weight loss vs fat loss

Posted on December 5, 2011. Filed under: Bodentity | Tags: , , , , |

from my email:

Good morning ********,


We have reviewed the announcement and have made some changes. Please review it and let us know your thoughts. Thanks!


I work in corporate fitness now.  I used to work in commercial fitness in a big-box gym chain. But you can only do that for so long without becoming completely jaded.  Now I work in the world of emails, faxes, and meetings about what we talked about during the last meeting.  It’s much more stable, though the repetition outside that of taking care of clients, can grate occaisionally.


Part of this work is putting out presentations.  And before we can advertise something we have to get approval from our company contact.  This is usually a simple thing of making sure our choice of words or images doesn’t offend anyone.  Which I completely understand.  The other day tough a funny thing happened.


I have recently started offering a free presentation called Fat Loss Fundamentals.  I submitted the flyer to my contact.  They made the usual revisions to make it look better (marketing/flyer aesthetics is not my strong suit).  But they also changed my title from fat loss, to weight loss.


I sent a response explaining why I felt this change was not the best idea.  And it struck me if there is one thing I would like to see abolished in my industry.  It is the overt focus on weight loss that people tend to have.


Dramatic weight loss in itself is not healthy.  In fact, I would go as far as to say the numbers on the scale are irrelevant for most in terms of health.  Really, think about it.  If you went to the doctor and every other health marker was good. Blood, HR, blood pressure, breathing, all fine.  But your weight was off, would they care?

Flip that over and have any one of those health markers off, and your weight is fine.  The first thing they would do, is start telling you what medications you now have to start taking.


A lot of issues people have with their bodies connects to a number which they themselves don’t even know why they care about.  Yet it’s getting reinforced generation after generation.

One of the benefits I gained from my time in wrestling is watching athletes cut weight.  You only have to see this a few times to understand that 1) Fast weight loss is insane, and 2) weight loss is not fat loss.


So often when I get a client it’s so important to get that view across to them.  And it takes time.   So often peopel focus in on some magic number which either can not be obtained or  maintained for any period of time.  Guys are getting it to0!


I’m all for equality but having guys walk in to the gym just to see what they weigh, when they are not training for a match, is ridiculous.  And the common references for those six pack abs gets even more ridiculous.

“I want to look like Brad Pitt in fight club.”


Every time you say this Jack LaLanne rolls in his grave, and an angel wing loses a feather.

Fun fact:  Brad Pitt is just shy of 6 feet tall, and in the movie ‘Fight Club’ weighed about 160-165lb.  Which may be fine for the traditional BMI, but is not a good look to shoot for if you don’t have the genetics for it.  In fact focusing on getting down to that magic weight number could be downright dangerous


So forget the scale.  Focus on health, enjoyment, life.  Having a flat stomach, corresponding to a healthy strong body is important.  Having “ripped” fight club abs is not.

Jack Lalanne

The scale is irrelevant.  I will say this again.  The scale is irrelevant.

Not because weight has no factor on health.  Because 9 times out of 10 whatever number you see on that scale is going to disappoint you.  Just the thought alone of steeping on a scale is stressful enough to most people


If you really want something to track, look at your waist-to-hip ratio.  This goes for men and women.  I do not believe in absolutes, but this is as good as I have found, for self tracking of progress in a health regimen.


I do hope my corp contact understands and allows me to keep the name on the advertisement.


And I hope those reading understand as well and really examine how they are measuring their own progress.  Fitness should be fun, it should be groovy.  Fat loss is challenging enough as a process.  It only gets harder if you add un-needed stress on top of it.




Keep fitness groovy,

Coach W


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2 Responses to “weight loss vs fat loss”

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This is a brilliant and very passionate post!

To be honest I would go even one step further in the weight-loss v fat loss debate to say that we should think in more positive terms and look at muscle gain which will naturally shed excess fat.

I also agree fitness should be fun which is why I posted this article a little while ago. http://fridaysfivecents.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/exercise-chore-vs-fun/

Would love you to take a look and let me know what you think.


Thanks I really do love this industry. I just want it to be respected the same as any other health profession. I’ll be sure to check out your post.

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