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Stop Trying to Lose Weight (Even if You're Overweight)

If you’re overweight, you’re not alone. More than two thirds of the U.S. is right there with you.

Want out of that not-so-exclusive club?

Trying to lose weight might not be the best approach.

Before You Think I’m Being All Sentimental

This is not an article about being content with who you are and accepting that you’re overweight. It’s not popular to say, but I think that’s a dangerous mindset.

If you’re overweight, you should NOT be ashamed of yourself, or embarrassed by your body. And if anyone bullies you, let me know and I’ll hire a guy who has a way of making people “disappear.” (How much does David Copperfield cost?)

Still, being overweight is unhealthy. Just like smoking.

Being obese is considered a chronic disease. Just like cancer.

So no, if you’ve made the decision to lose weight, I’m not telling you to accept your current weight and be happy. I want you to be happy. I want you to be happy and healthy for many years to come.

What I’m telling you is to change your focus.

New Focus

There’s a difference between losing weight and losing fat.

This may sound like semantics, but it’s a significant distinction.

By shifting your focus to fat loss you’ll have:

1. Better Nutrition Practices

If your focus is losing weight, you might cut a ton of calories and drop a bunch of weight real quick.

But then your chances of keeping the weight off are very low. Also, a big chunk of that weight loss will be muscle, not fat.

Most people don’t have spare muscle to lose.

I’m not talking about turning you into a bodybuilder, or a woman with man arms, but a certain amount of muscle is healthy. And it’ll give you that toned look many want.

Focusing on fat loss produces healthier eating in a more sustainable way.

2. Better Exercise Habits

Going willy-nilly into the gym, crossing your fingers, hoping to lose weight is not exactly a reliable plan. Nor is just trying to burn a bunch of calories.

Combine a super low calorie diet with high impact exercises like running, and you’re likely to lose a ton of muscle, burn out, and even get hurt.

You’re better off with a well rounded routine that’s intentional about how to use cardio exercise, includes strength training, and is focused on fat loss.

3. A Better Relationship With Your Scale

Weight is just a number, and that’s not some crappy motivational slogan, it’s an important point.

Imagine your fairy godmother comes to you and says you can look exactly how you want, have your dream body, and have perfect health forever, BUT… there’s a catch (your fairy godmother is kind of a jerk). For the rest of your life when you step on the scale it’s going to say 600 pounds.

Would you do it?

Of course you would!

Who cares what the scale says if you look and feel great?!

That’s obviously hyperbole, but the parallel is this: the number on the scale won’t always reflect the progress you’re making.

When you’re losing fat and gaining lean muscle sometimes you’ll lose a pound, sometimes you’ll gain a pound. But as long as you’re losing fat, the number doesn’t matter. You’ll be getting healthier, and you’ll feel, and see, the difference.


Stepping on the scale is “easy,” but tracking fat loss doesn’t have to be difficult.

  • Take a picture. Get a good “before” picture, then take a new one every month, or every few months.

  • Pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. You can lose inches without losing any weight.

  • It’s still ok to use the scale if you want. As long as it doesn’t cause you undue stress and anxiety.

For some people, losing weight will go along with losing fat. But it’s not uncommon to stay the same weight, or even gain weight, while drastically changing your body composition. So if you use the scale, keep that in mind.

In One Run-On Sentence

If you’re overweight, focusing on losing fat can help you lose weight in a way that is efficient, effective, and healthful, and if you aren’t technically overweight, but are thinking about dropping some L-Bs, focus on losing fat instead so when you look hott with two Ts you aren’t disappointed by a stupid number.

Let me know if you have questions or if I can help you with the specifics of anything I touched on here!


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