For most people struggling to achieve the body they want, it’s easy to get confused over what they really want to lose: weight or fat? Aren’t they the same thing? According to fitness experts, no — they couldn’t be more different. If you want to achieve long-term results, it’s important to know what you should lose when you’re working out.
Fat Loss VS Weight Loss: Knowing the Difference
Weight loss refers to lowering the body weight, including the sum weight of your muscles, organs, body fat, and bones. On the other hand, fat loss refers to lowering your body fat alone. Men should have 10% body fat while women should have 15%.
For most dieters, the goal is simple: lose weight. But the problem with weight loss is that it’s an unreliable way to stay fit. Why? The numbers you see on the weighing scale are comprised of your stomach, bladder, and bowel content. You will be lighter if you don’t drink water and gain it all back once you start drinking liquids. As such, the number you see on your weighing scale is irrelevant if you want to stay fit.
Two individuals can look very differently despite having the same weight. Why? Because the other one has more fat in his body and the other has more muscle mass. Losing weight through dieting or rapid weight loss programs tend to eliminate body fluids and muscles, leading to weight loss. This is not the healthy way to stay trim.
In addition, when you’re forced to eliminate certain food groups from your diet, you’re not giving your body the proper nutrients it needs to function normally — and that could lead to health complications and vitamin/mineral deficiency.
When you exercise, you burn off fat as you tone your muscles. Your body gets stronger, your heart becomes more efficient, and your muscles become bigger and more sculpted. Complement your fitness program with a healthy, well-balanced meal and you will lose fat without starving yourself! Between weight loss and fat loss, you want to shoot for the latter if you want long-term results.
How to Speed Up Fat Loss
Stop Weighing Yourself Everyday
This might sound counterintuitive when you’re watching your weight but the fact is your weight is not static. This means the numbers you see on the weighing scale will spike and dip throughout the day, leaving you even more confused about your progress. Save yourself the stress of weighing yourself each day and try doing this once every two weeks instead.
Learn to Measure Body Fat
Measure yourself to get an idea how much fat you lost. If you can, take before and after full body pictures. You could also get a fat caliper and record how much fat you lost every two weeks. You can also get a tape measure and list down the girth measurements of your neck, chest, arms, abdomen, waist, and thighs.
Do Strength Training
Strength training does wonders to the body. It helps build a stronger, more sculpted frame; it also enhances stamina and endurance. Of course, you want to keep a record of your training too. To prevent muscle breakdown, make sure you log your muscle gains and strengths.