to help you either gain or lose weight. My real goal is to help change your perception of food so you can stay at the weight you want for the long term and still enjoy your favorite foods. Why? because it doesn’t work the other way. What would happen if I tell you that in order to lose 50 pounds you will never eat another donut? You may agree at first and you may have the willpower to avoid donuts…for a while. And I say for a while because you are using willpower as your fuel source. Willpower is a precious commodity. We don’t have a lot of it and when it runs out, you break down and binge. Everyone has a breaking point.

So the idea is not to base your eating around willpower. Instead, change your view on food and eliminate guilt.

The Science

Dieting Composition

Thanks to the nice people at RP for this graphic.

 

This is a chart that 99% of nutritionists would agree with. It shows that 80% of your success will be based on portion sizes and combination of fats/proteins and carbs.

50% will be based on calories. So let’s take a look at a 150 pound women.

Caloric needs

This is a general estimate of calories based on a simple formula.

150 pounds x 10= 1,500 calories a day with no activity.

1,500 calories x an activity factor of 1.3 = 1,950.

What does this mean?

A women weighing 150 pounds who is moderately active can consume 1,950 calories a day and not gain or lose weight. The only asterisk I am going to put on this is for people that are yo-yo-dieters. Chances are your metabolism is way off from starving yourself. But once you start eating enough food again, you will find these figures are pretty accurate.

Exercise

Add in an hour of working out and you will have burned 500 calories, give or take.

  • I burn 180-200 calories a mile running. I am also a big guy. You will burn less so maybe 140-150 will be a more accurate number. Run 3 miles and you are close to 500 calories.
  • Working out with weights will give you 400-500 calories in 45 minutes if you minimize breaks.
  • High intensity weight circuit training will be in the range of 600-800 for 45 minutes.

Summary

If you add in exercise, a 150 pound woman could eat close to 2,000 calories a day and actually lose weight.

2,000 calories – 500 from exercise= 500 calorie deficit.

That is the healthy way to lose weight and get healthy at the same time.

Back to the donuts

donuts vs exercise

You could eat the donut and drink the latte and still have 1,600 calories for the day and lose weight.

So if you can accept the fact that you can eat 2,000 calories, exercise and lose fat at the same time (if not please re-read the above or email me), then this infographic looks a little different, doesn’t it?

That being said, the rest of your meals need to be more nutritionally sound. There have been studies where people have eaten nothing but junk food and lost weight because they paid attention to portion size but I would never advocate that. The idea is to eat clean but you can have the occasionally treat.

Hopefully your mind is blown because this changes everything.

We go from a negative view of food to a positive one.

If I tell you, as your coach, you can’t eat a donut, what food pops in your head? Donuts? Guilt? Sadness? A test of willpower?

Please don’t live that way and please don’t let these fear mongers make you feel bad about yourself.

M Factor Fitness is all about re-framing how you view food and exercise and integrating them into your life.

It is about making you feel good about yourself and making change.

You don’t have to make drastic changes but you will have to put in the work.

If this sounds interesting to you, call me or fill out my consult form for a free 30 minute chat.

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Can You Drop Fat and Build Muscle at the Same Time?

Can you drop fat and build muscle at the same time?

Drop fat and build Muscle

“Hey Coach Mike,  I’m an currently working out 5 day a week. I am at 31 % body fat. I want cut it down to 15 % while maintaining the body weight. Can you please help to chalk out a good work out plan. Thanks”

This is a classic question. If I understand your question, you want to replace body fat with muscle. The old “Drop fat and build muscle at the same time” conundrum.

Just in case you are wondering…”Can fat turn into muscle? Can muscle turn into fat?”

No.

Let’s look at the numbers.

I don’t know how much you weigh but let’s assume you weigh 200 pounds. At 31% body fat you have 62 pounds of fat and 138 pounds of muscle. Note: when I say muscle I am referring to muscle, blood, bones and everything else that isn’t fat. We can do this because the only variable that will change is muscle. Blood volume, bone weight etc…will stay consistent for the most part.

