Some people used the term “weight loss” while others call it “fat loss” whilst many use the terms weight loss and fat loss interchangeably. Do they mean the same thing? To many people, they do mean the same thing. But the terms may be entirely different in meaning. You must know the difference if you want to lose weight or lose fat effectively and healthily.
When you step onto your bathroom scale every morning, what you will be reading from the scale is weight loss and not fat loss. Bathroom scales are never accurate in determining fat loss.
Why? Because it measures your overall weight and not your body fat per se. If you weigh yourself in the morning before breakfast after your bowel movement, you will probably get your lowest reading of the day because your body is dehydrated through hours of nonfluid replenishment when you were sleeping and after emptying your bowels, more water and wastes are flushed away so much so that you are lighter. After a night of sleep and not eating anything, your carbohydrate store is running low and therefore you are even lighter without the stored carbohydrate known as glycogen. What happened then? You just lose weight, not lose fat! Your body fat is still there while the weight of other substances such as glycogen, wastes, water, etc is depleted.
Now go weigh yourself again after dinner when you are fully replenished through meals and consumption of water and it may surprise you that you may probably weigh 2kg or more heavier and that is at least 4.4 pounds! You just gained weight and may even gain fat! Now you can see that it is such a misnomer when people think weight loss and fat loss are the same things.
Why must you know the difference? Because most of us, especially those who are on the fat side want to lose fat and do not necessarily want to lose weight. Getting the drift?
Now for the more important part. Mere weight loss may cause you to lose muscle and in turn, make you gain body fat later. Yes, it is ironic. That is because the more muscle mass you have, the more you burn fat efficiently because muscle is active tissue and it requires calories to function. Body fat just sits there doing nothing and thus does not burn calories on its own. So the less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories your body will burn. The fewer calories your body burns, the more calories end up being stored as body fat! Therefore it is important to lose fat but not merely lose weight which may include the loss of muscle tissues.
How is it that a person may lose muscle on a weight loss program? Well for starters, we commonly hear about people going on this diet and that diet. Most diets demand a severe restriction of food or calorie intake. Your body will then signal to your mind that you are in starvation mode and the body is designed to store fat for the impending famine and will use up your muscle for energy in your daily activities.
Some diets advocate a severe cut in carbohydrates. Carbohydrate is your body’s first source of energy. When your body is depleted of carbohydrates, it turns to your protein (muscles) and body fat indiscriminately for energy. Now to make matters worse, because of the restricted carbohydrate consumed, there will be fewer carbohydrate calories to be used as energy calories and that again will signal the onset of starvation mode again. The vicious cycle of your body cannibalizing its own muscle is set in motion again. The same applies to people on slimming pills or salon fat loss programs.
So some people say ok, I see your point, so I will just do plenty of cardio exercises to lose weight. Another grave mistake. Have you ever wondered why marathon runners, those who run many kilometers often and are doing cardio exercises almost every day are so skinny with no muscle tone? Because your body is a wonderful machine. It is designed to adapt. When you run or skip or swim long enough, it will say, look, I better get lighter so that I can take the stress better and improve my endurance. Guess what? Your muscles are heavier than fats and what will your body shed more when it wants to get lighter? Muscle or fat? Your body will shed both but more muscles than fats.
Anyway, why would you want to lose weight only to become a smaller you with the same body shape without any muscle tone? Why would you want to be on a weight loss program that eats your muscles and lower your fat-burning rate so much so that when you are off the program, the fats come piling back on again?
Therefore, while you are on a loose weight program, you must also be on a build muscle program. That will mean a combination of correct dietary habits, cardio exercises, and weightlifting exercises to maintain muscle preservation and a fat loss result.
From now on tell people you are on a fat loss program and not a weight loss program. That you are on a correct eating habit instead of just simply dieting.
With the distinction clearly in mind, you will then know how to lose fat effectively, preserve and grow your muscles, and at the same time lose weight on your bathroom scale. That would be an ideal way to achieve your weight-loss objective because you will lose body fat instead of muscle and mere body waste.