I know you’re hitting the gym to look better at the beach. In fact most fat loss advice is based around getting that beach ready body and looking good naked. While I don’t see anything wrong with the above motivations there are much more benefits to losing fat than looking good with your top off.
- Better sports performance
A good measure of athletic ability is being able to jump high and run fast. High jumps, long jumps and sprints are the most common baseline tests used by pro sports teams. Dan John recommends the standing long jump to assess clients athletic ability. The reason he uses this test is because body weight has a huge impact on your ability to move fast and jump high. When you lose fat both of these tests improve. An awesome goal for a woman is a pullup. This reflects your strength to bodyweight ratio. A woman who can knock out 5+ pull-ups is going to have a serious bikini body.
- Improved strength
If you’ve ever went through a bulking phase I’m sure you noticed how much more challenging pull ups become. The reason being that now you’re carrying around all the extra weight. When I was in India in 2013 I lost 10kgs over four months. I wasn’t doing any strength training and one day I tried dong pull-ups. I effortlessly knocked out 10. This was after months of not doing any training other than Yoga. I was carrying around less weight so my strength in pull-ups improved.
- Improved endurance
Have you ever seen a distance runner built like a rugby forward? Okay, let me rephrase that. Have you ever seen a competent distance runner built like a rugby forward? The less weight a person carries the easier it is to move far at a lower calorific cost. This is why the body type of athletes gets slimmer the further the distance the run is. After losing 10lbs that challenging 5km run feels a whole lot easier
- Increased energy
As I pointed out above, the less you weigh, the less calories you burn which means endurance exercise gets easier. The more weight you carry the quicker you get tired and the more energy you use. Once some of this weight is lost you are using less energy to move around, resulting in more energy!
- Healthier joints
Have you ever been in a gym with a heavier individual using the treadmill. You hear the repetitive thud with each foot landing. Now image this impact day after day, week after week. All of this impact takes it’s toll on the joint and results in problems for the ankles knees and hips. It doesn’t matter what your weight is. If you run with poor technique, according to study? 80% of americans get injured at running but the more weigh the individual carries the quicker the injury occurs.
- Healthier weight
life style diseases are biggest killers in the developed world and a healthier weight can prevent most of them. It has been proven that if you weight circumference is larger than your height then you are at a much higher risk to disease. Dropping body fat means dropping inches around which reduces the risk of these diseases. This are the biggest killers
- Less stress
Lets face it. Life is stressful. And each day there are new stresses being added. In fact Things are moving quicker, keeping up can be over whelming. Not being happy with your body is one more on a list of stress inducing problems. What’s great about exercise is that it’s a proven stress reliever (reference). We all know that feeling of elation after a long run. It stays with you for hours afterwards. Then you begin to look better and feel better which helps lower stress levels.
- Less anxiety and depression
Studies have proven exercise to elevate mood and combats mild to moderate bouts of depression. We all know the feeling after a killer gym session where you are elected for the rest of the day. As mentioned above, increased stress has caused a domino effect of lifestyle problems for people in the last century. Anxiety and depression have sky rocketed. Poorer community relationships, feelings of isolation and increased day to stressors have caused this along with excess body fat.
- Better sleep
Our bodies have evolved to move. Sitting all day and expending almost no calories is another reason why more and more people have difficulty sleeping. You can’t argue when you collapse into bed after a heavy gym session. I know the days that I don’t train are the days I can have more difficulty sleeping.
So not only are you going be looking shredded walking on the beach but you’re also going to have all of the above benefits from losing body fat.