Weight loss and Fat loss is NOT the same thing! The main goal as always should be to lose fat and reduce excess body fat. Many people confuse the two things, often believing that they mean the same, when in fact weight loss and fat loss are very different from each other.
Are you confused as I am about fat loss and weight loss? I will try to break down what the difference is between the two, and how this can help you better understand the implications on the body.
Fat loss is about losing the excess body fat that the body is carrying i.e. the percentage of your total body weight made up of fat.
Fat Loss = Reducing body fat
The main focus for fat loss is based on exercising smartly and eating intelligently in a way that maintains muscle mass and reduces the stored fat.
Let’s Focus on fitness…
Remember losing weight does not mean you are fit. The muscle you have now, will not be there forever. If you don’t use it, feed it, YOU WILL LOSE IT!
What you need is proper plans in place with the right amount of cardio, a balanced nutritional plan, and resistance training, only then will you achieve your fat loss goals. If you are thinking that by exercising alone it will melt the stored fat then you are mistaken. Exercise boosts the burning process, what you need to do is create a deficit and do not consume more than you have to burn only then will you see the results you are looking for. Fat loss is about finding the right balance between cutting your calories and feeding the muscles.
The main aspect of fat loss is to maintain the muscle mass and keep the metabolic rate high. Fat loss will transform your body composition. You will see the changes!
Fat Loss is a lifestyle change, where you provide the environment without shocking it, depriving it or starving it, but by giving it what it needs. Only then will you see the changes but it does take time.
Now when you lose fat and maintain the muscle you will not see any difference on the weighing scale, it will show only a minimal change in weight. I know what you are thinking all that work and no progress!
The difference is the body composition changes, that you will not see but others will. Simply put fat tissue is loose and not dense it occupies a lot of space on the body, whereas muscle is much denser and heavier and denser occupying a smaller space on the body. Therefore when you lose fat and maintain muscle mass the body looks more toned, lean and shapely.
Remember what was said, losing weight does not always mean you are fit. A fitter body has lower levels of fat percentage. The average healthy percentile for men is 10% to 15% and 15% to 20% for women. Your fat percentage is the true measurement of how fit you are and what shape your body is in.
It is quite simple really, weight loss is the sum loss of your total weight. The sum of total weight is made up of the weight of your muscles, your bones, your organs, a bit of fat and the amount of water your body retains.
Weight Loss = Water Loss + Fat Loss + Muscle Loss
Do know your muscle matters? Loss of muscle affects your health and your overall appearance.
Generally, when you lose weight quickly by dieting you also lose muscle mass. This is because the body cannot maintain the muscle as it is not getting the right amount of calories so, therefore, starts to metabolise the muscle and reserve the incoming calories for its survival. A defence mechanism within the body is triggered I call it Survival Mode! Now what happens is that it starts to protect the fat stores and uses the muscle to keep the body functioning i.e. brain, heart, kidneys and liver.
When the body starts losing more muscle mass the metabolic rate decreases. The metabolic rate is determined by the amount of muscle and fat ratio to be put simply. The more muscles you have the higher the metabolic rate, therefore the fewer muscles you have the lower the metabolic rate.
Weight loss works in the short run to make you smaller but is temporary, almost everyone rebounds and regains the weight. This forces you to find another diet, and another one, and then another one – because eventually, they will all fail!
What you need to remember is that fat loss should be the main focus of your goals and maintaining a lean muscle mass.
The ultimate goal of successful weight loss is maintaining as much muscle as possible, or even gaining some, while at the same time losing as much body fat as possible. Your body fat percentage (%) is a key indicator of your success, not the scale. Two people could both weigh the same, however one might have 30% body fat, while the other might have 15% body fat. To the scale, they are both the same. A scale can’t tell the difference between a 140lb person or a 140lb sack of flour even though I personally think they look a little different.
Once you start losing muscle you are fighting an uphill battle to lose fat. Since muscle burns calories, when you lose some you slow your metabolism, which results in you ending up having to cut calories further in order to keep a sufficient calorie deficit. This starts a downward spiral of calorie cuts leading to more and more muscle loss. Please read the article: How To Lose Fat and Gain Muscle – Nothing is Impossible!
Don’t worry so much about your weight. If you’re looking and feeling better about yourself your weight doesn’t matter. Progress is not just measured in pounds.