Understanding The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss
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
Body composition in the long-termFat loss is more important than weight loss and will lead to long-term changes. Understanding that working out smarter and finding out body composition numbers will promote getting fit while keeping the fat off. It will take longer than expected, but dropping 30 pounds in less than a year then regaining it all back is counterproductive. Take the time to make small, impactful adjustments that will lead to a lifetime of optimal health.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post DisclaimerThe scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
ReferencesHall, Kevin D et al. “Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity.” Cell metabolism vol. 22,3 (2015): 427-36. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2015.07.021 Merlotti, C et al. “Subcutaneous fat loss is greater than visceral fat loss with diet and exercise, weight-loss promoting drugs and bariatric surgery: a critical review and meta-analysis.” International journal of obesity (2005) vol. 41,5 (2017): 672-682. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.31 Tobias, Deirdre K et al. “Effect of low-fat diet interventions versus other diet interventions on long-term weight change in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology vol. 3,12 (2015): 968-79. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00367-8
The information herein on "Understanding The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.
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