Difference Between Weight Loss & Fat Loss

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When you have a weight loss goal, you probably break out the scale first. After all, it’s one of the easiest ways to measure your progress. But, there are limitations to what that number can tell you, and in many instances, it can take you down the wrong path.

Body weight measures total mass  which includes fat, water, bone, muscles and organs.

Body fat just isolates the amount of adipose (fat tissue) and visceral fat (around vital organs).

Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing. Weight loss and fat loss are often used interchangeably. But have you ever wondered if there’s any difference between them?

Weight loss is an overall reduction in body weight, while fat loss is a reduction in body fat.  When you lose weight, you’re not just losing body fat: you’re making changes to each component of your body composition – body fat, lean body mass, and body water. This is true for weight gain as well. You don’t control how much of each you lose, but you can influence what’s lost.

It’s important to understand this distinction, because body fat is the most accurate indicator and predictor of well-being and disease, whereas body weight and health are not always negatively correlated.  Meaning you can weigh more than average, but be healthier than average too.

Why you should focus on fat loss and not weight loss?

There is an unfortunate stigma when it comes to weight. While there is a clear link between obesity and chronic diseases, weight loss goals can lead to unintended consequences like disordered eating. That’s why a focus on fat loss and a healthy body composition is a much better approach because it encourages the individuals to move more and eat well.

When people focus only on weight loss, they decrease their muscle and fluid density as well which can lead to negative health implications such as: lowered metabolism, fatigue, decline in neuromuscular function, increased risk or injury etc.

Hence, fat loss is much more important than weight loss and will lead to long-term changes in the body that are healthy. Yes, it might take longer than expected, but would you rather drop 30 pounds just to regain it all back, or spend the time to make small, impactful changes that lead to a lifetime of good health?

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