Below is a Q&A from the Blog of Alywn Cosgrove (http://www.alwyncosgrove.blogspot.com/) – a leading Personal Trainer specializing in scientifically-sound fitness programs (with an emphasis on fat-loss research and exercise). His training methodologies and concepts are among the top in the field and I’ve had the privilege of learning from him and hanging out with him at the Perform Better Conference last year in Long Beach, CA.
The Q&A here is reinforcement of the post I wrote last summer…but it’s been an issue I’ve come across over and over again with many of my Valeo–ians…so READ ON and BE ENCOURAGED!
Q: This weekend I got on a scale at a friend’s house (I don’t own one) and much to my disappointment, the numbers haven’t budged all that much since my last weigh in several months ago. Now, my clothes fit better, I’m in better shape than I’ve perhaps EVER been in, I know muscle weighs more than fat, I look GREAT, etc…but those numbers scream overweight to me. They make me feel like I’ve made no progress at all.
A: First off – your clothes “fit better”, you’re “in better shape than you’ve ever been in” and you “look GREAT”… but you’re disappointed solely because the bathroom scale didn’t go down “All that much”.
Here’s something we tell clients (thanks to Chris Shugart for the inspiration): If we had a magic fat loss machine — that you stepped in and pushed a button and you came out looking EXACTLY how you’ve always dreamed of looking and feeling – the exact dress or pant size you wanted, with the definition and muscle tone you want, at the bodyfat percentage you want – you can see your abs (if that’s what you want) etc etc.Would you be interested? Of course you would!!
But what if the side effect of the fat loss machine is that it increased bone density and muscle density by 100%. So while you looked and felt better than you’ve ever felt before — the scale is 50lbs higher than it’s ever been. So for example a 150lb-er would come out looking amazing, but weighing 200lbs…Would that number on the scale make you not want the other results?
Now what if the machine did the reverse – you look exactly the same as you’ve always done, but you’d weigh 50lbs less? Would you be happy with that? Probably not right?
Just understand that how you look and feel, and how much you weigh are not necessarily related at all.
The picture (above) shows the difference in size between five pounds of fat (top) and five pounds of muscle (bottom). You can see that it’s a pretty big size difference.
If you add ten pounds of muscle and lose ten pounds of fat — you’re going to look like you lost at least 20lbs.
But the scale won’t move.
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