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You may need to gain weight in order to lose more fat.

Let me explain a bit more clearly.

My clients that are focused on losing body fat sometimes hit a brick wall. When that happens, I usually get asked to give my opinion. Usually I receive a request for my expert opinion and thoughts in the following manner:

“Hey! My scale hasn’t budged in the past 8 weeks? Whats up with that? Call yourself a personal trainer?”

In fact sometimes the client even weighs MORE (and then they are really freaking out)!!! This usually brings a big smile to my face. But not because they are moving backwards in their health. I smile because (given lifestyle and nutrition factors are on the mark) a gain in weight means my client is progressing even faster towards their goal. This inevitably creates confusion.

It is at this point I quickly ask the first key question:

“Your weight has not changed?”

The response can vary, but usually goes along the following lines:

“No, my weight has not changed. And I have been doing your stupid workouts and eating according to your stupid nutrition plan and my stupid scale says I am the same stupid weight! Dhhharrrrggghhh!”

At which point I ask the second key question:

“Have you lost any size in your pants/dress/waistline?”

The answer (if they are being honest with me and themselves) is “yes”. It is at this point my client begins to realize what has happened to their body is not a direct correlation to their weight.

Your scale has been lying to you the whole time.

Here is a deeper explanation:

At the start of any exercise program you will have an initial period where you gain muscle and lose body fat. It is scientifically proven that if you take pretty much anybody and make them do something when before there were doing nothing, they will change their composition and lose body fat and gain muscle.

Any trainer worth his/her salt can take someone and create change in the first 8 weeks. Past then is when the body starts to stabilize and things need to change. After this initial ‘honeymoon period’ the trainer must then adjust the program accordingly. The person will likely start to gain more muscle and lose less fat (comparatively and generally speaking).

After 8 weeks your body starts to gain more muscle but is not losing fat as fast.

This means that you will see your scale start to level out. But fear not, faithful exerciser. Your body is still changing, just not in the same way it was initially.

For the next 8 weeks your body can experience an increase in muscle without shedding a pound or gaining any size.

What does this mean? If you are a trainer it means you get lots of clients who have seen one too many late night infomercials and believe that weight loss is an easy process in which you just keep doing the same thing and your body keeps losing poundage until you look like Brangelina (well, I meanBrad or Angelina.. maybe not a combination.. that really would be unnatural!!).

Your body burns more fuel sitting around if it has more muscle

So throw away your scales! No longer must you stand in the bathroom on an early sunday morning cursing at the weight scale that confounds you so.

The goal pants know all

If you want to lose weight, you probably want this because you want to look better in your clothes/fit into smaller clothes. So pick out a pair of pants/a belt, and mark where it is now or how they feel now.

Then hide them for two weeks. Then put them on again. Smaller? A bit less snug? Give yourself a pat on the back and sneer heartily at the evil white square with the wavering needle that once held so much power, now reduced to an incidental measurement with minimal validity to your true goals (as opposed to its previous position of determining your reason for being).

This is your thigh on drugs… well, actually it is one thigh with more muscle, another that has less muscle and more fat – notice how they are relatively the same size?

If you were to weigh these two thighs, the muscular one would weigh more than the other more flabby one – which might make you think that the more muscular one was less healthyif you were looking purely at what the scale says, that is…

Your weight is less important than how you fit into your clothes. You cannot know what lies below the skin – you can know that if you weigh more and your clothes are looser – you have more muscle, and less fat.

If you have not been losing weight but are feeling stronger and healthier than ever, then keep going! Know that as long as you are continuing to eat healthier and move with more vigor, that you are on the right track, and that though your weight may stay steady, you will be fitting into those goal pants in no time.

Have you seen changes in your body due to your workout plan that your weight does not reflect?

Jamie Atlas

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