In the context of medicine and physical fitness, weight loss is just the reduction of a person’s total body mass. This may include loss of body fat, fluid, muscle mass, bone and any kind of tissue. Weight loss can either be intentional or unintentional.
Intentional weight loss occurs when a person reduces food intake and/or exercises in order to reduce body fat. During weight loss, some muscle mass is also lost and it is impossible to lose pure body fat unless you undergo liposuction. On the other hand, unintentional weight loss is caused by diseases, drugs or other physical/psychological conditions.
What Is Fat Loss?
Fat loss refers to lowering a person’s body fat or the amount of fat a person carries. The healthy body fat level is around 10% for men and 15% for women. If fat loss is your goal, you need to stop relying on your body weight since it can fluctuate due to a variety of reasons like water retention/loss, muscle gain/loss, stomach/bowel content, etc. Also, two people who have the same height and weight may look very differently due to body fat and muscle mass.
How Are Weight Loss and Fat Loss Related?
Most people use the term weight loss but what they really mean fat loss. Technically, this is not correct but people are used to the term weight loss for the reduction of body fat. The problem with weight loss is that a decrease in a person’s weight may be due to loss of fluids or muscle mass. This is why you shouldn’t rely on the weighing scale and this is also the major flaw of the body mass index (BMI) for determining overweight and obese individuals. Instead you should rely on body fat levels which can be measured using several methods like body fat callipers.
Difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss
Far too often, people use the term weight loss when what they are referring to is fat loss. This is a major problem when it comes to reducing fat in the body. When someone loses 2 pounds due to diet and exercise, they automatically think this is pure fat. This is inaccurate and incorrect. The scale doesn’t really tell you much about how much fat you lost. This is because the weight loss may include fluids, muscle or even clothing. Try not eating or/and drinking for 8 hours and you can lose up to 5 pounds. This doesn’t mean that you lost 5 pounds of body fat. Again, the best way to measure your fat loss is by having your body fat level checked regularly.
How to Achieve Fat Loss
Your goal is to preserve muscle while at the same time losing fat. If you starve yourself, there is a high chance that your body will be burning muscle instead of fat. This is not good since muscle is very important when it comes to burning calories. Losing muscle means you will have a more difficult time losing body fat.
Weight Training and Diet
Weight training can also be beneficial for fat loss. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will be burning daily. Studies indicate that for every pound of muscle you gain, you will burn up to an additional 50 calories every day. This means that you will be able to eat more without gaining weight. Remember that your diet is a crucial part of the fat loss process. To preserve muscle and lose fat, your daily caloric deficit should just be around 300-600 calories.
Now that you’re aware of the difference of weight loss and fat loss, you should understand that it is fat loss you should be trying to achieve. Follow the tips mentioned in this article and you will be on your way to losing body fat, improving your health and looking a lot better.