Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Real Goal of Weight Loss (Part II)

The real goal of any weight loss program should be to lose as much body fat as you can and not simply weight on the scale. If you are judging the success of your program by simply using how much weight you've lost on the scale, then you are missing out on the health benefits that go along with having a body fat percentage within proper ranges (21-24% for women and 14-17% for men).

There are many ways that you can determine your body fat percentage, and some are more accurate than others. This site gives you all of the different methods that are currently used with a write up on the pros and cons of each one. Personally, I use digital calipers and the free body fat calculator at www.mybodycomp.com to determine my body fat percentage. Now, before you rush to the website, let me warn you that the webmaster(s) there has not been keeping the site up to date and many people have reported errors trying to sign up for a free account. I like this calculator because it's the only one I've come across on the web that you have to input approximately 12 measurements to determine your body fat %. So, if you are able to sign up for an account, make sure to have a measuring tape handy. I plan on getting my body fat % tested using Hydrodensitometry Weighing (Underwater Weighing) and DEXA before the year is out. Of course I'll report my results here.

(*Update: mybodycomp.com is no longer available. Use shapefit.com or fitday.com)

To maximize your body fat loss and minimize losing your lean body mass (i.e., muscle), you need to focus on muscle building exercises and following a diet that causes your body to use more of its stored fat than muscle.

Guys, what I've found to be the ticket as far as muscle building exercises go is to perform compound exercises, which work more than one muscle group at time, using free weights and following a simple workout routine. Unless you are considering participating in the sport of bodybuilding, I suggest you drop all of the isolation exercises like tricep pushdowns or lat pull-downs and replace them with dips and pull-ups. Real men do dips and pull-ups as far as I'm concerned . . .

Learning how to properly bench press, squat, military press, and deadlift will take you a long way to getting the body you've always wanted. Also, I would drop the 3 sets of 10 reps that we've been taught since high school in favor or less reps, more sets (depending on your goals), and using heavier weights. A great book to understand this concept is Pavel's Power to the People.

As far as diet is concerned, there is no better one to follow than a low-carb diet, and no, I'm not talking about Atkins's version either. I follow a paleo-style, low-carb diet, and eat whole foods, not the processed low-carb junk food that many LC diet plans promote. However, I'm not a zealot about following a low-carb lifestyle, nor do I think it is the only diet that someone needs to follow to get lean. In losing and gaining weight, calories count more than the composition of the diet; but, to optimize the weight loss process and to have the majority of your lost weight be body fat, going paleo/low-carb (no more than 100g of carbs daily) is the best way to go. To those who are truly interested in why this is the case, there are three books that I suggest you read:

Ultimate Diet Secrets (Lite Version) by Dr. Gregory Ellis
Neanderthin by Ray Audette
Fat Loss Bible by Anthony Colpo

These three authors have had the greatest impact on my understanding the process of attaining a lean and sculpted body. They all clearly practice what they preach and don't make excuses for it. They are considered controversial, arrogant, and eccentric by many, and I would tend to agree. But, I could care less about that because they all focus on getting results! And that's what my blog is all about--achieving and maintaining results.

Next week, I'll address the often debated issue of what's more important in losing weight, counting calories, carbs, or fat consumed.

8 comments:

DietKing2 said...

Dear Professor Kamdibe,
Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! I appreciate your thoughts and opinions regarding this subject matter; intelligent ones to boot!
This one is for you: this whole pendulum of varying opinion reminds me of one of my favorite poems (written, of course, by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost) 'The Road Not Taken'. Which approach to take? How do we take the right road? And is the road more traveled (popular diets, etc.) necessarily the correct and better one? Yeah, man!
BTW I grew up in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley--from one Southern California boy to another!
Jeez, I miss my Del Taco and Pup N Taco, man!!!

Mr. LowBodyFat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Bro, thanks for your comments and please call me Muata; I don't even have my students call me Professor anything. Ok, as far as what is the "right" path, I think that it's really up to what the person's ultimate goal is. All diet programs get people to eat less calories whether they realize it or not. We as a species love to be part of a tribe, hence we have so many diet plans that people follow with a religious zeal. This isn't going to change, and I fully accept this. You can lose weight on any of the main stream programs out there; whether it low-fat, low-carb or a "so-called" balanced diet. My goal is to optimize the process by losing more body fat and less LBM, so i follow a paleo-style low-carb diet and count calories to achieve this, but that's me. It's really up to you and what your goals are. Google the article, "An Introduction to Dieting" by Lyle McDonald for a further discussion about dieting that I've found really interesting and true. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for your comment and your blog bro.

Mission Preposterous said...

Muata, your performance is inspiring. Would you consider a post where you include a weeks worth of your menus (foods, quantities per meal and preparation methods)? I (and I assume others) would find it fascinating.

makingthebest said...

I love your site! I have the same feelings about how to lower body fat the smart way to reveal those abs... check me out sometimes...
http://www.makingthebest.com and feel free to leave a post!

Good luck with all you do!

Work Hard,
Ahmad Baari, C.P.T.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Mission preposterous: I think I'll post that in a week or two; however, I'm going to wait until I get my blood work done because I'll need to incorporate that into my post because of the way I eat; you'll see ;)

***

Ahmad: Thanks for the compliment bro. I checked out your site and will definitely be checking it out and posting there too. Thanks again for visiting my blog.

Shanay said...

Hi Muata
It's mother in-law! Yes me..I have to say that I'm really proud to have you as part of my family. I’ve been reading your blog for sometime now and I need to say that it's very inspiring thank you for sharing all of your hard work it awesome.

Mr. LowBodyFat said...

Awww shucks . . . thanks for your post Shanay (aka mi suegra) and welcoming me to the family! Don't worry, I'll be over this weekend to give you your training routine! Take care . . .