6 surprising weight loss facts
1. Weight loss doesn’t mean fat loss
The term ‘weight loss’ refers to a total of all weight loss, which may be comprised of fat, muscle and fluid. Just because you are losing weight, or a product/program claims to assist with weight loss, it doesn’t necessarily mean fat is lost.
2. Lifting weights is a great way to support losing body fat
Whilst a cardio workout will typically burn more energy than a weight lifting workout, there are still benefits to lifting weights to support fat loss. Lifting weights helps to build muscle. By having a greater muscle mass, your body burns more calories at rest, ultimately aiding in weight loss. In addition, a weight lifting session can also help to increase your metabolic rate for up to 72 hours post workout.
3. Eating fat doesn’t equate to gaining body fat
Eating the right kind of fat is a vital part of a nutritious diet. Essential fatty acids found in foods such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and eggs play an important role in increasing satiety, hormone production, the regulation of thyroid activity and breaking down cholesterol – all of which aid weight loss.
4. Your Basal Metabolic Rate plays an important role
In a sedentary person, their BMR accounts for 60-75% of total energy expenditure. A lower BMR reduces the body’s ability to burn energy at rest, while a higher BMR allows the body to burn more energy. Activities such as lifting weights and in turn building muscle, increases the body’s BMR.
5. Your hormones can impact losing weight
Hormones can play a role in both appetite control and fat storage. An imbalance in hormones may cause an increase in appetite or the way in which the body stores and ultilises fat.
6. The scales don’t tell the whole picture
Scales only measure weight as a total number, including bone, fat, muscle, fluid and tissue mass, making it hard to determine whether or not someone is actually losing fat. For example, you may be going to the gym 3-4 times per week and eating a well balanced diet, however the number on the scales may not change, or it may even increase. This can be due to an increase in muscle mass, which weighs more than fat mass. So while you may have lost fat, you may also have gained muscle, which can not be reflected by traditional scales. For a more accurate depiction of what is happening in regards to body fat loss, body composition scales should be used, as they can break down what percentage of your body is fat, muscle, bone mass, tissue and fluid.
– Ellie Mullen (Personal Trainer & Nutritionist)