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Fat loss 101: Excuses.

Friday, January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
13
2012

Earlier this week I posted some basic, but important, information (“Fat loss 101: the scale is not nearly as important as you may think.“) aimed at people who are interested in losing fat the right way.

Is this you?

Is this you?

Today I’d like to expand on that information and talk about something that I see way too much of: excuses.

I see and hear absolutely terrible fat loss information over and over (especially in just about every mainstream media article I’ve ever read): the importance of a proper diet is glossed over, a disproportionate emphasis is placed on cardio and there’s little or no mention of weight training. Further, some articles I’ve read are geared towards “proving” that if you’re fat, it’s really not your fault; well, I maintain that 99.9% of the time that’s absolute bunk. If you’re fat it’s because your diet is poor, you eat too much and you don’t exercise enough (or at all). If you are happy being fat, then fine: own it. But if you are constantly saying things like, “I wish I could lose weight, but I just can’t because…” you’re just making excuses. Over the years I’ve seen countless endomorphs get absolutely ripped; they were able to do this because they stopped feeling sorry for themselves and made the appropriate adjustments to their diet and training.

There’s no question that ectomorphs naturally burn more calories than mesomorphs, and ectos and mesos both burn more calories than endomorphs. Your somatotype should not be used as an excuse for being fat. My wife, Lisa, is an ectomorph. Despite the fact that I have about 170 pounds of lean mass and Lisa only has somewhere around 90 pounds of lean mass, all other things being equal she can consume more calories than I can and not put on fat. The simple fact is Lisa’s metabolism is very fast, and that’s the genetic hand she was dealt. Lucky her. Clearly when it comes to maintaining a lean physique, ectomorphs have an easier time of it compared to endomorphs (I consider myself a mesomorph, BTW).

So let’s look a typical person who wants to lose “weight”, and doesn’t know much about fat loss. She probably walks a little, maybe even every day, she doesn’t lift weights and she starves herself. The weight starts to come off at first, then her progress stalls. At this point it’s not like she can cut her calories any more than she already has, the scale is no longer moving down and so she gets frustrated and returns to a “normal” diet. The problem is her starvation diet and failure to do any resistance training has resulted in muscle loss, and now her basal metabolism is even lower than it was before. The result? The fat comes back quickly, and then some.

The key to fat loss is PROPER DIET. If you’re not sure what a proper fat loss diet involves, there are some excellent resources on the JSF Forums here. Yep, you’ll have to read a bit, and your journey will definitely require you to come out of your comfort zone.

The second most important component of a proper fat loss program is RESISTANCE TRAINING. If you are in a caloric deficit and are not training with weights, you WILL lose muscle–fact. When you lose muscle you basically become a smaller version of your fat self (“skinny fat”) and your metabolism slows down. Not lifting weights is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Finally, there’s cardio. Don’t misunderstand, I think cardio exercise is excellent, and I absolutely recommend it. I’m simply saying that cardio is the least important aspect of fat loss, while many would have you believe it’s the most important. You can get absolutely shredded to the bone and never do a single second of formal cardio. I see people walking in my neighborhood day after day, and even after several years of this they are still terribly obese. I guarantee those people have poor diets and don’t train with weights.

Fat loss is not rocket science, but it does require hard work and dedication. I’ve never met one person who made a successful transformation and said the results were not worth the effort. The question is simple: are you going to make excuses, or are you going to make changes?

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This is the second in my new series of “Fat loss 101” articles. These articles are designed to help people who may be somewhat new to healthy fat loss, fitness and weight training, but I’ve also attempted to pepper the articles with solid motivational material that will (hopefully!) be useful to just about anyone who’s working towards a leaner, more muscular and healthier body.

You can check out my previous Fat Loss 101 article here:

The scale is not nearly as important as you may think.

John Stone Fitness Comments

9 Responses to “Fat loss 101: Excuses.”
  1. Excellent post. I would say though that for someone who doesn’t know even the basic information you are giving them, then they would probably have no idea what an ectomorph etc is, so you might lose them there.

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