Dropping the Fat Episode #5 Transcript: How to best measure your weight loss on a low carb diet. Finding something to encourage you to success as you loss weight. Low carb recipes verses diabetic recipes.
How to measure your body to see your progress
Get encouraged by finding a good reason to go ono
Can diabetes sufferers use low carb?
Hello, and welcome to the programme that helps you to lose more fat in no time flat!
In this programme we have a good look at how properly measuring your progress on a weight-loss diet can be the difference between success and failure. Our Burning Question tackles the thorny subject of controlled carb diets and diabetes; and we look at a very unusual click that if you follow it can change the way that you look at your life. All that, and more to come, in this edition of Dropping the Fat.
The best way to measure your low carb weight loss Progress
Just what is the best way to measure your weight-loss progress? Nowadays, it seems to me that people want instant gratification, they want everything to happen straight away; and for some that means they want instant weight-loss too. Well, no matter what the adverts tell you, that is never going to happen. Dropping the fat from your body is not something that will, or should ever be, instant. Think about it for just a moment. If you took time to gain weight, then it’s going to take you time to lose that weight as well. Which brings us onto the first of our ground rules, and this is one of the most important distinctions we can make. Simply that 99% of us diet not to lose excess weight, as in truth we are dieting to lose excess fat. It’s a very important and fundamental distinction, and if you can’t accept it for what it is, then you’re always going to find getting your ideal body very difficult indeed.
Never forget, you don’t want to lose weight, you want to lose excess blubber, grease, wobbly bits or more specifically, FAT.
Another important thing to remember at all times is the scales are not your friend. They are no more accurate at measuring your fat loss than say your horoscope is about your day to day finances. So, if the scales aren’t going to give us a reliable measure of our move towards getting fit, just how can we accurately measure our progress? Well, before I answer that one, one thing we need to understand is why the scales aren’t good at measuring fat loss. It’s simply because there is a big difference between the density of fat and muscle. A litre of fat weighs about 920g, whereas a litre of muscle is heavier, weighing about 1,060g. That makes muscle about 15% heavier than fat. Knowing that, any fat loss programme of any worth will encourage you to get more active. If the one you’re on does not do that, then change it for one that does – P.D.Q.
There are two main reasons for my saying that, the first is that getting more active is going to help you speed up your metabolism which in simple terms means that you’ll burn fat more quickly, especially if you’re on a low carb plan. The second is related, because if you increase your activity level you must increase the amount of muscle you have to match it. Remember, we use up energy in our muscles, therefore the bigger the muscles the more energy they need, and therefore the greater benefit we get in fat loss.
It follows then, that if we are following a proper diet, while at the same time increasing our activity levels, we’ll be losing fat but at the same time building muscle. Generally, and especially in the early stages of a well-designed fitness plan, fat-loss is faster than muscle is built up. But as you progress this ratio can change drastically. So, if you’re relying on monitoring your weight to see how you’re getting on, you could very easily get disappointed, as at some point, it could look like your fat loss is slowing down – even though it’s not!
It’s simply that the weight you used to struggle to cart around as fat has been replaced by muscle that’s now carrying you around with more grace and less effort. But of course, the scales won’t know that the weight they’re measuring is now made of better stuff – they’ll think it’s still as it was before.
The second ground rule is one on how to start any diet properly, and if you haven’t done this, please do it today. Anyone who’s joined my personal coaching programme will know just how much I stress the importance of the next thing we are going to cover – simply because it is so effective. When you begin any diet, and particularly a low carb diet, you should record the following:
Your weight – preferably first thing in the morning before you eat; and also the following body measurements: your waist; your chest; both upper arms at the largest part; both thighs at the largest part; both calves at the largest part, and around your neck. I’ll show you why in a minute. If you can, it’s also a good idea to get your body volume measured. Now you can get this done professionally at a health centre or a gym that has the equipment for the purpose, or if you don’t want the hassle or the expense of that, here’s another way that’s cheaper. Choose a pair of pants and a top that are a bit tight, or better still one or two sizes too small, and try to put them on. Note how far up and on you can get them, and maybe take a photo of yourself with them on as well. Now I promise you might think you’re ridiculous, but you’ll come to love those early photos, because as new ones come along, you’ll be able to compare them and marvel at how well you’re doing! Keep the clothes together on a hangar, say, as you will need them later on.
