“How much weight have you lost?”
If you’re on a weight loss diet, that is the question everyone want to know. They want a number!
I’ll give you a number: zero! And I feel great!
Eight weeks ago I started training for a half marathon (13.1 miles or two 10K’s). I haven’t really changed my diet, but I’ve been running 15 – 20 miles/week and I haven’t lost a single pound. Nothing, nada, zip, zero, niet.
But I went down a size in pants.
“Huh?” you ask? Here’s the answer: Fat is less dense than muscle. When you exchange fat for muscle, you will lose volume, but the weight remains the same. It’s just like having 1 pound (or kilo) of feathers and 1 pound (or kilo) of brick. You can hold the 1 pound of brick in your hand, whereas the 1 pound of feathers would fill a big bag.
Exchanging muscle for fat is s slow process. You can start to see the results in about 4 weeks. The exchange will continue as long as your calorie intake is less than your energy output and you continue to build and tone muscle with proper regular exercise. This includes aerobic exercise (walking, swimming, running, rowing, biking etc.) and strength training (lifting weights, sit-ups, push-ups etc.) You also have to make sure you get enough protein to conserve and build muscle mass. Average adults need 40-50 g/day (depending on your calorie intake). If you are trying to eat more plant-based foods, look to foods like beans, tofu, soy yogurt, tempeh, quinoa, and nuts.
Unfortunately, the gains you make will start to reverse starting at 2 weeks of inactivity. Thus the term “use it or lose it” (the “it” being fitness).
So if you’ve been eating right and exercising properly don’t look to the scale for validation…look in the mirror.
Good luck and stay well!