Confused by the terms fat loss and weight loss? You’re not alone. Rest assured, they aren’t the same. We’ll explain the differences and which one is right for you.
Society tends to use the terms fat loss and weight loss interchangeably.
But, there is a difference between the two terms that you should know. This is not just something based on technicalities. Instead it is about focusing on the correct goals to keep mental and physical motivation high.
Training and dieting are obviously needed to achieve either fat loss or weight loss. Also in these categories is the question, how to get lean?
But, it’s more than that. Let’s take a look at the differences and get you headed in the right direction.
Diet Trends Are Getting Out Of Hand
No matter what you search on the Internet you are sure to see an ad for a new easy diet plan or fat loss supplement. The claims always seem to be that you can lose 10 pounds in only two days, or slim your waistline down five sizes in a month.
The truth is that if this actually did happen your body could possibly be in trouble.
The only people that can lose such a significant amount of weight in short spans are those that are obese.
These fad diets and supplements are going to tell you everything you wish to hear about finishing your goals with as little effort as possible. That’s how they hook you. The bigger issue is that they are focusing on how much weight you see on that digital scale in the bathroom.
It’s just a number. There is nothing on those scales that shows how much body fat you have.
The constant desire to step on a weight scale is what ruins most fat loss programs.
Simple, because you could actually be losing a lot of fat, but your scale may only be showing slight changes. This plays a big role on your mental health.
It might even prompt you to get obsessed. You started off wanting to lose weight, and now you need to lose weight in order to see the number you want on a scale. So is that fat loss and weight loss?
You will come to find that seeking weight loss is actually only needed for a small part of the population. The rest of society needs to focus on fat loss for their goals.
This Is The Difference Between Fat Loss and Weight Loss
So what is the big issue with these terms being used interchangeably? Isn’t fat loss and weight loss mean the same thing?
Weight loss is just as the name implies. This is the total amount of weight being lost from your body. You are seeing the results of how much fat, muscle, bone and water is being drained away from your diet and training program.
This is barely showing you anything specific about how much of your body fat percentage has been reduced.
Fat loss, on the other hand, is measured through the use of equipment such as fat calipers. These show how much fat is being lost from your body. Fat is exactly what you want to lose from your body in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Losing weight usually shows significant results in the first few months. But, don’t get too happy.
Don’t Rely On Body Weight
Are you still not convinced that there is really an issue with your desire to lose weight over fat?
If so, then a good example would be taking two men who are 200 pounds. They are the same weight on a scale. One man has 12% of body fat while the other man has 35%.
Big difference isn’t it?
The lower the body fat percentage means the amount of actual fat that is on your body is less. So a guy with 12% body fat has a well-built body full of build muscle mass.
The other man with a higher body fat percentage has a body full of fat. This can cause future health issues. But, if you did not know the amount of body fat for each man, then you would consider them the same body type based on a weight scale reading. This just shows that body weight is not an equal and definitive show of a person’s health or physique.
The only people who actually need to be losing weight are those that compete in athletic activities focused on weight class. A good example would be college wrestlers.
Athletes in this sport wrestle opponents that are relatively close or even exactly the same in weight, which would give good reason to look at a weight scale from time to time.
Another reason you should not focus on weight loss is because your body weight will fluctuate often. People who look at the weight scale throughout the day do not realize they are seeing the weight of clothes on their body and how much food they ate.
If you use a scale, then you must weigh yourself at the beginning of the day before eating breakfast.
This is the time your body will be at its true weight after fasting during rest.
Ditch The Weight Scale And Use Measurements For Body Fat
As discussed, you are likely not in the need of losing weight.
What does that mean?
You really don’t need to use a weight scale very much. Feel free to check your weight once a month if you wish. Instead, you should invest in items such as fat calipers to do a skin fold test. These calipers are clamps that lightly squeeze your skin as it is pulled away from your body.
There are specific areas you can measure for body fat such as the abs region.
Even a body tape measure is more accurate than using a weight scale when it comes to losing body fat. The info you find through the performance of fat loss measures is surely going to help you in the long run.
