There are so many products and gimmicks out there that promise quick weight loss. If you’re unhappy with the way you look, your first thought is “I need to lose weight”, but what if I told you that may not be the right answer. Today, I would like to explain to you the difference between weight loss and fat loss to help you gain a better foundation to set achievable health and fitness goals.
Like many health-related terms, people get confused when it comes to weight loss and fat loss and tend to use them interchangeably. When you step on a scale, the number reflects the total weight of your bones, muscles, organs and body fat. In terms of weight loss, you'll be trying to lower that total scale number. When you talk about fat loss, your end goal is to lower your percentage of body fat, the amount of fat your body carries.
The problem with weight loss is that it’s an unreliable measure of health. Your weight can fluctuate daily due to water loss or retention, whether you have just eaten, bladder content, muscle loss or gain and many other factors. It’s really difficult to point to a single thing that could increase or decrease your weight from day to day. Also, an individual with very little body fat, who's in great shape can weigh more than someone of the same size that is clearly out of shape. A typical bathroom scale does not take into account the whole body composition differences. So, it’s important not to fixate on the weight number.
If fat loss is your goal, the number one thing you need to do is change your diet – you cannot out train poor nutrition. Eat whole foods, protein and vegetables and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Secondly, you should start doing strength training to increase your lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have on your body the more your body will burn fat while at rest.
Something else that's important to understand is that although it may be difficult to see results quickly, it’s not difficult to track your progress. Take measurements before you begin your fat loss journey. Measure your arms, chest, waist, hips and legs. Re-take your measurements bi-weekly or monthly and keep a journal of your losses. Better yet, do a body composition analysis which will break down your weight in terms of water, muscle and fat. And you can track your progress by doing a followup analysis to keep track of your changes monthly.
Also, take full body pictures every month to give yourself a true view of the progress you are making. Keep a journal of your meals to keep yourself accountable for making healthier food choices. Finally, make sure you are logging your workouts – again for accountability, but also to have written evidence of the strength you are building!
At Tafiq's Physiques we can help you get started on your fat loss journey and explain to you the best way to accomplish your goals with a whole body health and fitness plan that can help you get the body you want and deserve.
By working together, we can definitely make your health and fitness goals a reality.