Q&A

Question: How can I get rid of my fat?

Answer: This is one of the major goals of pretty much everyone walking through San Jose Barbell.

In fact, this is the probably the number one goal of every person who ever started a fitness or workout program. 

Rather than give you some BS, I want you to understand WHY the body stores fat and what conditions cause it to LOSE the fat.

Let's first get this clear: there is no PERMANENT FAT LOSS SOLUTION. There is nothing that you can do for 7 days or 60 days or 4 weeks that will get rid of fat forever. If you are looking for something like that, you will lose. It is a forever program. 

Alright, if you have read this far, you at least understand that staying toned and lean is something that requires you to work for the rest of your life. 

First of all, why does your body store fat in the first place?

  • The body's main goal is survival. It doesn't care you want to look good for Vegas. Seriously.
  • It is programmed to store extra food (calories aka energy) as fat tissue on your body.
    • In case of a food shortage, it will be able to use the fat on your body to survive.
  • The less you move, the less food (calories aka energy) you need to survive. Anything over that will be stored as fat. 
  • Less movement + extra food = fat storage

If you can understand this basic equation, you can understand the major keys for fat loss.

Next, lets talk about what will signal your body to burn the fat off of your body.

  • Muscle is the thing that moves you. It contracts and relaxes to give you movement through your body.
    • It is also the biggest user of food (calories aka energy).
    • This means that the more of it you have, the more food (calories aka energy) you will be using up.
  • Build muscle and you will have a much easier time burning fat. 
    • Muscle is built only if it is required for survival. 
    • Since you are not swinging from trees, sprinting from tigers, or hunting food, you have to give it a reason to build muscle
    • That reason is lifting weights. Your body basically says "OMG, I need to get stronger because that was really hard. Let's build muscle."
    • As a byproduct, you'll begin to burn more fat.

Hopefully you understand that long term, sustainable, healthy fat loss is dependent on how much muscle you carry. It is in your best interest to lift weights in a safe manner so that you can build muscle.

Then you have more fat burning machinery. 

This is why someone who has muscle can get away with a lot more things (such as eating some cake). They simply require more calories. And any activity they do will burn more calories.

Meanwhile, cardio-esque styles of fat loss seem to lead to results that aren't as long lasting. Also, some people do so much cardio that they're body can't recover from it and it stops burning fat period. 

So maybe you agree with this. You get that you need to build more muscle. That means you need to do strength training and do it safely.

Here is my advice: please be patient. Building muscle is very slow process. It varies from person to person but if you do everything perfectly, you may be able to build about 1-2 lbs of muscle a month. And a lot of times, you will not be able to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. They are two separate goals that have to be attacked separately. 

That being said, it is always advisable to first get lean as possible before beginning to build muscle. 

The biggest obstacle for you on your journey is going to be impatience. Please stay the course and you will make unbelievable progress. Please do not think you're different. Scientists already know how the body uses, stores, and intakes food. For a very small percentage of people, hormonal issues due to certain conditions will make this process more difficult but still doable. You'll just need to work a little harder and be a little more patient. ANd it's always advised to get the guidance of an expert in that area. 

Your brain is programmed to focus on negatives. The best way to keep yourself on course and in a positive mindset is to count your wins. You are reprogramming your software. 

If you ever need any help or advice, please don't hesitate to shoot me your questions at ranbir@sanjosebarbell.com or 408-318-4010