This week the new group showed up for their first initial weigh-in prior to the start of Week One. Facing the scale for the first time is always a little uncomfortable for most people. It’s important though, because they need to know what they’re facing.
We also measured their body fat, which might be more important than the actual weigh-in. It’s much better to be 15-20% fat than 25-30%. For example, it would be much better to be 150 lbs and 20% fat (30 lbs of fat) than 150 lbs and 30% fat (45 lbs).
I’ve seen quite a few people start the program between 30-40% fat, and once in awhile, I’ll see someone at 50% fat or higher. The highest body fat percentage I’ve ever seen was someone that came in at 60% fat. Over the course of a year, they lost 100 lbs and were still fairly big.
The participant’s body fat ranged from a low of 34.7% to 45.5%. Think of it—almost half your weight in fat. According to experts, a woman with body fat over 33% is considered “over-fat” and over 39% is considered to be obese. For guys, anyone over 20% is “over-fat” and over 28% is obese.
When you lose fat, it gets a lot easier to move around. In some cases, it gets easier to breath. Think of all the extra circulation you need with all that extra fat. Plus your heart has to work harder to pump the blood around, too. In the morbidly obese, the extra fat is actually packed around the lungs, pressing in, making it even harder to breath.
As you get stronger and put on muscle, it actually makes it easier to lose more fat. Not only can you work harder and burn more calories, but muscle requires more energy to live, so it will have an effect on your metabolism.
We also had them measure themselves, at the chest, arm, waist, hips and thigh. This way they’ll have another objective measurement to compare with as they progress through the 12 weeks. Sometimes you don’t see any weight loss, but you’ll see a difference in inches. That’s why I’ll always ask them if their clothing is fitting any looser.
Once we got all that out of the way, we did four fitness tests: 1 minute body squats, 1 minute pushups, 1 minute sit-ups, and the 1 mile walk/run. The goal was to do as many body squats, pushups and sit-ups as possible in a minute, and then cover the mile as fast as they could.
It’s always a wakeup call for them, especially when they’re exhausted at the end of each test. For some, it’s the most exercise they’ve done in years. They’ll actually felt like they did a workout, but I assured them it wasn’t—just some fitness tests.
The real workouts start next week. We’ll do the three tests again at the end of the 12 weeks and they’ll be amazed at how much they’ll have improved.
I gave them a little informational booklet that outlines the exercise strategy (see the last couple articles), and our approach to eating smart. They also got a daily calorie log so they can start recording how much they eat everyday.
Research shows that people who write it down lose more weight than people who don’t. It also shows that eating smaller meals more often, increases your metabolism and gives you more energy to get through your day.
A good quality Breakfast gets things started. I didn’t make this up—breakfast is the most important meal of the day! As you finish burning what you ate for breakfast, you fuel up by having a Healthy Snack
Awhile later, it’s time for Lunch, then another Healthy Snack in the afternoon. Finally it’s time for Supper. If you want one, feel free to have another Healthy Snack in the evening. There’s nothing wrong with using that snack for a healthy dessert.
If your meals and snacks total up to your calorie Target, and you’re active, you’ll lose weight. If they exceed your Target, you’ll stay the same. Make sure you’re over your minimum, though.
If you miss meals to the point where you go under your minimum, your body will think you’re starving and lower your metabolism again, making it hard if not impossible to burn fat.
Eating this way keeps you from overeating, and levels out your insulin, too, keeping you feeling just right all day. Some experts call it grazing. Next week, we’ll look more closely at what foods to eat and why.
We also talked about the importance of setting a goal. Regardless what you see on television, a pound a week is good, two pounds a week is great, and three or more is fantastic. So if you want to lose 24 lbs, you know you need to average two pounds a week. If you can meet a bunch of little goals, they’ll all add up into one big goal.
Finally, I asked Nicole Clodfelter to speak a little bit about what it takes. You may remember her from past Biggest Loser articles. This is her third Biggest Loser, and she started her journey a little less than a year ago. Since last December, she’s lost 120 lbs, so she’s well qualified to talk about sticking with it.
In most groups, half will quit somewhere along the way. I’m hoping that the “Friends & Family” concept of having a training buddy will help us counter that statistic. Knowing someone else is planning on being there should make it harder to ditch their workouts, so it should help them with accountability.
Another thing that should help them stay accountable is the weekly weigh-ins. Since they know they’re going to be facing the scale every Friday, hopefully, it will help them make better decisions throughout the week.
It’s not too late to join this group but you’ll need to let me know before the first workout Friday night. The cost is just $50 and you don’t need to be a member to participate, but you probably need to have a membership somewhere so you can get all your workouts in. Stay tuned for the results from Week One next time!