It's super surprisingly common for people to diet hard and end up skinny-fat instead of lean and hot. I thought these statistics from the National Academy of Sports Medicine Weight Loss Specialist Course were really wild:
from the NASM Weight Loss Specialist (WLS) Course:
Dieting alone can certainly result in weight loss, but it is safe to estimate that for every pound (0.45 kg) lost, 69% of the weight loss will originate from fat, while the remaining 31% will originate from lean mass (3).
Dieting coupled with cardio can also help clients lose weight; but again, for every pound lost, assume 78% will originate from fat and 22% from lean mass (3).
Resistance training, on the other hand, is an effective method not only to lose weight but also to preserve lean mass. With this modality, the loss of lean mass for every pound is only 3%, with the remaining 97% originating from fat (3).
3. Stiegler P, Cunliffe A. (2006). The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss. Sports Medicine. 2006;36(3): 239-263.
So to simplify all of that:
- If you just diet, you'll lose 2/3 fat and 1/3 muscle
- If you do diet + cardio, you'll lose 3/4 fat and 1/4 muscle
- If you strength train you can hold on to almost all of your muscle while you lose fat
Losing muscle sucks — not only because you won't look as hot even if you lose weight — but also because your metabolism is going to take a hit.
Simple solution — keep getting stronger.
If you make small changes to your food, and keep getting stronger, you're going to get leaner and hotter, you're going to amp up your metabolism, and you're going to feel kick ass.
Modern Women's Guide to Strength Training — Sale Ends Today
It has a lot of workout programming that I really, really, really believe in. It has some really great stuff that's very similar to what I learned during my Results Fitness Internship last summer (RF is arguably the best fat loss gym in the world, which is why I went). In other words, there are amazing workouts for any women who wants to get lean and strong.
It's amazing programming, and it's unlike anything I've written so far. I totaly recommend it.
Click here to get it: The Modern Women's Guide to Strength Training