How to Gain a Kg of Body Fat This Weekend
The big question, after an indulgent weekend, and jumping on the scales, what does it mean if they’ve fluctuated up 1, even 2 kgs?
You might be pissed off with yourself. you might feel like you’ve ruined your progress, or failed even.
Let’s discuss whether this is body fat or not.
I once had a friend who would tell me how she would restrict her food intake in order to fit into a particular dress in the lead up to a special occasion. I admired her willpower and dedication.
Unfortunately I now know that this was a fairly pointless short term practice.
Most of the time when you jump on the scales after a weekend, and you’ve fluctuated up, it’s usually some fluid, and food bulk that it is still in your digestive tract.
however, if you were to consume 7,700 calories above your energy needs over the weekend, you may end up with an extra kg of body fat.
An excess 7,700 calories in addition to energy needs, is what it takes to create a kg of fat.
For example, take a 70kg woman, with a desk job, low levels of activity and maintenance calories of 1700 daily average (to stay the same weight.) This gives her 3,400 calories for the weekend…. so to literally gain a kg of body fat, she’d need to have over 11k calories on the weekend.
It doesn’t normally happen like that, what will likely happen for a lot of people over winter is that they’ll relax their normal habits – there’s less pressure wearing full length clothes, cold weather makes it easier to skip workouts, add a few little indulgences here and there…
So if this is our 70kg lady, and she’s having around 200 additional calories per day on average…. all things being equal, she’s gaining a kg of body fat over around 39 days.
(Bear in mind my fave takeaway flat white and caramello koala treat are approx 300 calories!)
So what happens when we want to lose this excess at spring?
We humans are impatient, we want to lose it as quickly as possible.
But it didn’t creep on quickly.
People will do things such as over exercise, detox, calorie restrict in unsustainable ways.
Often their Calorie restriction doesn’t support the amount of exercise they’re now doing.
They think yes, I’ve got this when they drop 2kg in a week…. but how sustainable is it?
Another thing to consider is that sadly only a small proportion of that 2kg lost was in fact body fat. The rest was water weight and gut contents.
The ratio of body fat lost only increases the longer we stay in a deficit, and this is normally when the scale readings slow down.
But people are usually jack of it by then. This is when most people give up sadly. What they don’t realise is that they were on their way to proper fat loss.
That’s why I advocate more sustainable practices for my clients.
That’s not what people want to hear when they’re panicked.
It takes longer to get body fat off than what we would like to think, but if we can start to implement positive, sustainable habits, you can change your body shape for good, rather than just a few weeks.
The mon-fri over restriction is mentally taxing and by the weekend you naturally put yourself back into a surplus as you feel you “deserve it” for all your hard work, loosening the reins a little (or a lot) and ultimately gaining more body fat in the end.
So what is the answer?
If you are wanting to look at fat loss (not everyone wants to, but it’s valid if you do), then I recommend strength training 2-3 times per week, a moderate amount of enjoyable cardio and increasing lean sources of protein plus including a wide variety of plant based foods in your regular meals – which allows for a little enjoyment in the week. (In a nutshell). Of course, there are many more strategies to employ, and which ones you choose is very individual but this is a great place to start.
Thank you for reading, and I’d love to hear from you if this helps you. To find out how we can work together in person or online, you can reach me at coach @ fitaf.com.au, or subscribe to our emails at www.fitaf.com.au