Now you do these measurements and put the clothes on on the day you start your diet and then only every seven days after – you weigh, you measure and try on the clothes. It is important you make a note of all the weights and measurements and just how far you can get the clothes on. Don’t forget to take the photo. You can record these in your diary if you keep one, in the columns on a sheet of paper, or for the ‘techy’ types you could open up a spreadsheet say, just for this. However you do it, it’s up to you, but it is important that you do keep a good record.
Now after you’ve been doing this once a week for, say, five weeks or so, you’ll notice that each week different measurements change at different rates. Some weeks, everything will seem to be going down fast; other weeks your weight might drop a bit, but your waist say may have hardly moved. You get the picture, I’m sure. The thing is that by monitoring how a dozen or so different things are progressing, you will always have some areas of progress to show for your efforts in making you a better you. Even if the weight doesn’t go down every week, the clothes on the hangar will fit better and better each time you try them on. But the serious point here is that if people rely just on measuring weight to gauge how well they are doing, at some point the weight-loss will slow down, might even stop. It may even go UP a bit. In that case, it would only be natural for them to be disappointed. The truth is that some people do get disappointed and that disappointment has caused them to quit the diet; when in fact if they had used other methods to measure their success they would have been encouraged to stick with it.
That’s it. Now, this edition of Healthy Clicks.
Healthy Clicks – How to get and stay encouraged
Dieting is not only about losing fat. The underlying reason we diet is so that we can feel good about ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, in fact on every level. This desire can come from all manner of things, whether it’s about simply staying alive (after all, many people have found having a heart attack gives them a good reason to get in shape); or say wanting to get and stay healthy to give support to those we love. So this week I’m not going to give you a website to look at – that would be like giving you a fish. Instead, I want to encourage you to go and learn how to fish by clicking on the things you may already have on your computer or you can easily find.
It’s all down to your reasons. If you’re getting fit because, say, you want to be able to run around the park with the grandchildren, why not put a picture of them on top of your, on your desktop? Maybe you just decided that you could not stand being fat any longer and decided you wanted a change. Why not put a picture of how you want to be in a place where you can see if every day? Whatever your reasons are, get something – a photo, a drawing – just anything that will remind you of why you are getting fit, and put it somewhere where you can’t help but see it.
And if you have lots of reasons, say, then count yourself lucky, and make a personalised collage of all the things that motivate you. Well actually there is a click, at the end of all this. If you think the things that motivate you could motivate others, why not click on your email programme and send me a note about it? What I’ll do is I’ll post the ones that have the most effect on us here at Dropping the Fat as an encouragement to you and to everybody else. Send that email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (it’s on the little sign above my head), and don’t forget, if you know a good website that you think we should feature, also drop me a line at email@example.com – that’s also just above my head!
As an incentive, if we use something you’ve sent in on the programme, I’ll give you six months free access to lowcarbmonthly.com. That’s a great resource for you as well.
Burning Question – Low carb for diabetes sufferers
Moving on to this edition of your Burning Question. Now Michael from Trentwell has asked: “I’ve noticed that a lot of the recipes for folk with diabetes are low in carbs. Does that mean that a low carb diet can help diabetics?”
Well, the short answer to that Michael is Yes, it can. In fact, as I have said in a previous programme, many of the situations faced by diabetes sufferers are similar to those faced by low carbers with regards to food. We both want to control our blood sugar levels, and we both know that eating food with a high carb content can mess that up. It’s therefore vital that both low carbers and diabetes sufferers continue on a low carb regime, although those in the diabetes camp prefer to use the term “low glycemic index”. Whatever you choose to call them, from most food groups, the effect on the body is much the same. However, there is one difference. Most diabetes sufferers will consume far higher levels of carbs than would most low carbers, who are following a well-constructed low carb diet. The bottom line is this: in the main, people who have a problem with diabetes will find a low carb diet is just the thing for them, particularly if they are having a problem with excess fat, as they can still eat well on foods that are not alien to them. Many diabetes sufferers who have embraced a controlled carb regime have not only got their fat under control, they’ve also found their condition improving as well. So, well done, Michael, for asking your question. You of course win six months free access to lowcarbmonthly.com where we answer many more questions on diabetes and many other things as well.
Well that’s all for this time. In the next programme we’ll be looking at dealing with hunger; our Healthy Click will surprise you in more ways than one; and we’ll have a real scorcher of a Burning Question over low-carb bread. All that, and more, from the show that helps you to drop more fat in no time flat!
This is Mark Moxom wishing you the very best until next time on Dropping the Fat.