If you want to stay the same weight and go down to 15% body fat, then you would be at 30 pounds of fat and 170 pounds muscle.

What you are looking at is gaining 32 pounds of muscle while losing 32 pounds of fat.

So the big question here is your time frame.

The good news about fat loss.

You can keep the same level of muscle and easily lose 2 pounds of fat per week. You could achieve that in about 16 weeks.

The bad news about muscle gain.

The harder part of this equation is putting on 32 pounds of muscle. Unless you are really gifted this could take 3 plus years at best. This also depends on your body type, joint size and family history. Any of which could be a deal breaker. It took me over a decade to gain 100 pounds but I was going from painfully skinny to average to bigger than average.

Don’t get discouraged, it can be done and people are doing it all it time. But that is the key. It takes time.

Building muscle is challenging.

For muscles to grow you need to do the big 4 consistently.

  • Break down muscle tissue with hard workouts.
  • Get enough recovery time.
  • Eat a surplus of calories to build muscle
  • Eat enough protein throughout the day and night to foster muscle growth.

Maximizing dropping fat and building muscle at the same time is a tricky balancing act. Usually you can’t do both nearly as well as doing one at a time. Most people who are successful at putting on muscle won’t worry too much with body fat levels. But…

Here’s the big secret.

If you follow the big 4 rules consistently, you will drop body fat without thinking about it. I am making the assumption that you are taking in quality calories not junky ones.

The good news about muscle gains

The more you get into this, the more you will know your body and be able to optimize the big four. Learn what works for you and stay with it.

How do you measure progress?

If you are serious about this, you will get an electronic body fat tester. They run around $30 on Amazon and allow you to get a much more accurate body fat reading that scales or hand held sensors that send electric impulses. If you know your weight and body fat, then you can track pounds of fat and pounds of muscle.

Or you can do it the old fashioned way and see how your clothes fit. Tight around the legs and chest? Good. Tight around the waist? Bad.

The really good news.

  • As you drop fat, you will look better because the muscles you have will start to pop out.
  • A little muscle goes a long way in changing your appearance.
  • More muscle means a faster metabolism so you will burn more calories at rest.

The other factor here is over-training. I am going to give you an ambitious schedule. You may not be able to handle the amount of volume. If so, no problem.

Take another day off or cut down on the volume.

Go to the gym 2 on and 1 off. So for every 2 days you workout, take 1 day off. Concentrate on Chest, Back, Shoulders and Legs. Arms will be done at the end of the workout.

Sample Workout Schedule

Day 1:

Bench Press 5 sets of 5–12 reps

Military or shoulder press with dumbbells 5 sets of 6–12 reps

Laterals with dumbbells 3 sets 8–12

Skull crushers with dumbbells 3 sets 8–12

Bicep curls 3 sets 8–12 reps

Day 2

Squats 5 sets 5–12 reps

Pull-ups 5 sets as many as you can or at least 25

Barbell or 1 arm rows 3 sets of 8–12

Straight legged deadlift 3 sets 6–8

Day 3 off

Day 4

Dumbbell bench press or incline press 5 sets of 8–12

Arnold presses 5 sets of 8–12

Front raises 3 sets of 8–12

Rear dips 3 sets as many as you can

Dumbbell curls 3 sets 8–12 reps

Day 5

Lunges 5 sets of 15–25

Rows 5 sets of 8–12

Pull-ups 3 sets as many as you can do or at least 25

Stiff legged deadlifts 3 sets of 6–8

Calf raises.

Throw in planks, hanging leg raises and reverse crunches for core work 6 days a week.

Day 6

off

Day 7

Work on weak areas with a short workout.

What about Cardio?

Here is where things get a little controversial.

If you really want to lose fat right now.

Spend at least 30 minutes 5–6 times a week doing long slow cardio. This means keeping your heart rate around 115–130 bpm. I know a lot of people will disagree with this but it is a proven way to burn fat and keep muscle.

