The first part of the weight problem is an inaccurate definition of terms. What people are really talking about when they want to “lose weight” is FAT. So what’s wrong with wanting to loose FAT? While we all know what someone means when they say they want to lose weight, the problem is your subconscious. If you say the word weight instead of the word fat, what are you likely going to track? Weight or fat?
Why is this a big deal? To get in better shape and lose body fat quickly you need to be lifting weights and building lean muscle mass. This process of losing fat and gaining muscle mass is called a re-composition and is the ideal way to get in shape. But if you are only tracking weight as a metric of your success you might be discouraged by your results when you don’t see the pounds drop off.
Here’s the skinny on muscle and why it’s so important to losing body fat. First, muscle is far more dense than fat, so for every pound of fat you replace with muscle you will be far thinner, AT THE SAME WEIGHT. Second, muscle is three times more metabolically active than fat. Which means that for every pound of muscle you put on you will burn 3x’s more calories than if it were fat. Third, lifting heavy weights and getting strong muscles will not make you look like a bodybuilder. What most people don’t realize is the amount of food those bodybuilders eat to support those extra muscles. Finally, and most important, unlike a cardio exercise the real work of building muscles happens after the workout is over. During the resting hours your body is working overtime to repair your muscles and make them stronger. All that overtime work takes calories, putting you in a caloric deficit, the state in which you burn fat.
I hope this highlighted the importance of understanding and properly using words when it comes to fitness and goal setting, and why you should track the FAT not the weight.