My partner and friend have been working hours on a side project to create a story to help people understand why they aren’t losing weight and to not lose hope. They mapped out a hypothetical scenario of what happens when you do start the process of your “weight loss journey”. We came up with an idea or product and sought whether this would resonate with the market. It was called Googabod. An app that uses computer vision to calculate how much body fat you were so you can accurately track how you’re doing and to accurately know whether what you’re doing with your training and nutrition is affecting you negative or positively. If you didn’t know, even if you are not losing weight on the scale you could actually be losing body fat and increasing muscle mass, which would indicate that you are on track! See below and follow this hilarious storyline a talented designer Tony Yoo created.
In this post I’ll lay out what the vicious cycle is that almost everyone falls into when their goals are to lose weight. We thought about the issues, problems, and researched over hundreds of posts and discovered people had issues of losing hope to soon based on what they perceive as “failed” attempts.
What is the vicious cycle? If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and either failed or have not been able to maintain your body shape and snapped back to the pounds you lost you damn well know it.
It’s day 1 again of your “fit” or “healthy” or “weight loss” journey. You prepare your gym clothes, gather your gym shoes, and don’t forget your earphones and phone. Got your gym music playlist readily accessible. You’re pumped to feel good and visualize your lean and toned body. Your workout plan was preconceived from Health and Fitness media you’ve digested over the years and you’re SO sure you will see results!
A day, two, or one week later…
Feeling great and knowing how hard you’ve been going at it- it’s finally time to see the moment of truth! You get on the scale.. WAIT.. those numbers you see make your heart sink unequivocally beneath your feet into the shallow depths of hopelessness. You feel torn, lost, and frustrated why all your hard work is not paying off. After all, your influencers remind you of the colloquial phrase “hard work pays off!”
Though, you are determined, you know you just have to put in more effort and the results will show! Week 2 comes, and still, no bueno. Maybe week 3 comes(if you are stubborn enough) you may instead see that last right digit increase or decrease a notch or two. Not enough to invigorate any ecstatic sensations nor motivation to keep with the routine. That feeling you had the first time feels substantially worse by 2-3x more or less. At this point, you believe you’ve tried your best and have lost the self-esteem, drive, and hope over what seems to be an unreachable goal. Your trips to the gym fizzle and prior determination frays away into disheartened remnants of foregone aspirations.
Here above we have a beautiful and realistic meme comic to illustrate this.
As a personal trainer, this is the common vicious cycle that occurs in the hundreds I’ve not only trained but see people around me who experience this including myself once upon a time. In my lifetime, I have deduced this is the ultimate reason why those who attempt do not succeed over the long term. Mainly because we want everything now, results to come overnight, but the truth is that’s not the reality of fat loss. The moment you come to accept that fat loss is a process and takes time with proper nutrition and exercise consistency is the pivotal moment you will realize losing weight really is not hard if you keep to it.
What is happening…
First off, let’s clarify “weight loss”. I am presuming those who want to lose weight are primarily meaning “fat loss”. Weight loss and fat loss are distinctly different. Your weight on the scale is comprised of your fat weight and your lean weight(everything that’s not fat mass- i.e. water, muscle, bone). If you wanted to simply lose 20 lbs, we could chop of your arm. You’re all set…!
“weight on the scale is comprised of your fat weight and your lean weight”
.. Yes, we know that’s not going to happen, so the mindset you must first ingrain in your goals are to LOSE FAT and ideally preserve lean weight and ACTIVATE muscle to grow. (There is a science to this which we can share in future and other posts)
The PIVOTAL moment you step on the scale as a measure of the success for your weight loss within the first few weeks when your body could be the result of anything from the list below is the moment you have set yourself up for failure.
Needless to say, the scale lacks the capability to measure this. Your progress could be very well happening beneath your eyes yet you are so fixated on the scale, your sight of progress is skewed. Here are a number of reasons the scale could be falsifying the real results you want to see:
Body Re-Composition- Your body is actually BUILDING muscle and LOSING fat yet your weight won’t budge. Muscle is denser and less voluminous than fat. Don’t believe me, see for yourself.
Water weight- Your body may be retaining water from foods you have consumed. Learn about it here.
Eating too many calories, poor quality food, nor proper nutrients- You are simply not consuming proper nutrition needs for your fat loss goals. Eating more food(energy) than your body is using day to day. This is explained through the law of thermodynamics.
Fat becomes the hero in how you determine your success and how it’s your basis of how you will conquer the fat loss demons.
HOW do you succeed with… measuring body fat?
Measure and calculate your body fat percentage to understand where and when you START, how you PROGRESS, and where you see SUCCESS. By measuring body fat, and understanding your body composition, you have now locked down and can confidently track whether your efforts have been well spent. Whether you’ve tried cardio or cross fit, weight lifting, one week to the next, you will be able to effectively measure how well you do.
There you have it! You have just consumed one of the most significant pieces of knowledge that will indefinitely be your helper in achieving your goals at whatever stage you are in any “fat loss” journey in life. You can now go from looking like *sad meme* to *happy meme* and ending the viscous cycle for good!
With this knowledge in hand, there’s no excuse to start taking the time to invest in facts about effective ways to bring down your fat loss to a healthy body fat percentage. Do it for health! Health is wealth. Health is life. Start measuring success with the goal of fat loss in mind and maintaining or building muscle.
What do you think? Would you like an app like GoogaBod to help you measure progress?