How to Flatten Your Belly in 10 Days
How losing weight is making you fatter
Consider the received wisdom on weightloss and youll soon see that the numbers dont add up. TakeMHs: The Rock is, according to the NHSs preferred health measure, obese. Even the current Mr Universe, Lee Priest, with his doctor-worrying BMI of 35 well over the prescribed 18.5-25 bracket is, on paper, a few pies away from a mobility scooter. Although its probably not wise to mention that fact within reach of his 22in biceps.
Were not saying you should look to bodybuilders for weightloss advice. But as these scale-buckling colossi prove, unless your job is spent in the ring or on the back of a horse, your weight is actually irrelevant. The numbers on your scales mean as much to your goals as the size of your bones. Its a big fat lie. Traditional scales only abound because accurately measuring body fat is tricky. But precision isnt actually that important. So long as the numbers falling, you know your programmes working. Even if your weights heading up.
Youve heard personal trainers spout the cliché that muscle outweighs fat. Its a cliché because its true. Its also true that trying to affect one without impacting the other is like spinning weight plates. Weightloss plans target dense muscle mass over fat because it produces bigger results on the scale. At the end of your five-day cabbage cleanse, youre lighter, but your fat-to-muscle ratio has shifted the wrong way. When you need energy, your body takes it from wherever it can, even if that means eating up muscle. So dont boast about that 5kg you shed. Half of its probably your arms. Strictly speaking, youre fatter.
The skinny truth on the matter is that your weight is merely a measurement of your relationship with gravity; it encompasses everything inside you fat, bone, muscle, water, last nights takeaway curry. Any fluctuation in hydration, your hormonal state or how recently you ate shows up on the scales and gives you the wrong impression about your programmes efficacy. Most of the time, youre losing a combination of muscle and water. And you dont need me to tell you that shouldnt be your goal. What you might not realise, though, is that placing all your focus on weightloss isnt only a far cry from your body composition plans, but also a rather unhealthy journey on which to embark. Muscle mass is essential for a healthy metabolism and immune system, and having more is proven to extend your lifespan; plus water is water, for crying out loud.
Whats needed is a recalibration of your goals. Shift your attention from the scales to the mirror. Salad leaves and wheatgrass will bring your weight down, but they wont build the shoulder-to-waist ratio youre after. Thats only going to come from lifting weights and eating more protein. True, if youre packing a bit extra, youll still need to reduce your calorie intake. But if you want to make sure the bulk you lose is fat, not muscle, adjusting your balance of macronutrients is the smartest move. For a more efficient and altogether healthier foray into fat flux, put aside what you think you know about your body. Bin your scales and buy a tape measure instead: a healthy hip to waist ratio is the modern answer to the out-dated Body Mass Index (your waist should be narrower than your hips FYI). Follow these guides and consider fat loss a weight off your mind.
Your deals with the devil
1 MEASURE UP
Ditch the scales and swap for a bioelectrical impedance analyser: it measures your fat with an innocuous margin of error (£44.29, fishpond.co.uk).
2 SAVE YOUR MASS
Pre-workout BCAAs cut down catabolism, the use of muscle for energy. US research links a high-BCAA diet to lower body fat too. Chug 15mins prior.
3 DOUBLE DOSE
A study in the FASEB Journalfound those eating 1.6g of protein per kg of bodyweight each day cut twice as much body fat as men who stuck to RDAs.
4 WRAP IT ROUND
Track your thigh size too. Bigger legs boost arterial health and are a pathway to a faster metabolism. Muscley quads melts more kcals.
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