As a personal trainer, the most common answer I get when asking new clients what their goals are say ‘lose weight.’
Weight loss is the main reason why people exercise and eat well.
So is weight loss the same as fat loss? Is there a difference?
Well the difference is massive actually.
Someone who has lost 5kg of fat compared to 5kg of weight will have massively different results. Most people who say they want to lose weight probably do mean fat.
People normally judge their bodyshape by what it says on the scales, so they think if the scales make better reading then they will look a lot better, not necessarily so.
This is the reason that so many people (especially women) go on these diets that promise you will lose 10 pounds in 10 days for example, people become obsessed with what the scales say. Some people will weight every morning and night! Madness in my opinion.
In order to make long term sustainable changes then you have to be patient.
Obesity levels are through the roof which shows that either people don’t want to get healthier, don’t know how to get healthier or just haven’t got the patience to commit to making positive changes.
Weight loss is much more straight forward than fat loss. If one of my clients lost 10 pounds in a week I would be pretty shocked and a bit worried yet this is what happens with these highly restricted diets, the best way to lose weight is gradually 1-2 pounds a week.
When people start these crazy diets initially the weight will come off, this is mainly because your food intake has been dramatically reduced and a lot of it is water weight. You are probably not much closer to your ideal body shape because you haven’t just lost fat you have lost muscle as well.
As well as loose looking arms and legs another problem with this dieting approach is if you returned to your old ways (which always happens with these unsustainable diets) the weight would come straight back on, this time with extra body fat though! And so the yo yo dieting cycle begins.
So to summarise how losing fat compared to losing weight would affect our body:
- Losing fat would help to boost our metabolism and protect our muscles. Losing weight would mean you lose mostly muscle.
- Losing a lot of weight can leave you feeling weak and unwell where as losing fat makes you feel healthier and energised.
- You can lose weight without exercising; you will need to exercise to lose fat.
- Fat takes up a lot more space than muscle so by losing fat you will take more inches off your body.
- Muscle is firm, fat jiggles. Losing the fat will give you the best body you can hope for. Losing weight will only make good reading on the weighing scales.
The best way to drop fat
The best way you can go about this really is fairly straight forward on paper. Nutrition is crucial and regular exercise is important. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track:
- Eat good quality protein with most of your meals
- Cut out bloating refined carbs such as white bread, white rice etc.
- Eat a small portion of high quality carbohydrates like brown rice with each meal
- Eat as many vegetables as possible with each meal
- Eat fruit and nuts for breakfast and sometimes as a healthy desert
- Eat 4-5 smaller meals each day instead of 2 big ones to keep your metabolism firing
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly through challenging cardio training as well as strength building training
There is no new advice there so if your goal is to lose fat just keep these things up and you’ll be there.
If you want to know what your body fat level is then there are many relatively cheap weighing scales which have this function, if not you could arrange an appointment with me or get it done at your gym. The average bf in men is 12-18 per cent and 16-25 percent in women, because women need fat in the breasts, pelvis, hips and thighs in order for normal reproductive activity to take place.
Make a body you are proud of that looks and feels good from top to bottom, not just a tired, untoned body with loose skin that only looks good when measured on the weighing scales.
According to the scales a pound is a pound and that’s it. An international rugby forward a phenomenal athlete will be no different to a large man who hasn’t exercised a day in his life on a weighing scales.
So hopefully this information as helped you refocus your goals and you can see that how you look and feel (not from an aesthetic point of view) is the most important thing.
Thanks for reading and anymore advice you need please let me know.
Fight the fat,