WEIGHT LOSS vs. FAT LOSS. What’s the difference?

The million dollar question is: Do you want to lose weight or do you want to lose fat? To many people, those terms are interchangeable, there is no difference between weight loss and fat loss. That’s because most people think when they start exercising, they’re automatically going to lose fat. It’s not true! Weight loss and fat loss are two totally different things.

Weight Loss And Fat Loss

In general, people who talk about weight loss really start from a place that is unknown to them. They might know how much they weigh, but they don’t know their lean body mass (how much muscle their bodies carry) and they don’t know their body fat percentage (what percentage of their weight is made up of fat).

So they just go by the scale number and say “Well… I just need to lose weight. I’m 100kg and I want to get down to 75kg. So I just have to lose 25kg.” And what you’ll see them do (especially women), is a lot of cardio and they will start to diet and severely cut back their calories (which is the opposite of the solution).

To lose weight, women will need to eat anywhere from 1000 to 2000 calories, and many women consider 2000 calories to be way too much for them to eat. So they’ll cut out a certain food group completely, because all they want is just to lose weight, regardless of whether it’s fat or whether it’s muscle.

If You Want To Lose Fat…

If you ask many people “Do you want to lose fat or do you want to lose weight?” They’re response will be: “Well, isn’t that the same thing? Of course I want lose fat!”. Or you ask them if they want to lose muscle or lose fat, of course they’ll say they want to lose the fat.

So what happens is that they will end up maybe losing weight, get down to the goal weight or get close to it and they look smaller, but their bodies don’t look any better or different. They will end up looking more “skinny fat”, which is still having a high percentage of body fat and low muscle. The reason for this is because they were focused on losing weight and not losing fat.


…Do Heavy Resistance Training

If you want to be smaller or in better shape to be healthier, to lose excess fat, you have to incorporate some heavy resistance training with your weight loss journey. You cannot just do cardio, because cardio will help you burn fat, but you’re going to have to build up the muscle, you’re going to have to increase your muscle size to reveal the muscle under your skin.

So the less fat and the less water you have between your skin and your muscle, the more the muscle is going to pop up and show and the better you will look and feel. Some fast ways to create heavy resistance are calisthenics, heavyweight training or using resistance bands.

…And Eat Enough Calories

You also need to pay attention to your diet in this process. Like I said, a lot of times women will cut out huge food groups or just lower their calories dramatically, but they could be hindering their fat loss. Eating at such a low calorie amount and doing so much cardio, you’re eating away your muscle through that because you’re not feeding the muscle enough fuel. The muscle has nothing to build itself on.

You need to change “I want to lose weight” to “I want to lose fat” and forget about the scale! Who cares what the scale says?! You have to understand that the scale matters to an extent, but your body fat percentage and your lean body mass is so much more important!

So when you’re starting a weight loss journey, think about how can you improve your muscle and lose fat. You’ve got to add resistance training, cut back on cardio and eat a balanced macro diet (your fat, your carbs and your protein are balanced).

I hope I have taught you the difference between weight loss and fat loss, and I also hope that this article helped you to interchange the word weight with fat in the statement “I want to lose weight!” After all, losing fat is what’s going give you the nice, lean body that you want. Stay fit!

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Lilly Bezuidenhout

Lilly Bezuidenhout

As a single mother at 21 who weighed 134kg, at the age of 25 I finally decided to take control of my weight and my life. This led me down the road to health. It was a long, confusing journey that proved to be quite challenging with no help, knowledge or support system for that matter.
After a lot of research, dedication and hard work, I lost a whopping 60kg! It was then that I decided this gift of health and well-being was one that needed to be shared.
In order to share my knowledge and experience with others struggling to become healthy or lose weight, I took the leap and enrolled at a fitness school to become a personal trainer. To date I am a qualified personal trainer, sports nutritionist, child nutritionist and mesotherapist and the journey to knowledge has only just begun.
Someone once said: “You give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him how to fish and you give him a skill that will feed him for a lifetime.” Health and wellness is not a fish, it’s the skill set to be a fisherman. Well today, I want to give you the proverbial fishing rod to your health and well-being.

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