What to Track: Weight Loss vs Fat Loss

When people begin their journey towards a healthier life, they immediately think they need to lose weight. While losing fat, you can lose weight, but it is also possible to gain weight. This might scare people into thinking their progress is back tracking when in reality that is how some people will get to their goals. Sweat-Fitness

In the example above, you can clearly see the difference in her body. She is sculpted, lost fat but gained weight. Is that bad? NOT AT ALL.

 

Why The Scale Isn’t Dependable:

Our bodies are made up of 50-65 percent water. After eating a heavier meal or a salty meal, your weight can be higher in the morning even when you did not gain weight. This is because our body retains more water. Over the course of a couple days, your body will go back to normal.

Drinking lots of water in one day, you will notice the scale may give you a higher number. Water has no calories, fat, carbs, etc. So how can this be? Your body retains that water to use for cleansing the body and daily functions. You didn’t gain actual weight because, again, after a couple days, your weight will go back to normal.

Remember: Water weight loss is not weight nor fat loss!

Also while on a fitness journey, you will notice the increase in weight like the example above. That does not mean that you have gotten fatter in any means. Muscle accounts for 30-40 percent of your total weight.

There are so many things that can affect what the scale says, so it is not a dependable way to track a fitness journey.

Fat vs Muscle Storage:

In your body, fat takes up more space than muscle. Let me show you.

WARNING: Graphic.

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On the left is 5 pounds of fat while on the right is 5 pounds of muscle. In reality, when you lose 5 pounds of fat but gain 5 pounds of muscle, you will still be losing “weight.” An easy way to think about this is through measurements. If you were a size 14, 140 pound person before but now you are a size 8, 140 pound person, you still made progress and lost that “weight” you notice in the mirror and clothing. This is possible due to the space the fat takes up.

Fat Burning Benefits of Muscle:

One of the many benefits of muscle is the ability to continue burning fat and at a higher rate than fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat burning that is able to occur. For every 1 pound of muscle, 7 to 10 calories will be burned while for every 1 pound of fat, only 2 to 3 calories will be burned.

Everyone is Different:

Do not rely on someone else’s body to compare yourself. In fact, don’t compare yourself to anyone. Work on becoming a better you every day. iphone-20120418164236-1

Weight can look different on every body shape. While one person who weighs 140 pounds looks completely fit, you wonder why your 140 pound self looks different. BMI is one way to track what is healthy for you as is tracking fat loss.

body-composition-male-female

bmi-chart

To find your BMI, follow these formulas:

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What it Looks Like:

While following a weight loss plan will help you look slimmer in time, it is not the healthiest way to go about it. When you are strictly following a weight loss program, it can lead to:

  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased fitness
  • Poor performance
  • Early ageing
  • Reduced immunity

Weight-Loss-vs-Fat-Loss-1

I have also noticed that fat loss programs gives, women especially, your body a figure.

When following a fat loss program, it can lead to:

  • Improved fitness
  • Greater strength
  • Peak performance
  • Delayed ageing
  • Reduced risk of disease

Tips for Tracking:

Weight-Loss-Vs-Fat-Loss-IG-2-e1474658317635

So remember, your weight does not define your progress. Sometimes weight gain is good! (If it means muscle gain). Lastly, never give up even if you plateau, go backwards or want to give up. It is a fitness journey for a reason.

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