If you are stepping on the weighing scale with no observed change in the scale, don’t be discouraged. If you are eating right and training hard and your weight is not going down, you might just be monitoring the wrong variables. You need to know the difference between weight loss vs. fat loss. While fat loss and weight loss are used interchangeably, they can have different outcomes and different meanings. In this article, we will look at what you need to know between weight loss vs. fat loss. Read on to find out more!
Weight Loss: What is it?
The weight of the human body is categorized into two different classifications- lean mass and fat mass. Fat mass- as the name implies- are the total levels of fat in the body. On the other hand, all the things that are not fat mass are referred to as lean mass. Lean mass can be broken down further into organ mass, water, muscle mass, and bone mass. That is where some confusing concepts turn up.
Some individuals try to reduce their lean mass on purpose but are more interested in the equation’s fat mass. However, using this approach to losing weight can’t provide individuals with any clear indicator as to what exactly was lost- muscle, fat or, something different.
Losing weight does not discriminate on which component is lost. It is a measure that is purely numerical. Also, there are several ways that the weighing scale can be cheated. For example, doing a low carb diet (from a high-carb one) can dramatically make people lose weight. This is because a gram of carbs stored contains water in the amount of three grams. It is the primary reason behind individuals losing a dramatic amount of weight when they undergo or observe a diet that is low in carbs. It is important to note though, that the loss, in this case, is not necessarily fat.
Several different factors can affect the daily fluctuations of the weight of individuals and all of these are commonplace. These include food in the GI tract, differing levels of dietary fiber consumed, varying sodium consumption, and fluctuations in the hormones. All of these factors can lead to weight fluctuations, and when observed on the weighing scale, people may question if it is ever lost or gained fat or if weight loss should even be the focus.
Fat Loss: What is it?
All individuals have certain levels of fat within the body. It is expressed quite often as total body composition percentage, such as sixteen percent fat. On average, women tend to have more body fat compared to men. That is because women require the maintenance of higher body fat levels for reproduction. Also, males have an average, higher muscle mass compared to their female counterparts based on weight, which can also lead to body fat levels that are lower.
An athlete who is male can have body fat ranging from seven percent to thirteen percent compared to women athletes who may have twelve percent to 20 percent. Men who are fit and athletic can have fats from twelve percent to seventeen percent while the fit and athletic females can range from seventeen percent to twenty-four percent. Men and women who are healthy can have 24% and 30% fat respectively. While fat loss can occur, then the storage of fats is also necessary. Excess fat can be stored in the fat cells of the body referred to as adipocytes, the namesake of the tissues known as adipose, which translates to fatty tissue literally.
Adipocytes or body fats that are most common and most discussed include fat between muscles and skin or subcutaneous fat and fat around the organs or visceral fats. While there are other variants of fat out there, the said two types are the major ones in terms of physical appearance and health. Fat loss occurs when adipocytes that are stored are reduced and broken down.
Individuals are unable to choose from which part of their bodies they can lose the fat from, and no special processes exist that can work on specific spots of the body for fat loss. That means that exercising and the area you want to lose fat in are not going to be effective. For example, those who want a stomach that is toned and flat will need to do more than sit-ups to achieve weight loss. On the other hand, a deficit in calories can lead to weight loss.
How is Muscle Ideally Gained?
For people who just want weight loss, then muscle gain might not be an issue. It is important to note though that people who gain muscle can have the weighing scales affected as muscle carries with it its mass (muscle mass). That is also the reason why athletes who go for a lean physique for their sports (runners, triathletes) tend to not carry to much muscle mass. For people who want a toned look and a leaner look, gaining some muscle mass can help them achieve this. However, it must be noted that while it is possible to gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, it is ideally recommended to focus on one target at first (weight loss) before moving on to the next one (muscle building).
Something to Ponder On
While most individuals claim to want to lose weight, what they want to achieve is fat loss. Most of these people are doing this to improve their health, feel better, and look good. Weight loss vs. fat loss- you must reassess what you want to achieve. Once goals are established, measurements and plans can be chosen and applied much easier.