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Weight loss vs Fat loss

Weight loss is one of the hottest topics and one of the greatest selling products for the Health & Fitness industry. Everyone is trying to lose weight nowadays, and fit societies image of the perfect person (That is a story for another blog though ;) ).

So what is the difference between weight loss & fat loss? People seem to use or get both terms confused. Well, after reading this latest SFTM post I hope you’ll understand the difference between weight loss & fat loss, but also which one you should aim for.

Let’s start by defining weight loss & fat loss so you know what I mean here;

The bathroom scales give you a quick and easy measure of your total body weight (and possibly your self-esteem), but they are a completely inaccurate guide to your health, wellness and body fat levels. Total body weight gives you a measure of many things, including body fat, hydration levels, muscles, bones, organs, food in various stages of digestion, and even hair. Losing body fat has a wide range of potential health benefits, but losing muscle, bone or fluids can be damaging to your health. The bathroom scales can’t differentiate. When you lose weight on the scales, you could just be celebrating dehydration.

The key to improving your health is to focus on losing body fat, not just weighing less on the scales. Here is a few more reasons why fat loss is a much better health and fitness goal than stressing over weight loss on the scales;

  • Fluid levels fluctuate - The human body is made up of approximately 70% water, making up a significant portion of our body weight. Even small fluctuations in fluid levels can cause weight to fluctuate by up to 2kg per day, also may I mention; especially in menstruating females. Your weight on the scales can fluctuate by up to 2 kilograms a day, and it has nothing to do with changes in your level of body fat.

  • Muscle is more dense than fat – Muscle gives you strength and energy, and boosts your metabolic rate. When you are active, the amount of glucose you store in the muscles increases, potentially increasing your body weight a fraction. When you try to exercise more, you may actually gain a little weight on the scales, but can still be losing body fat. Sadly, some people think their exercise program isn’t working and use this as an excuse to give up, when in fact they are doing well.

  • It doesn’t tell you what you need to know – Weight loss doesn’t always mean fat loss. Weight loss could even mean you have an illness/stressed, etc. Fat loss is associated with improved health, wellness, loss of centimetres and improved energy levels. What I would like to invite you to do is - instead of worrying about the bathroom scales, try to focus more of your energy on the following:

  • Girth measurements

  • How your clothes fit

  • How you feel

  • Your energy levels

  • Stress levels

  • Recovery

  • How you sleep

  • Performance inside the gym/training paddock and on the sporting field

  • Images - progress photos

  • Also listen to what people say. They’ll notice your body change more than you will; the opinion of others should never matter, but sometimes it takes others to notice the positives in us to notice that type of change.

I hope you have found this brief blog useful.



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