According to data published by the CDC back in 2018, almost 50% of American adults try to lose weight every year. For many people trying to lose weight, the terms "weight loss" and "fat loss" mean are interchangeable.
This can make things difficult for people trying to lose those extra pounds healthily. When it comes to weight loss vs fat loss, the two are quite different. If you've been spending the duration of your diet watching the scales, you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
In this guide, we'll take a look at everything you need to know about the differences between weight loss and fat loss so you can make healthy and sustainable progress towards a better you.
Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss: What's the Difference?
The problem with focussing on weight loss is that your body weight is comprised of several things:
This means that every time you step on the scales, and there's a fluctuation in your weight, it could be any of these things. More often than not, those day-to-day changes in your weight are caused by water weight.
There are plenty of crash diets out there promising to be the holy grail of weight loss. But many of them fail to mention that you'll be losing weight from areas where you need it, such as muscle and organ tissue.
If you're looking to get healthier and shed a few pounds of excess weight, then you need to focus on fat loss.
To do this, the first thing you need to do is step off the scale. It's possible to be losing body fat while putting on weight. Does this mean you're getting less healthy? No. Quite the opposite. Let's take a look at why fat loss is more important than weight loss.
Why You Should Focus on Fat Loss
Having a healthy weight in mind is important, but one of the best tips for fat loss is to replace the scale with a mirror. A scale can tell you how much weight you're losing, but it can't tell you where that weight is coming from.
If you're looking to get healthier and change how you look, then your focus should be on fat loss. Having too much fat in proportion to lean muscle mass is the main contributing factor to obesity. High body fat can lead to several other health problems including:
High blood pressure
Fatty liver diseases
Mood disorders (depression and anxiety)
By focussing on fat loss as supposed to weight loss, you'll still be working towards a healthier weight and a better physique, but you'll be doing so in a way that benefits your overall health.
Tips For Fat Loss
Before we get started, there's something important that needs to be said: There are no diets that target fat loss. Not specifically. And there are no exercises that will target body fat, no matter where it is on the body.
Your body burns fat when you burn more calories than you consume. Sure, some foods will be converted to fat quicker than others and it's good to avoid them. But to lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit.
Once you're in a calorie deficit, the type of foods that you put into your body become more important. You need to make sure you're still getting a wide range of nutrients to keep your body healthy.
Protein over Carbohydrates
When you're trying to lose weight, it's important to focus on a high-protein diet. Protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass which is especially important when you're dieting. Protein-rich foods can also help to reduce your appetite and therefore reduce your overall calorie intake.
Carbohydrates are a tricky one. While they are needed for the body to produce energy, it's important to understand what happens if you don't use them correctly.
Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which is used for energy throughout the body. Glucose is stored as glycogen in the muscles ready for use in physical exercises. However, there is only room for so much.
Excess glycogen is converted into fat, and your body won't attempt to use this energy source until the glycogen stores in your muscles are depleted.
This means that it’s important to time your carbohydrate intake around exercise and the earlier part of the day. This will help ensure that the body will use them for energy and not store them as fat.
Why Muscle Is Important
Maintaining and building muscle when you're trying to lose fat is crucial. The more lean muscle you have, the easier it is for the body to burn fat.
As well as eating a high-protein diet, it is recommended that people looking to lose body fat should regularly participate in resistance, or strength training.
Strength training has been found to have better results for fat loss than aerobic exercise. This is because the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns while you are resting. This helps to preserve your fat-free mass.
Sleep and Stress
Most people might think that diet and exercise are the crucial components of weight loss, but reducing stress and getting adequate sleep are just as important.
Stress elevates levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels can increase our cravings for food, especially sweet and fatty foods.
A lack of sleep can contribute to elevated cortisol levels too, but sleep is also responsible for balancing two chemicals: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells us when to eat, and leptin tells us when to stop eating. When we are sleep-deprived our bodies produce more ghrelin and less leptin.
Managing stress and making sure you get enough sleep are essential aspects of a holistic diet that will help to control your appetite throughout the day.
The ChiroThin Weight Loss Program
Now you understand the differences between weight loss vs fat loss you have a good starting point for becoming a healthier version of yourself. The ChiroThin weight loss program can help you to lose weight while maintaining muscle mass and ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Many crash diets put unnecessary stress on the body by only focussing on losing weight as quickly as possible. The ChiroThin formula is designed to help your body manage the demands of losing weight while promoting overall health at the same time.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Click here to find a ChiroThin doctor in your area.