The trick to losing weight AND looking hot is making sure that the weight you lose is fat weight. Too many people lose muscle weight and fat weight at the same time. Sometimes people lose muscle weight and keep the fat weight - then they look "skinny fat", how does that sound?
When you lose muscle weight, you look gross. "Hey look!" you say as you jump on the scale, "I've lost WEIGHT!" You're so excited! And you still don't have abs. In fact, seems like no matter how much weight you lose, you never really look any hotter. Well maybe you look ok with your clothes on... but if you want to look hot naked, just loosing weight isn't going to be enough. You need to lose fat and hold on to some lean toned sexy muscle.
My job as a trainer in helping people lose "stubborn fat" is actually pretty easy. Most of the time people who come to me are burning muslce and holding on to fat. It's not that the fat is "stubborn", it's that they are burning muscle instead. They are losing weight, the wrong kind of weight.
The most obvious way to burn muscle is too much long slow cardio, and not enough protein and weight training. That's why marathon runners are always skinny fat. They are really skinny... but they aren't lean. Most of them tell me that the more they run the fatter they get. Not that they get any bigger, they've lost tons of weight... they just get fatter.
It's pretty simple - the body is smart. The body adapts primarily to survive. Being lean and sexy isn't top on it's list. It just wants to live. So lets say you run and run and run, and never lift weights. Your body is burning all these calories running... so what does it do? Well of course you lose weight. But where does that weight come from? Your muscles? WHAT! Why does it come from muscle and not fat? Simple, you aren't using your muscle, so your body gets rid of it. Hey, the fat it can use to live if you get stranded on a desert island. But the muscle... if you haven't used it in years, why would your body think you need it?
What about the runners who aren't even losing weight anymore, what's up with that? The body develops a mechanical efficiency to running. Which makes you a better running competitor. But it means you burn less and less calories doing the same activity. So you should change it up. Try swimming. Or rowing.
Sorry to pick on runners. Hey, I used to be a runner. I just go with what I see the most of. I could say the exact same thing about the people who spend an hour and a half on the eliptical machines every day. Or people who do super long biking. Anyone who does super long duration cardio, and no weight training at all.
By Josh Hillis
Author of How To Lose The Stubborn Seven Pounds: Take Your Body from Good to Rockstar.
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES)
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor (RKC) and Combat Applications Specialist (RKC/CAS)