Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

Weigh vs fat loss

My approach to weight loss is to help you lose fat permanently, and look better long after the diet has ended. In order to achieve this goal, we first need to differentiate between weight loss goals and fat loss goals.

When you say that you want to “lose weight”, chances are that you really mean that you want to lose fat, and not muscle tissue, not nerve tissue, not brain tissue, not water weight, nor bone density. This distinction is probably the best way to come to terms with rapid fat loss schemes and gimmicks, which do not discriminate between the various types of total body mass.

Indeed, the bulk of the weight loss you will experience over the course of shortcut diet and supplement regimens is water and muscle loss – the number on the scale will certainly go down, but your overall fitness and health will be harmed, and you will likely be just as flabby. To add insult to injury, any loss of muscle tissue guarantees that future weight gain will be easier, and future continued weight loss will be harder. This is because muscle, even while you are just sitting reading this, consumes calories (unlike fat, which is almost inert). By decreasing your total muscle mass, you dramatically decrease your basal metabolic rate, reducing the total number of calories you can consume in order to not gain fat. This is a recipe for failure.

This is not meant to discourage you, but instead to offer a realistic counterweight against the misleading claims of the diet industry (one of the few industries which succeeds by failure). There is no silver bullet or magic potion, and chances are that there never will be. Permanent fat loss demands long-term adherence to a proper diet (not necessarily one very low in calories, so do not despair!) and regular exercise. The specific diet and amount and kind of exercise required varies between individuals, but there is always something which will work for you.

This brings us to the point that everyone responds differently to different activity levels and different diets. What works for Sally may not work for her sister, Susan. Some individuals only need to make minor lifestyle changes (like cutting out 2nd helpings or 2nd desserts, or adding in a 30 minute walk 3 days a week) in order to start shedding fat. Most of us require more effort, but nothing extreme.

Posted on August 14, 2012 by hotnfit


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