Weight loss Vs Fat loss: What's the difference and what's better?

The most common thought around fitness is weight loss. People around the world are overweight and the reason most of them get into their fitness journey is to shed extra kilos. But do you really want to lose weight? What if all you need to do is lose fat? Confused? 

Weight loss and Fat loss are two terms often used interchangeably. But if you go into the technicality, there lies a huge difference! 

What is Weight Loss Vs What is Fat Loss? 

Weight loss is a more general term that focuses solely on your weight on the scale. The number on the scale alone isn’t a great way to judge your healthiness as your body weight is made up of a variety of weights i.e. muscle mass, fat mass, water mass, and bone mass. While we can't do much about bone mass and water mass, we should be focusing on getting rid of as much fat as possible while retaining as much muscle as possible, because muscle is a crucial component for your overall health. 

Fat loss, on the other hand, refers to weight loss that occurs specifically from losses in fat mass. 

How to lose fat and maintain/gain muscles? 

The truth is, your weight will fluctuate through the day depending on a variety of factors including hormone levels, time of the day, salt and water intake, the heavy meal consumed the previous day, when you ate last, incorrect measurement of foods, lack of adherence to your fitness regime, increased inflammation, menstrual cycle, etc. And therefore, your weight reduces over a longer period of time, and when you are in a calorie deficit. If it doesn't, chances are that you are not in a calorie deficit! 

Now the only way you can lose fat and retain muscle while being in a calorie deficit is by nourishing your body well – which is by providing it with the right quality and quantity of proteins, carbs, fats, water, essential micronutrients, rest & workouts. And once you get your food & lifestyle in order, it may take a couple of weeks (with consistency, of course) for you to start noticing that your body is losing fat. 

You can actually LOSE FAT WITHOUT LOSING WEIGHT! While your fat percentage is going down, if you are working out regularly, your muscle mass will increase. This keeps your weight at the same level as before, with a change in body composition. 

How to measure if you are losing fat or muscle mass?

It’s a common practice to measure your weight with a measuring scale. While it can be helpful, most scales don’t differentiate between fat mass and muscle mass and so they cannot define your fitness levels.

  • Don’t use a weighing scale as a measure of your progress and don’t worry about daily weight fluctuations
  • Before and after pictures are a great way to track your progress
  • Regularly measure areas that accumulate fat such as your stomach and hips. If they reduce in size, it means that you are losing fat!
  • Focus on maintaining a calorie deficit consistently over a long period of time and you will definitely see results. 

It's time to start your fitness journey… 

If you're unsure of where to begin your fitness journey or confused if you are losing the right weight - then follow the guidance of a fitness coach like Miten Says Fitness (MSF), and get a tailor-made diet and workout plan that helps you stay put with your overall fitness journey, while helping you form habits that you can follow for life!