Good Morning Ladies & Gents! I hope all of you enjoyed the weekend festivities and day off from work for Veterans Day. For those of you who still had to work, hang tight, there are many holidays to come in the next couple of weeks. So, sit tight and enjoy what little time we have until 2020. As for me I will chipping away at your questions and emails little by little. For today’s article, I will be going into further detail about important weight loss techniques from one of my previous posts, Which Diet Rules Them All. This was inspired by the recent controversial documentary on Netflix, The Game Changers. Today’s article is about, What is Important for Weight Loss.
Before I begin let me be clear.
I won’t be talking directly about the movie, but merely answering a question closely related. As for my opinion, I would strongly suggest you do not take this “documentary” seriously. Many of the claims presented are highly biased and inaccurate. Furthermore, this creative piece of film tends to selectively choose its research wisely to solidify their claims. That is called manipulation of information. As the creator of the Black Sheep brand, I will not feed my fellow Black Sheep a bunch of BS or feed the misaligned culture we have today. Fortunately, I will point you in the right direction. To learn more about the documentary using high quality research and critical thinking. Simply, click here.
Back to the task at hand, What is Important for Weight Loss.
First, it is important to understand that when I use the term weight loss, I am actually referring to fat loss and the retention of lean muscle mass. After working as a trainer for many years I’ve learned that weight loss means something different to many people. For example, the women I’ve trained used to refer to this as toning. Ladies let me be clear, with toning, the secret lies primarily in fat loss and lean muscle retention. In simple words, this will keep your natural curves or that “tight” physique all of you try to fervently explain to your trainers. Gentleman, as for you, a majority always seek that very common “holy grail.” It is the gain muscle, lose fat journey.
For this, I will be honest, unless your new to lifting or have taken many years off, this quest is highly difficult to achieve. Contrary to popular belief or what you see on YouTube and Instagram, gaining muscle and losing fat are mostly achieved by those on performance enhancing drugs, unless you fall in the two categories stated above.
Do not worry though, the results you seek can still be achieved if all the variables are well structured and planned for. Not to mention, the many other avenues available such as strength gained while dieting.
More importantly, as I stated in the previous article, adherence would be the number one factor when beginning a weight loss journey. If the client cannot adhere to their diet, then the whole process will begin at a loss. Also, let me be clear, weight loss can only be achieved through a caloric deficit. There is no magic diet that will allow you to lose weight while being in a caloric surplus. For further explanation, click here.
Let’s begin. There are three ways one could go about losing weight.
The most optimal way to begin is with a more structure plan that uses multiple facets of fitness. Put it simply, lift weights, eat in a balanced caloric deficit, and do your cardio, plyometrics, yoga…etc. As I stated above, adherence is the most important factor. Again, let me say, ADHERENCE is the most important factor. Afterwards, you will have to look at you or your client’s goals such as time, injuries, limitations, preferences…etc. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program, lifting weights and doing cardio is the most optimal way to lose weight as long as you are in a deficit. Clearly, using resistance training and doing cardiovascular work will allow for retention in muscle mass and fat loss.
Unfortunately, the ratio between the two will depend on the time limit meaning how fast or slow you or your client needs to lose weight. For example, if the weight loss timeframe is short, I will either increase the cardiovascular work or decrease the caloric intake. Not to mention, we still have the variable of total daily energy expenditure meaning the energy expended throughout the day.
Cardio, weight training, food, recovery, and psychological well being are all variables you will have to play with. Keep adapting and manipulating throughout the whole journey for you or your client.
The second most important way to lose weight would either be to singularly focus on weight training or cardio. As stated before, energy expenditure can be achieved using one or the other or both. However, if you do focus more on cardio than there will be muscle lost. As they said in high school science classes, for every action there is a reaction. A heavy dependence on cardio is where I lost most women due to cultural and societal norms. Unfortunately, due to false dogma, women believed that resistance training would give them a more manly appearance which is certainly not true.
Luckily, throughout my later years as a trainer this has been less common. As I said before, focusing too much on cardio would lead to muscle lost which is where many women find an unhappy result. Many of my clients, both men and women referred to this stage as skinny, but still flabby and not as tight as they expected hence my clear direction to do both types of training.
But this is not all the factors needed for weight loss.
For both men and women alike, relying too heavily on weight training can make the process much slower according to your vision or goals. Put simply, with too much reliance on the scale, relying too heavily on weight training will not budge the weight scale as fast as cardio. Unfortunately, this can lead to maladaptive traits and choices thus hindering progress.
Lastly, our third option, is weight loss through nutrition only. Regrettably, this also leads to the very same issues stated above.
First and foremost, allow me to reassure you. Any type of weight loss short of creating an eating disorder is a win. Put simply, having a balanced diet that would allow you to successfully adhere day in and day out is a win. You must remember, according to the CDC, nearly 40% of Americans above the age of 20 are obese. This is not including the morbidly obese category. Also, we must take into account that not everyone likes or has access to the gym, so weight loss through nutrition is the most viable option for these populations. For that reason, I mention from most to least optimal ways of weight loss. At the end of the day, the goal is having a higher quality of life and all three of these options are a road that can lead to success.