Yesterday a friend of mine mentioned to me that she had recently starting going to the gym but that she only wanted to “firm up the flabby bits” and specifically did NOT want to lose weight.
(My guess is that her specific desire not to lose weight stems from our societal obsession with the scale dictating whether or not it is appropriate to lose weight or not. People that aren’t particularly overweight tend to perceive that it is inappropriate for them to lose any more weight despite not being as lean as they’d like. But I digress…)
I’d like to use this as an opportunity to educate and clarify.
If you lose fat, you’re ultimately going to reveal the muscle that is beneath and typically end up being more “toned”. However, since fat has weight, this would generally result in at least some weight loss.
Now there is always this idea that you’re going to simultaneously going to gain muscle and lose fat to remain the same weight (everybody likes to dream big).
Unfortunately, muscle is hard to build and you’re not likely to be able to build muscle as quickly as you’ll be able to lose fat so weight loss is still likely if you’re aiming for marked improvements in your appearance.
(I’ll also add that gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously is pretty much reserved for special circumstances where the person is either brand new to lifting, coming back from a layoff from training, or has some “pharmaceutical assistance”.)
I guess the point I’m trying to drive home here is that if you want to appear leaner and more toned you’re likely going to lose a little bit of scale weight and there’s nothing really wrong with that.
Focus instead on how you LOOK and don’t let the scale dictate your decisions about the direction you take.