When it comes to weight loss it can be frustrating to find that the results vary from one person to the next no matter what plan you follow. Here, personal trainer and founder of The Odyssey Way, Dave Fletcher, explains why losing weight is about more than calories … it’s personal!
In this short article, I will attempt to lay down the ground rules with why your own progress of losing weight or changing your body shape is an individual journey and it is often a mistake to compare to anyone else’s. Surely if two people are eating the same foods and following the same programme in the gym, they will burn the same amount of fat? WRONG!
It all comes down to individual body type. The three main factors to consider when attempting to lose weight are:
1. Your genetic body type
Everybody fits into one of three main body types, which include: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. These three types look very different and all respond differently to exercise and healthy eating. It is important that you identify which one you are.
Usually tall and naturally slim. These body types are often good at long distance running, they can get away with eating bad food better than other types but will always struggle to build muscle or to change their actual body shape.
Examples include: Kate Moss and David Beckham
These types usually have more shape to them than ectomorphs. They usually make the best all round athletes and are most susceptible to change whether it be weight loss or re-shaping.
Examples include: Jessica Ennis and Daniel Craig
These types have the most shape and if not careful with their diet, will gain fat quickly. They generally have the least tolerance to carbohydrates but have the greatest potential to increase their strength.
Examples include: Jennifer Lopez and Russell Crow
2. Your hormonal profile
Your hormones play a vital role in keeping you alive and healthy. We produce different hormones from different organs, which play a balancing act every second of the day to keep us healthy. What you may not know is that they also directly relate to where you store your body fat!
So for example, if your body was producing too much insulin and cortisol due to a high sugar diet and poor sleep patterns, it is highly likely that you would find it very difficult to shift body fat from your tummy. Equally, an oestrogen imbalance contributes to body fat around the buttocks and legs.
This is one of the reasons why losing weight is so personal. Everyone is different which is why to lose weight and keep it off, it is vital that you have some idea which type you are and where your potential hormonal imbalances lie. These should be strongly considered when devising your nutrition plan and exercise programme.
3. Your metabolic rate
Your metabolic rate is the speed in which your body burns calories at rest. To achieve maximum results in the gym and in the kitchen, you need to make sure your body is burning the most amount of calories for you. If you know someone who slogs away on the treadmill everyday and sees very little n return, it is likely that their metabolic rate is very slow and their ability to burn fat has been impaired.
Other factors like eating the right foods, including some weight training in your programme and getting enough sleep all contribute towards a faster metabolic rate. Skipping meals, excessive cardiovascular exercise and a high carbohydrate diet are a sure fire way to SLOW down your metabolic rate making the process of healthy weight loss a seemingly impossible challenge.
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