An Alternative

If you don’t want to do that, consider high intensity interval training 4 days a week at a place like Crossfit and see if that works.

Both ways will get you where you want to be. It will just take time and patience.

Hey Mike, what about nutrition?

If you are at 31% body fat, you need to clean up your diet. Eat clean and emphasize protein each meal. That is the easy answer and in reality, don’t overload yourself at once. Everyone knows how to eat clean.

  • No soda or diet soda.
  • Cut out sugary drinks.
  • No fried food.
  • No fast food.
  • Don’t rely on restaurants to help you. Make your own food and eat it.

I hope this helps.

If you need some coaching…

You can always join my online training for the crazy low price of $10/month.

Online and Mobile Personal Training

Click here for more information.

 

Why Personal Training Doesn’t Work.

 

Personal training doesn’t work.

I hate to be the one to say this, but it really doesn’t. While I am at it, I don’t think diet centers work either. I had this thought today and I have been trying all day to disprove it. And I can’t.

When you think of a personal trainer, what do you think of? A kid at 24 hour Fitness that shows you how to use the machines?

“This is a chest press. It works your chest.”

“This is a leg press, this works your legs”.

What I am saying is this. A trainer shows you how to use equipment and how to do the exercises. What else do they really do?

What does a diet center do?  The same thing.

“Eat this and swallow these pills and weigh in at the end of the week.”

Do you need this?

I mean, I have all this stuff on my website and it is free! If you want to learn how to use a chest press machine, there are hundreds if not thousands of videos on YouTube.

How many blogs talk about fat loss and nutrition?

What about Corrective Exercise?

All the information is out there. To be fair, some people can make progress. But there is a difference between progress and change. What happens when you stop going to the diet center? What happens when you stop going to the gym?

That is why I think trainers have a limited role in fitness. What you need is a coach and yes there is a difference.

Example 1: When I first started using my Ipad to shoot videos I needed help. I went right to YouTube and found some helpful videos that showed my how to operate the video camera. Problem solved.

Example 2: When I wanted to grow my fitness business I hired a coach. I wanted someone who knew my industry and could look at what I was doing and give me advice. What was I doing right and what did I need to fix? This is personal stuff and there is no way can I find this on a YouTube channel. I didn’t want generic advice or motivational speeches. I wanted to make a change.

Of all the clients I have trained, I can’t think of a single one that hasn’t tried to do it themselves. Getting back in shape is easy when you are young and gets more difficult as you get older. Throw in old injuries, aches and pains and the job of getting fit gets exponentially harder.

You may be in the same situation in your life. Everybody is different and has different needs. Whether you train with me in your home, in a small group or online, I want to deliver a true coaching experience.

Want to know the true secret to getting back in shape? It isn’t the exercises. You know what exercises you need to do. It isn’t nutrition. I think by this time everyone knows what they should eat more of and what they need to eat less of.

The value of a coach

The key is having someone coaching you to the next level. Someone who can watch what you are doing and make changes. Someone you can call, email or text with questions as they come up. A coach is someone who has a vested interest in you and will work with you.

I can attest that hiring a coach can be a difficult decision. You are going to hear things you don’t want to hear and asked to do things that you may not want to do. You may get taken out of your comfort zone. But isn’t that what change is all about?

As a coach, I need to figure out:

  • A solution for you that you can fit into your lifestyle.
  • A program that you will do even when I am not there.
  • A way to make practices become habits and habits become lifestyles.

At least that is my philosophy. Sound like something you have been looking for? If so, please fill out the form below and we can det up a free, no-obligation consultation.

I offer:

  • One on one personal training
  • Small group 2-6 people sessions. (a great way for the family to workout or some friends to get together)
  • Online Training
  • Individual phone or Skype consultations.

Contact Me

I offer in home and online personal training. This is customized training directed at achieving your goals. I offer a free 30 minute consultation and would love to talk with you. Just fill out the consult form and I will be in touch with you. I look forward to hearing from you.

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