The best way I have of describing female fat loss is comparing it to a roller coaster. It is filled with many ups and downs, twists and turns and of coarse elations and frustration.
Many of these were seen in the following success story of EMF PT client Louise Ryan. All the stats are true and can thankfully be verified from all the diligent logging Louise performed. Her transformation took place between January and June of 2016 just before her wedding.
As you will see from the graphs her weight loss was either static or slow and steady. No big drops were seen and minimal movement on the scales in general was achieved week to week.
However when looking further appreciable changes in fat mass and lean mass were seen.
This really goes to show the importance of using multiple measures to gauge the success of a diet and training regime. Its something I do without fail for all of my clients at EMF. While each client may not use all measurement types you can be sure we use more than just scale weight.
Body fat was measured using skin fold callipers and weigh ins were taken daily on a digital scales.
Picture one shows that Louise’s body weight dropped by 3.5 kilos in a 5 month period.
She was training 2-3 times per week and using a flexible dieting approach with myfitnesspal. She trained in a couple of different gyms which wasn’t ideal at times due to business, lack of equipment and extra travel time. However this can be viewed positively also as Louise’s confidence in being able to train any where increased which is always good to see.
Pic 2 shows Louises fat mass changes. This graph shows a drop of almost 6kg of body fat in the 5 month period. This change can also be measured fairly accurately using a waist circumference measure and pictures as seen in pic 3. The saying that a picture can paint a 1000 words is quite true in this context and it is something I always encourage clients to do. While you may be apprehensive at first you will kick yourself a couple of months into a successful fat loss regime if you don’t.
Pic 3 shows a Louise’s lean mass changes. This graph shows an increase of 2.5kg over a 5 month period. Please note lean mass is not just muscle, it is everything other than fat (bones, organs, hair, skin etc.).
This is a vital measurement to have in a fat loss regime. The last thing you want to do when losing weight is for it to be muscle mass you are losing. Muscle mass contributes so much to your resting calorie burn and gives you that fit, strong and in shape look that most people really desire.
Its clear to see from the graphs Louise made some fantastic losses and gains in the 5 month period. Pic 4 further demonstrates Louises increase in strength as she deadlifted 100kg for 5 reps with great form for the first time. She was quite well trained and quite lean before even starting with me having plenty of weight lifting and calorie tracking experience.
Couple this with an incredibly demanding work schedule that only left her with the ability to train 2-3 times per week the results really are quite exceptional.
We bottomed out with Louise’s calories and even increased them towards the end of her training cycle. That really helped Louise stay the course and not let the psychology of fat-loss effect her too much.
As you can see from the graphs the increase in calories did not effect her fat loss efforts but let her get more out of her training and not stress over her food as much (she was organising a wedding throughout the 5 month period).
The biggest factor for Louise that could have been optimised more effectively was increasing her training load. With her experience 2 sessions per week was really just maintenance work. If her schedule would of allowed her to train 4-5 times per week her results would no doubt of been even more pronounced but at the end of the day that is just nit picking.
Her whole experience just showed me once again the importance of looking at the big picture when dealing with fat loss and in particular female fat loss.Obsessing over the scales is a road to ruin and will ultimately derail your efforts as calories drops beyond liveable levels become unsustainable.
Looking also at body fat levels, lean mass levels and training performance is key to understand the unique response your own body is having to your diet and training regime.
In Louise’s own words,
“I went to Eoin to tone up (decrease my body fat) , lift heavier weights and make overall improvements to my fitness levels. I Initially chose EMF for its location as I wanted to train near home, however after meeting Eoin, I had full trust in him immediately that he would be able to give me the dedicated help and guidance I needed to keep me on track and seeing results.
The training is always fun, but tough at times when it needs to be. Eoin is really supportive, while you are in the gym and through his online support when you are out. Although Eoin does push you to achieve results he is always conscious of your limitations. He knows we all have lives outside of the and ensures training makes our lives better not worse. I was really happy to see my body fat decrease and also see my strength increase at the very same time. I also become far more aware of the foods I eat, portion control, and what works for my body and what doesn’t. This was great as the learning process and knowledge I gained from Eoin really helped me take control of my health and fitness. I would not hesitate to recommend Eoin to anyone looking to lose fat and enjoy the process”