I would like to start by stating that I am not a weight loss expert or professional. The knowledge I share here comes from years of me struggling to either lose or gain weight. I grew up watching my father workout daily to keep fit and healthy, and I suppose I picked up a few skills from him. I’ve had an interest in working out as early as the age of twelve and I haven’t stopped ever since.
One thing I can say I have gained from all these years of obsessing over my body is experience. I will go further to say that I have mastered how my body works when we talk of losing and gaining weight.
The first thing I focus on is what I wish to achieve. That sounds pretty obvious but let me explain. I ask myself a series of questions focusing on my forecasted outcome. If my aim is to lose fat, I ask questions like: where do I want to lose the fat? How much fat do I want to lose? Do I want to lose fat and muscle mass, or do I want to lose fat and gain muscle mass? Etc. If my aim is to focus on my muscles I ask questions like: where do I want to gain muscle? How much muscle mass do I want to gain? Etc.
Below I’ll break down what I learned so far on my journey.
Losing or gaining fat mass.
Gaining fat mass
When it comes to gaining fat, the steps are straightforward. No knowledge of rocket science is needed. Eating more than your body needs to maintain its daily functions = weight gain. It’s not surprising that nutritionists and fitness professionals encourage calorie counting when speaking on weight loss or gain. This is because both men and women have a daily recommended calorie intake.
Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake for women is 2,000, and 2,500 for men.
Eating below your recommended daily intake leads to weight loss. Other factors like genetics, medication, and diseases are not considered. On the flip side, eating above your recommended daily intake leads to the body storing the excess as fat, i.e., fat gain. My personal advice is to eat a healthy balanced meal three times a day, with healthy snacks between meals. Don’t forget to count your calories as best as possible so you aren’t eating below the recommended intake, and be sure to add light exercises like walking to help with digestion and circulation.
Losing fat mass
Losing fat mass is a lot more complicated in comparison. There are several things to consider when it comes to losing fat mass. Where exactly you want the fat to melt away from is one of those questions you must ask yourself. To burn belly fat, for instance, it is most advisable to focus on cardiovascular workouts. Reducing your daily calorific intake is next. Also, be sure to eat fewer carbohydrates. This will help with an overall loss of body fat, which is the most effective way to lose belly fat. Add isolation workouts like sit-ups and you’ll see quicker results.
If your aim is to lose fat while gaining muscle mass, you should focus on incorporating weight training into your workout regime.
Diet is a huge contributor to simultaneous weight loss and muscle gain. Protein should account for at least 50% of your meal and should be consumed within 2 hours before or after your workout.
A mistake I must admit I made on my journey was losing water weight. The body loses water weight when you either go on a long fast or you cut carbohydrates completely from your diet. A simple way to see it is this: Carbo (sugar) hydrate (water). Carbs help the body retain water, hence why cutting it out can lead to drastic weight loss (water weight). In my experience, losing water weight is more of a temporary type of weight loss. It usually piles back on as soon as I resume my normal diet
My number one advice when it comes to losing fat mass is to eat a healthy balanced meal and to work out at least three times a week. My go-to exercise for losing weight is jogging and brisk walking. Combining this with a healthy low-calorie meal is a sure-fire way to lose fat mass and tone up the body.
Losing or gaining muscle mass
Gaining muscle mass
for muscle gain, my advice is to do A LOT of weight training with protein being your main source of food. Emphasis on the protein! This is because protein is food for muscles. It aids in its repair after an intense workout. It also feeds it and helps it to grow during muscular hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass).
I didn’t always exercise with weights, because like a lot of women, I assumed working out with weights meant gaining muscles like male bodybuilders. I later understood that women don’t have enough testosterone to achieve that. Testosterone is the number one contributor to why men build muscle mass with ease. This simple knowledge encouraged me to incorporate weight training into my workout regime and I got excellent results! What I achieved was muscle growth in the right places and an improvement in my stature.
I should add that muscle aids in weight loss. The more muscles you have, the quicker it will be for you to burn fat. This is another benefit to growing your muscles. I should also add that isolation workout is the best way to target specific muscle groups e.g glutes.
Losing muscle mass
If your focus is to lose muscle mass, my advice is to focus on cardio. Go on a treadmill, go for a long steady jog, etc. You should also eat below your recommended daily calorie intake. This will lead to your body breaking down your muscles for energy. Follow these two simple steps and you will be shedding both fat and muscle mass in no time.
Remember, weights + protein = muscles.
In conclusion, the most important thing in my experience when it comes to changing my body is diet. Working out is very important, but eating the wrong food after a good workout could destroy all your effort and ruin your gains or losses.
A brief reminder of the benefits of supporting your workout with the appropriate diet plan:
– Eating an unhealthy meal = increased risk of diseases
– Eating more calories than your body needs to function = fat gain
– Eating fewer calories than your body needs to function = fat loss
– Eating the right amount of protein after good muscle training = muscle growth and repair.
With this brief information, I hope I have helped you understand how I am able to change my body at will.
Knowledge is power! Grab some!