I got asked this yesterday (it’s one we get asked quite a lot), and it’s a valid question. When we want to lose body fat, we know what we’re aiming for, which is less body fat, but how much should we lose and how do we know when we’re there?
First up, disclaimer – this post is not for anyone set on competing in bodybuilding/fitness competitions where there are set parameters for body fat. This is for normal people.
Many of us will set a target weight, which comes from old school dieting, and both of these are wrong, wrong, wrong!
Diets work by restricting what you eat (making you miserable) and focusing on your body weight. They only hit one side of the energy equation – the input. They ignore the output side, movement and totally ignore the most important aspect of transformation (because that’s what wanting to look and/or feel different is folks!), namely mindset.
Mindset is key to our approach and why we have such success, but that’s a post for another time. What we’re focusing on here is the physical result and knowing when you’re there.
If you’re doing it properly you’ll know weight is out the window because you’re reducing body fat and adding muscle (increasing your calorie burn as it’s metabolically active). Muscle is denser than fat so you can look and feel a whole lot better than your starting point but be the same weight or even heavier.
The place where you want to stop and maintain is the place we call the happiness window…
Basically it’s the point where you’re happy with how you’re feeling and what you’re seeing in the mirror and you can maintain it whilst still enjoying life. So eating healthily the majority of the time, having blowouts/drinks etc but knowing how to compensate diet and training wise – and a level of training that feels good.
Why happiness window?
A lot of people convince themselves they need lower body fat, so they train harder, they restrict more – maybe they get there, maybe they don’t, but they end up miserable even when they look in the mirror… I know, I’ve been there. I looked great but it was a lonely and depressing place.
So, go by the fit of your favourite clothes, your energy levels, your positivity, loving what you see in the mirror, and the joy in your life. This is exactly what we deliver for our clients.
If you’d like to learn more then Claire and I are running a Friday Cocktail Hour talk tomorrow at 4pm UK time. It’s totally free, we’ll be focussing on habits and happiness for mid-lifers. Why not grab a wine, a water, a cocktail and join us?