At Biltmore Restorative Medicine, we often hear our patients complain about their struggle with weight loss. But Dr. Ibrahim encourages them to focus on losing fat and not to worry about losing weight. The scale helps measure weight, but the scale can’t tell us if we are losing fat, vital water, bone, or muscle mass. So it makes a difference to focus on what you’re losing!
Thanks to cultural concepts surrounding weight loss in our country, this is a concept men seem to get more easily than women. Men’s weight loss programs tend to focus on building muscle in the gym which also helps to decrease fat. Women’s weight loss programs, however, tend to focus on cardio workouts which make it tougher to burn fat effectively. One of the best patient comments Dr. Ibrahim has ever received is from a male patient, who was also a physician and a big gym rat. He said, “George, this is fantastic! I weigh the most I have ever weighed but my body fat percentage is the lowest it has ever been!” The guy was pure muscle!
Muscle sinks and fat floats, right? So, suppose you put a pot of stew on a scale and skim off all of the fat, but then drop in some more meat. What do you get? Heavier stew! You may see the scale go up, but Is that bad? No! There isn’t any fat in there, just water and muscle. The same concept is true for our bodies.
A pound of muscle is far smaller in volume than a pound of fat. They weigh the same, but would you rather weigh less and be all fat? Think about it, a blob of fat will float while a smidgen of muscle will sink! You could weigh less but still not look the way you want. Instead, if you focus on getting lean and losing fat, you may weigh more, but you’ll be much happier with your appearance. And you’ll be stronger!
Many trainers have signs in their studios that read, “If you aren’t gaining weight before you start losing fat, you aren’t working hard enough!” What does that mean? It means that you need to lose fat by gaining muscle. Don’t be one of those people that only measure success by the numbers on a scale. With proper nutrition, exercise, and the addition of necessary hormones, you can lose fat, add muscle, and toss out the scale!
The truth is, many factors contribute to our inability to gain muscle and lose fat. Most often, hormone imbalances are to blame. That’s why it’s incredibly helpful to work with a specialist like Dr. Ibrahim that can personalize your treatment. You’ll have the ability to discover exactly what your body needs to make changes and see the results you want. Don’t waste time trying all of the diet and exercise fads that come and go.