You can even learn the calculations for how much fat is on your body.
This Is Why Losing Fat Is Important For Your Health
Fat cells slow down your metabolism. They cause heart and blood issues. They may even cause heart disease or diabetes. These are just a few of the common things.
Fat will even find a way to form around your liver and decrease hormone production as well.
There really is no specific way to see what is going on within your body, but you will most likely have more energy than you think to do what you want to do if you simply start working out.
Your heart and lungs will also begin to process better than they would if you just sat around and decided to not do anything to prevent fat gains from occurring.
This Is How To Lose Fat Effectively
Wondering where to start?
You are not alone. Every day someone new is starting his or her journey. But, it doesn’t have to be hard. There are ways you can change your lifestyle choices to succeed.
One way that should help is by reducing your calorie intake to lose weight. The number of calories being consumed should only equal 100 to 300 less than the amount you usually determined was needed.
Do not consume starchy vegetables such as potatoes very often. That’s especially vital on a fat loss diet program. Ditch the French fries now!
Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to support your body’s fat loss and don’t even drink the diet sodas. Diet sodas have a way of tricking you into thinking you can treat yourself to other calorie-rich items.
There have also been studies suggesting they could prompt other health issues.
Consume foods that are higher in protein. This helps keep your body full and reduces cravings. Consume most of your carbs during the day to allow your body time to use those calories for energy.
Form good habits. First among them should be to exercise routinely!
Your body needs to use the calories being consumed and most people eat beyond their calorie count that will be used for normal activities.
This Is What Happens With Calories
Fat loss revolves heavily around calorie intake and energy use. You consume calories to provide your body with energy, and this energy is used for every process in your body and not just for training.
When you eat too many calories your body has to do something with them.
Some of these excess calories are sent away when you use the restroom, but a majority of them are stored within fat cells. This applies mainly to carbohydrates. When you consume this sugar, your body first stores them within your liver and muscles in order to have them ready for immediate use.
However, your body only stores so much of these carbs and the rest is just converted to fat.
You have to eat fewer calories than you use for energy during the day. For example, if your daily calorie count normally falls around 2,000 calories, then the fat loss approach would be to consume 300 fewer calories.
Try this out and then reduce another 100 if the first effort did not work too well. Remember, each person’s body is different.
Training For Fat Loss Instead Of Weight Loss
There is a slight difference between training programs for fat loss and weight loss. During a weight loss session, you simply need to burn a lot of calories and practically sweat the fat away.
Cardio training is going to be most of your gym workouts with high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT is when you change the intensity of your workout schedule over a period of time. So you would go from sprints, to running and then jogging. Then you switch back to sprints and keep varying the intervals.
Fat loss training works better with cardio mixed together with strength training.
You are not trying to simply lose the pounds that appear on the scale. You want fat to be gone and you want to convert some of it over to muscle. Muscle burns extra calories while your body is at rest.
It’s not a lot, but enough to help keep your body slim with proper training. Strength training helps with this and also strengthens your skeletal muscles.
Cardio is added in to help boost your metabolism at the end of your weight training session. Normally you want to do cardio last because you need all the carb-based energy for pushing and pulling weights.
Use resistance training for 30 to 40 minutes, and then follow up with 20 minutes of cardio. This mixed with a healthy diet is a surefire way to burn calories fast and keep body fat low.
Your goal should be fat loss, not weight loss. The info provided should allow you to start the fat loss process. Ditch the scale and invest in fat calipers instead.
They are not 100% accurate, but they give you a good idea of how much body fat you have.
Losing fat is important for keeping a lot of possible medical conditions from arising such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. You can’t fully prevent everything, but you can greatly reduce the odds of it happening.
Excess body fat does a lot of bad things for your body. You may think you look okay in the mirror, but deep down your fat cells are blocking nutrient distribution and hormone production.
They are clogging your heart and arteries, which could prompt health issues.
Eat plenty of nutritious foods and train correctly to achieve your fat loss goals. This is the only way to actually lose fat and keep it off your body for good.
By Brian Pankau, CPT