Understanding The Difference
- Weight loss is the overall reduction in body weight
- Fat loss is a reduction in body fat
- Body fat
- Lean Body Mass
- Body Water
Weight LossThere are hundreds of diet and exercise programs that can help achieve fat loss some better than others. The ones that tend to work better focus on the same thing, which is reducing energy intake from food/diet while increasing energy output through exercise and regular physical activity. This forces the body to make up for the missing energy by breaking down the body’s tissues, including fat and muscle. As an individual loses weight, they will also lose some muscle in the form of Lean Body Mass in addition to body fat.
Fat LossBody fat is a combination of essential fat and storage fat. Storage fat is adipose tissue that has accumulated for reserved energy. This type of fat changes with diet modification and regular exercise. Too much storage fat can negatively impact physical and mental wellbeing, so this should be the focus for better health.
Focus on fat loss and not weight lossThere is a clear association between obesity and chronic disease. Focusing on weight loss can lead to unintended consequences like eating disorders. This is why the focus on fat loss is key along with healthy body composition. This is the recommended approach because it encourages the individual to move more and eat healthily.
Understanding health benefits of losing fatBody fat percentage works better as a gauge of health than weight. Weight is composed of lean body mass, body fat, and water, so any changes that occur in these areas can lead to weight gain and not just fat loss. Excess body fat, specifically storage fat, has a close association to chronic diseases like:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Various Cancers
Different ways to measure fat lossTracking body fat loss means having body composition tracked and monitored. There are devices and methods for determining body composition, including:
Metabolism changes with weight loss
Weight loss can slow down metabolismHere is an example of a typical set of body composition results of someone who would be clinically diagnosed as obese.
Stopping weight regainWith weight loss, there will be some Lean Body Mass loss. This means a low metabolism, combined with non-regulated eating habits can lead to regaining weight. With no development of Lean Body Mass and skeletal muscle to help grow the metabolism, there is an increased chance for weight regain. It is crucial to focus on body composition, developing muscle, and Lean Body Mass. Along with continued changing eating habits after an individual reaches their target weight.
Building muscle, losing fat for healthy body compositionThe main areas to focus on to change body composition, overall health, and wellbeing.
Focus on body composition, not on weight lossInstead, track changes in body composition. This means optimizing programs for fat loss while minimizing Lean Body Mass loss. Weight loss will occur, but combined with proper nutrition and strength training can minimize Lean Body Mass loss.
Develop new eating habitsAn important step is understanding how to improve eating habits by choosing a diet plan that will be fun and enjoyable. When optimizing for fat loss, it will take longer than weight loss. Effective dietary plans go for half to one pound of fat loss per week. This is a manageable and sustainable goal that will not cause negative effects on metabolism. Slow and steady is the better option and will lead to long-term changes.
Start strength training to increase metabolismStrength training/weight lifting is a great way to increase metabolism. Increased muscle benefits range from:
- Increased ability to recover from disease/s
- Reducing insulin resistance
- Keeps the body mobile
- Helps combat obesity by increasing BMR and metabolism