There is one topic that causes a lot of frustration for the general public, gym enthusiasts, a big percentage of women and many personal trainers. That topic being the constant battle between weight loss and fat loss, and how the mixed messages are causing many people, especially women, to get lost in the world of health and fitness.
Firstly, let’s take a look at what is happening with the term weight loss before dissecting the difference between that and fat loss.
The term weight loss has been completely bashed around from the media, gym and gossip among friends. It has spiraled out of control with people fixated on these two words whilst forgetting about any other factors at the gym or with their bodies. However when a discussion is opened up, it seems that the majority do not understand the term.
People are becoming fixated on weight loss and, therefore the number on the scale, which is killing their love for selves. Are you holding your self-worth to a number on the scale? Holding yourself like a prisoner to the scale and weight is going to wear you down. Will you ever be satisfied with the number on the scale?
From speaking with my female clients, the following five goals come up consistently:
1) Tone up
2) Lose weight
3) Lose fat around the stomach
4) Increase fitness
5) Feel healthier
What they truly want is to change their body composition, not necessarily lose weight, and to lose excess body fat whilst feeling good. What it really comes down to is fat loss. It really has nothing to do with weight, yet the poor term “weight loss” gets the biggest focus.
Remember the body has to weigh something; it has bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood, water, etc. All of that “weight” is necessary in order to function properly and healthy.
These ladies are reminded that they may in fact stay the same weight, yet lose excess body fat and feel totally amazing. They will try the method with a training and nutrition programme, and weeks later they have belief in the term fat loss and realise how ridiculous focusing on weight truly has become.
Below is a breakdown of the drawbacks and benefits on weight loss and fat loss.
- If the focus is more on weight loss rather than on a nutrition and training programme, you could easily be dropping muscle as well as fat.
- This rarely creates a toned physique.
- This does not always promote optimal health.
- The body needs water and muscle to function properly. By cutting your weight to an extreme, it will decrease the volume of water and muscle on top of losing fat which may lead to hydration, fatigue and hormonal imbalances.
- The emphasis on losing body fat whilst building muscle will give the toned physique you want.
- Energy will improve as fat decreases and muscle increases, with the added bonus of increased strength!
- With the correct habits to boost fat loss, they will help you feel better as they promote health and optimal body composition at the same time.
- With a healthy approach, fat loss will help stress hormones to decrease. The hormone cortisol, stress hormone, will decrease when the body becomes healthier. Cortisol sits around the stomach area, therefore a programme helping you to lose fat will help your stress levels decrease too!
It can be easy to see how the terms weight loss and fat loss get mixed up in the message due to the constant bombardment in magazines, social media and TV. However if you find yourself going round in circles, doing yo-yo dieting, skipping workouts, feeling fed up, and ready to quit then it is time for you to take control. Take a step away from the dribble you keep reading which is not working for you and take a new approach. Write down what it is you really want. What goals do you want? Be honest with yourself.
You are in charge of your goals. Be open minded, understand what it is you want and seek the best advice you can get to help you.
Which one do you really want?