A lot of people who are overweight will turn to all kinds of extreme solutions to shed the pounds. It isn’t something we recommend, it never seems to work out long term, and if you want to know how to get the perfect body please keep this in mind. We revert back to old ways of eating in the end, as we have tried something that is simply not sustainable over the long term.
The best results when it comes to losing weight are to change the way you actually eat forever. Combine it with exercise and you can get a lean and toned body for men and women. You want:
- A new way of eating that you enjoy
- And that makes you feel happy
- And allows you to eat your favorite foods
- And is something you will not mind doing for the rest of your life
But the reality is that even for people who feel they are overweight, often it is not weight loss that should be the goal.
It Is Body Re-Composition
This is very much dependant on exactly how much weight you have to lose. Obviously if you are hundreds of pounds overweight then you need to approach it from a diet point of view, first and foremost.
But there comes a time when it is not just all about the numbers on the scales. When you do not have extreme amounts of weight to lose then often simply changing the make-up of your body is the best way to drastically change your appearance.
And this is what we mean by re-composition.
It means shifting a focus away from simply standing on the scales every morning (which is not good for anyone’s sanity!), and instead directing more energy into actually just changing what you look like naked. If you have read the free 3 part “Fastrack” series for newsletter subscribers, or bought the Lean Ape Living book, then you know that we place a lot of emphasis on not just diet, but on working out a few times a week as well.
It isn’t life-consuming, everyone can find an hour a week to change what they look like under the excess weight. And the fact is that for some this may be the best way to go, at least for a period of time.
Weight loss is relatively linear, you eat a sensible diet that you can enjoy, whilst still being in a calorie deficit, and you will continue to lose weight. But it is something that you do need to make a commitment to over the long term.
For those without too extreme an amount of weight to lose though the focus does not always have to be on losing actual bodyweight. The focus can turn to actually building some muscle onto the frame to change how you look, without even shedding a pound when you check in with the scales.
How Exercise Can Make You Look Like You Lost Weight
I have read a lot of things online that state that you cannot lose weight and build muscle at the same time.
I don’t believe it for a second.
We have used a variety of different eating methods to prove this wrong. Both me and Alexis lose weight whilst still adding muscle to our frames. But for periods of time it is actually quite refreshing to up the calories slightly, and get better gains in terms of muscular growth, from the exercise that we do.
And the result is that you then look a lot better in the mirror.
It is certainly possible to add muscle whilst losing weight, simply upping carbohydrate intake directly after a meal, along with a decent portion of protein, works amazingly well at developing muscle without adding fat. But upping calories overall, every day, seems to certainly give a better return on the results gained from exercise.
By eating more at a maintenance level, and overeating on workout days, you allow yourself a period of time where life can be just that little bit more luxurious. It means you can relax a little, stress even less about what you are eating, and forget about weight loss for a period of time.
It keeps the motivation high.
Women Won’t Look Like Bodybuilders
Many women freak out a little when we suggest that using resistance training is one of the best ways to actually transform what they look like. They feel like it is going to result in bulging biceps and huge muscles.
Ain’t gonna happen.
The same rules apply to men and women.
Take a look at this lady performing Trap Bar Deadlifts, one of our favorite exercise, with 155 lbs. Not exactly bulging is she? No, just strong and healthy with good muscle “tone”.
In reality there is no such thing as toning a muscle. You either perform exercise in a way that makes a muscle get bigger, or you don’t.
You can’t just tone it.
By using resistance training of one form or another you will simply be, and give the appearance of being more athletic. Women that weight train very seriously often merely look very fit and lean. With strong muscles that make them look amazing. The reality is that most men and women are hardgainers when it comes to building really large muscles.
Men are able to add more muscle to their frame, but it is still not an overnight change. It takes time and dedication over the long term.
That being said, even a program where you switch from focusing on a calorie deficit to maintenance for a period of time may be just what you need to break through a plateau. Or just to add something different to your life. You SHOULD aim to build some muscle a few times a week anyway. But if you are not getting the results that you are looking for, it terms of how your body is looking, then eating more will give you an extra boost.
And allow you to really begin to transform how you look naked.
Muscle Is What Makes Slim People Look Good.
We don’t want to be skin and bones. We need good muscular development to actually look healthy.
So what can we do?
Follow a simple workout schedule that allows you to add weight to the bar, or add reps to your exercise, such as chin-ups, push-ups, dips etc whilst still eating well, but closer to maintenance, even if you want to lose weight. The result may surprise you.
The scale will tell one story but the mirror will tell another.
You will be replacing fat with muscle, and we all know which one looks better right?
- You will begin to see contours appearing where you were smooth before
- The extra muscle will actually burn extra calories. Meaning you will lose weight in the future without actually eating less
- You get a break from being as strict with food, which over the long term is an excellent motivator
- You develop extra strength and muscle size as you can train harder
- Mixing it up just feels good, right?
Don’t Be Dogmatic
So many programs are totally dogmatic with no room for thinking a little outside of the box.
Getting involved in things like this is just a path to quitting. And we want everyone that comes here to succeed long term, and transform how they look.
The scales is just one part of the whole picture. The mirror is a lot more important.
Obviously if you overeat but train well then you will gain weight, or muscle and weight, more precisely, if you are serious about your exercise. But if you eat at maintenance levels, and put that little extra bit of effort into your training for a period of time then you will reap nothing but great rewards.
You will progress faster in terms of gaining strength, and looking more “toned”. And the extra muscle added to your frame will also help to burn more fat in the future, without you having to even try to lose weight.
Other Funny Side Effects
Sometimes when you go back to maintenance after dieting down for a period of time you actually begin to lose weight more easily.
Don’t take this as an excuse to not stick to your new way of life long term. A calorie deficit is still the best way to lose weight over the long term. But if you have been dieting for a decent period of time then switching to maintenance seems to actually allow your body to reset. Upping food intake sets your body back to expecting more food to maintain itself, especially if you are making demands on the system by performing a few workouts a week of half an hour or so.
Then when you get back to dieting seriously again, to really show off the new improved you underneath the slightly excess weight , the effects can be transformational.
Each of us is different, and certainly reacts differently to foods and exercises. But never forget that it is the mirror that is in charge, not the scales.
Try thinking more about changing your appearance then changing numbers on the scales. And this means replacing fat with muscle. Take periods of time where you focus more on one than the other.
Not only is it healthy for your body, as you refuel it better and allow it to get fitter by putting more effort into your training. But it is great for the mind and spirit too.
Getting stuck in a rut is no good for anyone. So now and then try to mix things up a little and change focus. If for no other reason than to ensure that, long term, you stick to a new way of living.
One that involves ditching foods that have a negative effect on the body. And are involved in exercising to keep your body in fine shape, and to allow you to a live a longer and more fruitful life.