Fuck Fat Loss

Why Women Should Stop Striving For Fat Loss

Nia Shanks
Aug 19, 2016 · 6 min read
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(Warning: This article is littered with f-bombs. Don’t bother reading if you don’t want to witness a small parade of profanity.)

It’s rare to encounter a woman who isn’t “watching what she eats” or vowing to work out more frequently because she wants to lose fat. It seems like the only goal a woman can have is slimming down, and her actions in the gym and kitchen must be done in the name of fat loss.

Glance at magazines or watch an infomercial and practically everything marketed toward women is about losing weight (or selling you a product that makes you look like you lost fat— body wraps, anyone?). If you’re a woman your only concern, it seems, is fat loss.

Fuck fat loss.

Attaining a smaller number on the bathroom scale is not the only goal a woman can have.

Your reason for eating a chicken salad does not have to be, “I’m trying to lose weight.” Likewise, you can eat a slice of pizza without saying you’re “cheating on your diet,” or, even worse, “I’m going to get fat from this.”

Your reason for doing a workout (e.g., strength training) doesn’t have to be about burning calories or done because you overindulged at last night’s dinner and you’re paranoid about hindering your fat loss.

Fuck fat loss.

Choosing to move your body and eat well can be done because, oh, I don’t know, you actually want to feel good about yourself instead of hating your body and relentlessly berating yourself until you fit into a smaller jean size. Because you want to discover what your body can do, and then doing more because you can. Your only motivation for working out consistently doesn’t have to revolve around thoughts of slimming down your waist line.

Fuck fat loss. Exercise is not punishment.

You do not have to always be on a diet or think about burning calories or revolving your life around some bullshit regimen that is too impractical to be sustained beyond a few weeks. (While we’re at it: Fuck you too, quick-fix fads.)

You do not have to hate parts of your body, obsess over flaws, or proclaim you’ll finally achieve happiness once the fat loss fairy sprinkles her ass-blasting, calorie-torching, cellulite-incinerating magical fucking dust upon you.

Fuck fat loss. Your self-worth is not tied to your bodyweight.

I know what you’re thinking: What if I want to lose fat because I only care about looking great naked, or need to lose fat for health reasons? Isn’t your advice to declare “fuck fat loss” while flipping the bullshit in the health and fitness world the finger infinitely stupid?

Actually, no. In fact, if fat loss is your goal then giving fat loss the big ole fuck-off gesture is exactly what you need to do.

Make Fat Loss a Side Effect

Don’t worry as this will make sense shortly.

Let’s begin with a question: How many diets have you tried with the goal of fat loss? How many times have you declared “This time is going to be different and I’m finally going to lose these last few, stubborn pounds,” as you vowed to avoid your favorite foods? And how many times did you quit those diets and start eating your favorite foods again?

Thanks for proving my point.

If obsessing about fat loss worked (“I’m going to do this workout to lose fat,” and “I’m going to scrutinize every piece of food I eat so I can lose fat”), then I’d recommend you do it too. I’ve worked with too many women over the past decade who developed disordered eating habits, binge eating behaviors, and a terrible body image from obsessing over fat loss and chronically diet-hopping thinking their hopes and dreams will come true if they can gut out a miserable diet long enough (and I’ve experienced it, too).

Obsessing over fat loss is effective for one thing: Making women increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies.

Step one to doing what actually works and making fat loss a side effect is proudly saying …

Fuck You, Fat Loss.

Whether you want (or need) to lose fat or you want to create a sustainable workout habit, you need to do what actually does work:

  • Focus on actions, not outcomes. Home in on what you need to do to achieve results: Scheduling in your calendar three strength training workouts per week and a leisurely 20–30 minute walk the other days are actions. Define them clearly, and do them consistently. This is superior to obsessing over an outcome (e.g., “I want to lose 20 pounds”) because you know exactly what you must do to achieve results. Actions are responsible for the outcome; that’s where your focus should be. Not to mention: Actions create habits, and habits are responsible for long-lasting results (i.e., it’s not just about losing fat but maintaining that fat loss long-term).
  • Revolve your workouts around a positive purpose. Working out because you hate your stomach isn’t a purpose. Punishing yourself because you made poor food choices isn’t a purpose either. Getting stronger is a positive purpose. Learning a new exercise to discover what your body can do is a purpose. Shattering self-imposed limitations is a purpose. Improving your performance from last week’s workout is a purpose. Your workouts should be about discovering what your body can do, and gradually doing more.
  • Set yourself up for success. One reason people fail to reach their weight loss goals: The diet or program they follow is unsustainable for an extended period of time. The way you eat and move your body must fit into your life, accommodate your schedule, and be flexible. This is why many people go “all in” with a diet and demanding workout schedule but quickly abandon it; it dominated their life. It was either all (“I’m not going to miss a workout or meal”) or nothing (“If I cheat on my diet, then I might as well eat what I want the rest of the day”). Set yourself up for success: Begin by following a few basic eating guidelines that turn into lifelong habits. Move your body in ways you enjoy or follow a workout program that fits your schedule. Can you realistically dedicate no more than three days per week to the gym? Then don’t vow to go four or more! Follow a three-day per week program if that’s what you know is achievable most weeks.

Do these things — focus on the actions you must take, have a positive purpose with your workouts, and set yourself up for success — consistently and fat loss will happen (voila!), but it’ll be a side effect from you becoming more awesome.

Why is this approach more effective than the typical fat loss obsessed approach most people take? Because you can actually feel great about yourself and enjoy the process, for starters. Because you can still have a social life and enjoy your favorite foods with a little responsibility. Because working out with a positive purpose will build you up, and not tear you down. Because you won’t need a diet or quick-fix program since the guidelines turn into sustainable habits.

And because fuck fat loss. You’re choosing to be more awesome. Fat loss will merely be a side effect from that empowering endeavor.

Like what you just read?

Get more bullshit-free health and fitness information on Nia’s website. You can get started with the free Beautiful Badass Mini Course to experience for yourself how effective simple nutrition guidelines and strength training can be.

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