Why Do Some People Lose Weight Faster Than Others?
As a personal trainer, this is such an important subject I make sure I touch on with clients early on in their journey with me. The fact is that even with all the structure I give them, both nutritionally and exercise wise, and even with all knowledge I empower them with – I cannot tell them at what rate their body will change shape.
Let’s look into what factors affect weight loss and as well as getting results in general.
Our genetics are the one thing that are totally out of our control. We can all name at least one friend who eats for two people but never seems to gain weight. This is because from a weight loss point of view; they have won the genetic lottery.
The main weight regulator driver in our genetics is our metabolism. Some of us naturally burn through calories quicker, some of us are predisposed to being lean, and some of us naturally retain more muscle. I have had some clients who have lost weight easily when only in a slight calorie deficit and others who we have had to be more ruthless with regard to their calorie deficit.
Like the colour of your eyes and the height at which you stand, your metabolism is vastly based on your genetics. In the same way men tend to drop body fat easier than women, especially around the abdomen, women on average hold 10% more body fat than men, due to their child baring genetics.
We all have that one work colleague who is constantly trying fad diets and loves shouting across the office that they’ve ‘lost six pounds this week’. This can be disheartening and tempting to people who are trying to do it the right way… through a slight calorie deficit over a long period of time. Initially, this won’t show the ‘unbelievably’ impressive results on the scales as Julie – the fad dieter.
Remember, quick weight loss diets rely on drastically dropping calories way below an individual’s basal metabolic rate. The vast majority of the weight loss is water, glycogen depletion and even muscle mass. These diets are short lived due to the drastic drop in calories that consequently lead to a return to normal eating habits. Therefore resulting in all the ‘weight’ lost being put back on.
Fat loss is our priority. By taking our BMR into account and by staying in a slight calorie deficit over a long period of time you’ll achieve it. Always think like the tortoise not the hare, slow and steady wins the race.
The type of exercise you do will ultimately dictate ‘weight loss’. An individual using purely cardio alongside a calorie deficit will show more weight loss on the scales than someone lifting weights. But remind yourself that it is what you are made up of, i.e more muscle and less fat, that is important.
Lifting weights promotes a new weight in the form of healthy metabolic muscle. A purely cardio based exercise routine is often catabolic in the sense that it eats away at muscle mass.
This is such an important issue and is why you should never remove the foods you enjoy. Hopefully, you have been reading my blogs for long enough now to know that it’s all about being in a calorie deficit for weight loss, and not about removing ‘bad foods’.
You must find a routine both exercise wise and nutritionally that you can best adhere to. Consistency, not perfection, is what makes it a lifestyle change, therefore yielding actual results.
It is for this reason all my clients are pushed through a process of dealing with the bigger issues first. We calculate their calorie/protein numbers first and work via a structured weights based routine that’s in line with how many times a week they can train. Once these basics become a habit we evolve their journey to keep them progressing.
I’ll never forget when my client Nathan lost ten stone in a year. It made the local newspapers and I gained a great amount of custom from the articles. However, people then presumed I could help them lose weight at the same rate.
Nathan was morbidly obese having one of the highest BMIs I have ever come across. He had a tremendous amount of body fat to lose. Genetically his build was naturally thin which helped reach the overall results.
The point I’m making is, your starting point will never be the same as the next person. If you don’t have much weight to lose then you can’t expect weight loss at the same rate as someone who has a lot of weight to lose.
Stress is an often overlooked factor in weight loss. Modern humans are far more stressed than our ancestors. The reason for this? High-pressure jobs, financial worries and sleep deprivation, to name just a few reasons.
Nothing positive in relation to body composition happens when stressed. Our bodies are less willing to drop body fat and less willing to promote new metabolic muscle. I know it’s easier said than done, but reducing stress levels will aid you on your weight loss journey.
I know I’ve spoken heavily about weight loss in this article but it’s what we are made up of that is actually more important. Reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass should be everyone’s focus. Weight loss doesn’t take this into account, so don’t always judge weight lost as a marker of progress. How you look in the mirror should be how you judge progress.
Finally, realise the only thing out of your control is your genetics. It’s such a difficult subject for me to explain to clients who have this image that I can carve their dream body like a sculptor can with ice. When instead, assuming they are doing everything I ask, I can only work within the realms of their genetics.
If you’d like to become an online or gym floor client and remove all the doubt out of your fitness journey then visit the membership area on my website.
All the love,
Sam Jones Fitness