Is it better to lose weight or change your shape? A lot of people have a hard time focusing on both at once and wonder if one goal is better than the other. Here are a few things to consider.
Evidence suggest a 5 to 10 percent weight loss is enough to provide health benefits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In my experience, most people can lose 5 percent of their weight relatively easily, and then their progress slows down.
Size can change without weight loss. Following a diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains and veggies, and increasing exercise will help replace fat with muscle tissue. Muscle takes up less space than fat. So, your body becomes smaller, but not necessarily lighter.
Many people find this frustrating, since numbers are concrete measures of success. It’s easier to focus on the number on the scale than on other goals.
From my professional experience, adding in the goal of changing sizes should be the priority after 5 to 10 percent weight loss. Changing sizes helps motivate, keep weight off and makes incremental improvements in how a body functions.
If you don’t need to lose weight but want to be lean and toned, you might have to forget about the scale for awhile.
Speeding up your metabolism and changing your focus to exercise will encourage fat loss and help preserve muscle. Challenge the body with strength-training exercises, drink more water and eat a bit more – but that might slow down weight loss.
If losing weight and changing your size is your goal, remember that this process might involve some plateaus.
By incorporating muscle-building exercises, relaxation and interval training, the body will enjoy longer-lasting, more effective changes.
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