2019-02-20

Weight loss is a wildly popular topic at the moment. There are endless numbers of blogs that claim to have discovered the secret to slimming down incredible amounts in record time. Various foods have been declared to be the key to removing fat and losing weight. From the exotic acai berry to humble vinegar, it seems like dozens of foods have been seen as a shortcut to reaching weight goals. The reality of course, is very different from what the various weight loss gurus online and slick sales people selling diet pill on TV claim. Here are some important weight loss facts no one talks about but that everyone should know.

Muscle will not show until the fat is gone.

Most people have probably heard by now that building muscle is one of the keys to shedding fat and keeping it off. Skeletal muscle is the second largest calorie consumer in the human body. As such, building muscle will allow the body to burn more calories when a person is resting or sleeping. This, of course, makes weight loss much easier. It also makes it easier to keep the pounds off once a person has reached their weight loss goal. The more calories the body burns at rest, the fewer that a person has to try and burn off through exercise or attempt to avoid consuming in the first place. 

When people start lifting weights, they have glorious visions of themselves looking their best. Men envision a chiseled chest, washboard abs and huge biceps. Women picture themselves with flat stomachs, perky rear ends and toned legs. Muscle building can certainly lead to those sorts of appearances, but many people who are building muscle as part of a weight loss plan end up disappointed when they cannot see physical evidence of their successes. They can lift more weight, but their arms look no different. This is because the muscle is covered by a layer of fat. In order to see clear muscle definition, the fat that lies on top of it must first be burned away though sustainable weight loss habits.

Exercise is not enough for weight loss.

Anyone who has ever asked for weight loss advice has almost certainly been told that they need to both overhaul their diet and begin exercising regularly. This age old advice is not wrong by any means. Most people, however, tend to only hear half of the statement. They either live off carrot sticks but remain couch potatoes or exercise regularly but continue eating pizza three times a week. Then, they wonder why they cannot seem to lose weight. In order to lose weight successfully, a person must both eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Exercise alone is not enough, and neither is a healthy diet. Someone who wants to lose weight must do both.

The problem with relying on exercise alone is that people do not do it correctly. They either only build muscle or only do aerobic work such as running. Neither of these are enough to counteract a poor diet unless they are done in excessive quantities. People, however, tend to overestimate how much energy they burn while exercising. Many people think that a three mile run burns 1,000 calories. The average is nowhere close to that. Metabolic rates among people vary dramatically, but running three miles in 30 minutes only burns about 300 calories. That is not nearly enough to justify eating a huge bacon cheeseburger after a workout when a person is trying to lose weight.

There is no shortcut.

No one wants to hear the reality that there is no shortcut to losing weight in a healthy manner. It is a long process and requires patience. No amount of superfoods are going to cut a three month process down to two weeks. There is no magic shake that will cause the fat to simply melt off a person’s bones. Eliminating carbs from a diet might cause a nutritional deficiency, but it will not make weight loss speed up. Starvation diets and other extreme actions can certainly cause a visible change in a person’s appearance, but they wreak absolute havoc on a person’s body. People who try such shortcuts also tend to find that the pounds they worked so hard to lose begin to creep back up on them, and losing them is even harder the second time around. 

Weight loss is a process. Do not get impatient. Accept going in that it will take time to lose weight in a healthy manner. It will be far less painful to accept that it is a long process and be surprised by reaching a goal weight a few weeks early than to hope to lose a lot of weight very quickly and be discouraged when the fat trickles away slowly instead of falling off instantly.

Weight loss is a massive industry today. As such, there are certain uncomfortable facts and truths that people either deliberately ignore or seem to forget about when they become distracted by dramatic before and after pictures. Do not be fooled. Weight loss is not instant. It is not easy. It is also not the answer to all of life’s problems. Weight loss can be a health and confidence booster, but no one’s happiness is measured by the size of their waist. To pretend otherwise is either shallow or pitiable.