I’ve spent the last four years of my life learning all I can about health and fitness and tracking down photos of cats that look like Ron Swanson. If I had a time machine, these would be the things I would have told myself at the beginning of my journey:
1. Calorie counting promotes obsessive behavior.
Sure, calorie counting can help you get a better picture of how much you’re eating and if you’re snacking on junk food when you’re not hungry, but you shouldn’t do it regularly.
2. Weight loss isn’t necessarily the same thing as fat loss.
You may be thrilled when the numbers go down on the scale, but the scale is unreliable. What you weigh depends on a number of factors, including the breakfast that’s digesting in your stomach, the salt content in your body, the amount of water you’ve drank that day, among other things. When the scale decreases, it could be just a fluctuation in those variable. Or, if you’re not doing enough strength training, you could be losing valuable muscle mass, which leads to a slowdown of your metabolism and fat gain in the long run.
But when you get rid of fat and replace it with muscle, you may not gain or lose any weight, but you’ll be slimmer since a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. More on this subject here. [Read more…]