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December 20, 2006

Why does it all take so long? It is SO VERY FRUSTRATING sometimes. I KNOW...I absolutely KNOW that I am losing weight. The scales say it...my changing pants sizes say it, people are finally starting to say it. Why does it take so long to really notice it?

Well, the easy answer is because you LIVE inside your skin. So you see yourself all the time. If you were to ignore your body for a week, then you'd notice a difference. Knowing this, you can go visit friends that you haven't seen in a week or two and let them notice the difference for you. Like one of my coworkers, Leonard. He took a week of vacation. When he came back, he noticed that I had lost weight while he had been gone.

The second reason, and I read this on a website sometime ago, is the paper towel theory. I wish I remembered where I read this from so I could give them props but it was years ago. Here is the deal...

Take a FULL roll of paper towels. Remove about 15 sheets from the roll. Now look at the roll. You won't see much of a difference.

Now take a roll of paper towels that is about 3/4th of the way used. Then remove the same 15 sheets from the roll. Can you see a difference? Damn straight you see a difference.

It's all about percentages. Both examples actually lose the same amount of sheets...but it is more noticeable on the smaller roll because the percentage of total roll is higher.

292 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 3.4% of his body weight
258 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 3.9% of his body weight
230 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 4.3% of his body weight

292 Robert will cry because no one will notice his weight change
258 Robert will be slightly encouraged at the couple people that notice his weight change
230 Robert will be snotty and flaunt his obvious weight lose in the faces of ANYONE that he comes in contact with




Now the last reason that weight loss is hard to notice is that there are different types of fat. The first type is intramuscular fat. Which is the fat in your muscles (duh). Check out this cut of meat. See all the fat? Yeah...some of OUR fat is like that...YUM...




Next you have nasty deposits of fat around your organs and in the abdomen known as visceral fat. This is probably the most dangerous type of fat as it is linked to heart disease. And even more disturbing than the intramuscular fat...

{Picture of Visceral fat removed to keep you from barfing on my blog}

Then you have the fat that everyone sees because it is just under the skin...subcutaneous fat.

Now here is the rub...you tend to lose them in order listed...

Intramuscular fat
Visceral fat
Subcutaneous fat

So when your diet plan first starts and your scales tell you that you are losing weight but you just CAN'T see it. You are probably still working on intramuscular fat. It takes FOREVER to get to the visceral fat. But be patient...it will come. And in the meantime you are repairing some of the damage you've done to your insides. Muscles will get stronger, your organs will function better...you will FEEL better. I'm telling you after dropping 34 pounds, I feel 5 years younger.

The point is 'buck up...just keep working your plan'. Weight loss is difficult and our bodies are designed to cleverly store fat all over the place. Try not to focus too much on if anyone notices or not. And the general rule of thumb is most people will not notice weight loss unless it is about 15% - 20% of your body weight.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post Robert. I didn't know you lost fat in that order, but it makes sense. Do you know in what order your body uses fat as energy? I am guessing in the very same order.

December 21, 2006 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Same order. :)

The body uses fat stores for energy....even if it is just exercising. That's why the idea of "I just need to tone up my abs" is such hogwash. Your body has an order in which it stores fat and an order in which it burns fat. You can't just 'tone up' a single part of your body. You can increase muscle mass in that area so it will show up better. But the fat itself will stay until your body is ready to burn it away. And even that happens in LAYERS...not in spots. But if you really want to get into the fat to engery exchange, check out this site....

http://www.hussmanfitness.org/html/TLEnergySystems.html

December 21, 2006 at 4:47 PM  

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