How to Lose Fat Fast
Focus on Fat Loss, not on Weight
Today is the third day since I began tracking my body fat percentage. I started at 23.1% and as of today, I am 22.3%, which is a drop of .8, 8/10 of a percent. I have seen varying recommendations for rate of fat loss, ranging from 1 percent per month to 1 percent per week. I think that I am on track to do at least 1 percent this week. Why the focus on fat loss as opposed to weight loss? The reason is that I do not want to lose lean muscle for the sake of losing weight. My understanding is that for every pound of weight loss, it is possible that 25% of that pound will be from lean muscle. Since lean muscle is the engine of our body, gives us energy, that is not what we want to be losing. We want to gain muscle and lose fat. Every Sunday we see football players who weight quite a bit yet are very lean and muscular. Weight is not the issue here. The issue is to build muscle and reduce fat and the question is how to do that best with the hectic lives that most of us are faced with.
I am no longer focused on weight in pounds, I have just posted it as a reference point, as I myself am not used to being focused on body fat percentage. But now that we know that an athletic body fat percentage for a man is between 6 and 13% , and for a woman between 14 and 19%, we can create some goals. Mine as I mentioned earlier will be 10%. I imagine I might have been 10% when I was a teenager, who knows, it is not something I ever really tracked or was too aware of.
Since building muscle will help to reduce the percentage of bodyfat, I will concentrate more on weight training than on intense cardio. I am going to implement a 30min walk every day, that is something that all of us can do, whether it is to go catch a train, walk the dog, take a hike with your friends or family, I want to see if adding the 30minute walk will make much of a difference in the rate of fat loss.
I also want to add 30minutes of weight training, perhaps 3 days a week. This is not too much, perhaps it is something that I or anyone else can easily handle, a 30 minute walk and 30minutes of weight bearing exercise. The last 3 days, I have seen an 8/10 of a percent of body fat loss, assuming this weight watcher scale is accurate! What if I add to the real food meals, some real weight bearing exercises like walking, pushups, squats and deadlifts? How much of a fat percentage loss will that create?
Update: I tried out the regimen of a 30 minute walk and then 30 minutes of squats, one set of five reps every five minutes or so with 20 pushups in between squat sets.
I have been using myfitnesspal.com to track calories recently. I think it is pretty good and will do a review on it shortly. I did find a post which speaks about appropriate fat loss posted by Louie:
Question: I know it will probably be different for everyone, but I find it hard to set weekly goals for body fat percentage because I don’t know what an average body fat percentage loss in a week is supposed to look like. I’m a 30 year old female. Any input?
Set a fat reduction goal of about half a percent per week. Based on many years of testing clients in person with skinfold calipers, I’ve concluded that this is about average. This is an honest number that reflects not just the outliers in the top success stories, but an average of everyone. That’s what makes this figure a good realistic weekly goal
If your body fat measured 24.6 percent on day one of week one, then 24.1 percent would be your goal for the end of that seven-day period. That will be an impressive 6% drop in your body fat if you keep that up over 12 weeks.
If you’re more ambitious and you want to shed body fat even faster, it’s certainly possible, although it does depend on body size. Larger people can often lose larger amounts of weight and body fat. When someone is already lean and wants to get even leaner, there is less fat remaining so it becomes more difficult to lose large amounts every week.
Many people drop 0.6 percent or 0.7 percent body fat per week if they worked hard, usually doing multiple cardio sessions per week on top of their weight training, combined with excellent dietary compliance.
People can shed 0.8 to 1.0 percent body fat per week, but more often than not, those were temporary spikes in progress, reflecting one exceptionally good week.
If you lose less than a half a percent per week, as long as you made some forward progress, you should celebrate that as success. It’s more normal for results to vary from one week to the next than to drop the same amount every week, so an occasional slow week is nothing to get upset about. It’s just feedback.
After a below average week, to bring the rate of fat loss up to average or better for the next week, you’ll need to: (a) re-establish compliance if you had a bad week (get back on the wagon! … and start tracking food intake more meticulously if necessary) or (b) make adjustments to your nutrition and training to increase your caloric deficit and optimize body composition changes.
Last but not least, remember this: Above average results require above average effort. Extraordinary results require extraordinary effort. There are quick fixes for weight loss, but there are no quick fixes for fat loss.
I am looking to reduce just another 12% of fat. If I can do 1% per week, that will bring me down to 10% in 12 weeks. Is it possible? What is your body fat percentage? Have you ever gotten down to 10% or lower if you are a man or 15% for a woman?