When I first started trying to get in shape. I thought I needed to lose weight. Although that was short-sighted and futile. That’s why I’m going to tell you the difference between weight loss vs fat loss.
The only way to achieve the body I desired was to focus on the latter. That is to say, losing fat is much more fruitful than merely losing weight. And provides many more health benefits.
So that you can not only get into your best shape, you can also become healthier and stronger. Whereas most people who lose weight become just smaller, weaker versions of themselves.
So my goal for you is that you read this article and learn how to lose weight the right way and that’s by losing fat.
The Practical Takeaways On Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss
- If your main goal is merely weight loss. You’ll just end up becoming a smaller, weaker version of yourself. Because you’ll lose muscle & fat.
- If you focus on fat loss. You’ll dramatically improve your body composition, health and strength in the process. Because you’ll almost entirely lose fat & potentially build muscle.
- To lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, resistance train at least 3x per week and ensure you eat enough protein. This will help you preserve/build muscle meaning that you can eat more total calories. While losing fat.
What Is Weight Loss?
Weight loss occurs when your body is in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn). Which does result in some fat loss. But also muscle loss.
So many people find that when they lose weight even drastic amounts. They don’t have the body composition (ratio of fat to muscle) or look that they want.
And the reason is simple. Your fat stores can be broken down into fatty acids through a process called lipolysis.
So that you can use those fatty acids as an energy source to make up for your calorie deficit. This results in you having less fat on your body.
Although if you’re just trying to lose weight. And you’re eating in a calorie deficit. But you’re not eating enough protein, lifting heavy weights & getting enough sleep.
Your body will break the protein down in your muscles into amino acids and it will use that as a fuel source as well.
Resulting in you losing muscle protein & fat. This has a net effect of producing a smaller weaker version of yourself.
When You Just “Lose Weight” Muscle Protein Synthesis Rates (MPS )< Muscle Protein Breakdown Rates (MPB)
When you’re in a calorie deficit. Which is a catabolic state (the breaking down of muscle & other molecules). And you don’t lift heavy weights, get enough sleep or eat enough protein.
You’re giving your body no reason to hang on to the muscle that you have. Whereas if you made sure MPS rates were more than or equal to MPB rates.
You’d lose no muscle (or a very small amount). And lose more fat. You may even build muscle while being in a calorie deficit.
I see this a lot. People lose weight and they’re happy about it. But because they’ve also lost muscle. They’ve achieved a less impressive physique than what they could of.
If only they targeted fat loss.
What Is Fat Loss?
Fat loss is where you specifically target reducing your body fat levels. And this can only be done. If you make it your main purpose to maintain/build muscle while in a calorie deficit.
That is to say, you only reduce your body fat levels. And you become stronger, healthier and you look like a million bucks as a result of it.
How To Lose Fat & Not Muscle
1. Eat In A 20-30% Calorie Deficit
Or you can use the quick & easy method. You simply multiply your body weight in pounds by 11-13. To give you an example. My weight is currently 174 pounds and I’m moderately active.
So I’d multiply 174 pounds by 12. This equals 2088 calories. And From personal experience, this is a good ballpark estimate. For the number of calories needed for me to lose fat.
You don’t even need to be perfect with your calorie goal. A range of plus or minus 50 calories gives you some room for error.
If you’re an active individual multiply your bodyweight by 13. If you’re moderately active use 12 and if you’re sedentary use 11.
2. Lift Heavy Weights At Least 3x Per Week.
This will ensure that you preserve or even build muscle in light of the first step.
To quote fitness writer, powerlifter & trainer Martin Berkhan From Leangains.com.
” The primary function of weight-training on a diet should be to preserve muscle mass and maintain strength. If this attitude is in place, it’s possible to increase strength and muscle mass while losing fat depending on the training status of the client. “
So its incredibly important that you try your best. To improve or at least maintain your levels of strength. While in a calorie deficit.
If you want a free workout program read this article.
If you’re new to lifting weights. There’s a high chance that you can build muscle while losing fat. This is called a body recomposition.
Although if you’re past your first 1-2 years of proper strength training. Then making gains while in a calorie deficit probably won’t be a possibility.
Remember maintenance of strength while losing fat. Is great progress. That means you’re stronger at a lighter bodyweight.
3. Eat 1 Gram Of Protein Per Pound Of Your Body Weight
Because my body weight is roughly 174 pounds. This means that I need to eat 174 grams of protein every day to lose fat.
Eating a high protein diet has been shown to provide many benefits such as :
4. You build more muscle & strength
If you want to know why I recommend that you eat this much protein read this article.
4. Get Between 7-9 Hours Of Sleep Per Night
Failing to get enough sleep has been shown to provide negative side effects such as:
1. Decreased motivation & willpower.
3. Decreased strength & physical performance.
4. A slower rate of muscle gain.
So get enough sleep. This will help you lose more fat. And improve your performance in & outside of the gym.
Why It’s Important To Incorporate All 4 Of These Steps
All four of these steps result in MPS rates being equal to or more than MPB rates. This will result in almost 100% of the weight you lose coming from fat.
Which will lead to you becoming healthier, stronger and more aesthetic.
The Bottom Line On Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss
- If your main goal is merely weight loss. You’ll just end up becoming a smaller, weaker version of yourself.
- If you focus on fat loss. You’ll dramatically improve your body composition, health and strength in the process.
If you’re going to make a change to transform your body composition. Do it properly.
Are you struggling with anything to do with improving your health & fitness?
Because know that If you’re that’s okay. I’ve been there too.
So if you want help or need to ask any questions send me an email at email@example.com
Thanks for reading