Martial Fitness

Winning the War on Fat: Part 1 & 2
by Craig Smith

Part 1: It's Simple

Probably the greatest fallacy in the field of diet and fitness is the idea that it is complicated. Sure, at a cellular level it can seem extremely complicated. But on an operational level, nothing could be farther from the truth.

The reason that it seems complicated is that so many "experts" come out so often with so many ideas, opinions, and new "discoveries" all of which seem to contradict each other. It seems impossible for the average person to know what's true and what's not. However, by understanding the basics of how your body works and how it uses fuel to produce energy in order to produce activity, you will understand how your comparative intake (food) and output (activity) determine your body's structure.

The information here is simple, basic, and indisputable. There are no new "discoveries". There are no new "methods". There are no new "empowerments". There are, simply, the principles our bodies follow as a natural part of their functioning. As such, it is impossible to separate causes and effects you are guaranteed the effects of the causes you choose to follow.

As you read through, the principles will become building blocks for your own understanding of how your body works, which will allow you to make the basic changes necessary to achieve whatever goal you choose for yourself. You will no longer be at the mercy of the "latest information" in the magazines, news, or paperback books, which is constantly changing. Instead, you will be able to spot the fallacies in them you didn't see before. As a result, you will give up the need for a "quick fix" and start living the permanent fix that is simple a positive lifestyle. And you will find that it works.

Part 2: Fat, Weight & Size

The very first fallacy we are going to dispose of is the idea of "losing weight". This is probably the most dangerous misconception in the entire field of diet and fitness, because it disguises the real villain: FAT. It also misstates the manner in which a person is trying to get rid of it.

Think for a moment about the concept of "losing" weight. How can it be lost? Can you misplace it? Perhaps you will leave a party late one night and, being pre-occupied with putting on your coat and saying goodbye to your host, forget to bring your fat along? When you get home, you will realize that your clothes are too loose, and you will look around and say, "Where is my fat? Where has it gone? I have lost it!"

Weight is neither bad nor good, it is simply a measurement. It is only when it is applied to a particular item or substance that it has any meaning.

We are each made up of muscle, bone, fat, organ, and other tissue. Each has a different density and therefore, a different weight by volume just as a box of rocks weighs more than the same box filled with feathers. Muscle tissue is very dense. Body-fat is less dense than muscle. Consequently, muscle weighs a great deal more than fat by volume and takes up far less space by weight. Thought of another way: muscle = small and firm; fat = large and less firm.

Those who are in good shape, with good muscle development and tone, look like they weigh less than they do, since muscle, which takes up less space by weight, is their dominant soft tissue. On the other hand, those who are over-fat look like their weight even more than they actually do, since fat, which takes up a larger space by weight, has become their dominant tissue.

So, it is not simply a matter of weight, but of fat and size. Sure, if you pack on fat, you weight will increase, just as it would it you put on twenty sweaters which would also make you look large and soft. But the problem is never the weight, it is the fat (or the sweaters).

Mizzou Martial Arts Club
University of Missouri Columbia

Duane Hamacher, President
134 Physics Building UMC,
Columbia MO 65211
Phone: (573) 882-2974 
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