Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss – What’s the Difference and Which One is Better?

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss: Round 2

In general, almost all of us need to gain some muscle and lose some fat to get to our fitness goals. Here is where scale weight comes in. Muscles have a large amount of water in them. Fats well… they are fats. Have you ever seen oil (fats) and water (muscles) in the same glass? Which one floats? Yup, it’s the oil. Oil is less dense than water. It takes up less space. Fat is about 20% less dense than muscle (0.9g/ml vs 1.1g/ml) if you want to be calculative about it.

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss: Round 3

In practice, all this means that if you are following a good exercise and diet plan, you can gain muscles and lose fat at the same time. The increased muscles will offset the “weight loss” from the reduced-fat resulting in a “disappointing” change in scale weight. This can be discouraging but in reality, it’s great news!

So if scale weight doesn’t matter, what then should we look for to check our progress? I look for 2 things.

Appearance: This can be easily seen: “hey my arms don’t jiggle when I wave at my friends”. Easily touched: “wow my stomach feels a lot firmer now”. And changes easily measured via fat measuring calipers. Seeing and touching is enough for most people to notice progress. Calipers just give a more consistent way to quantify it.

Performance: Simply put, you can do more with respect to your bodyweight if you are not carrying a lot of fat around. A good example is a chin-up. The chin-up exercise is all about strength to weight ratio. Fat doesn’t help at all. If a person increases his/her ability to lift their body weight, we can be pretty sure that they have gained some muscle and probably lost some fat.

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss: Round 4 Society as a whole has to get off the “weight loss” bandwagon and onto the “fat loss” one. Eating disorders, fad diets, and slimming centers focus on weight loss. But usually, the quality of their nutrition is doubtful, and they don’t do ANY proper training so the majority of the weight loss is muscle. It’s even shown that when we go on a lousy weight loss plan, to body PREFERS to lose muscle weight rather than fat weight because it’s biologically efficient to do so.

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