If you’re looking to join a new gym or fitness program, it’s likely that one of your main goals is to lose weight. But what does losing weight really consist of? Is there a difference between losing weight and losing fat?
Weight loss is different from fat loss, and it’s important to understand the two to help you reach your goals – and maintain them.
Your body’s total weight includes bones, organs, muscles, fat, and water. Losing weight may result in a lower number on the scale, but weight loss doesn’t always equal health. If you’re losing weight from your muscles, you won’t achieve the results you’re looking for. And it’s not sustainable long-term.
Why? Because muscles are fat-burning machines. Muscle density directly impacts your metabolic rate, or the rate your body burns calories. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories your body will burn. Less muscle tissue also results in decreased absorption of nutrients. When your body can’t properly absorb the nutrients it needs, it stores your food as fat deposits, rather than burning the food like fuel. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body can burn. This is true even during periods of rest.
And when you lose weight, you also lose water. Your muscles are 70% water. and dropping below that composition results in dehydration, muscle loss, and eventually muscle atrophy, further reducing your metabolic rate.
The most accurate measurement for analyzing your body composition is body fat percentage.
Visualize two people: Both are the same height and weight, but one of them has a smaller body fat percentage. While both people weigh the same amount on the scale, their internal body fat composition is different. The person with less body fat will likely be stronger (more muscle) and wear a smaller shirt and pant size because they have less fat.
So, what’s the best way to lose weight? By using strength training to build strong, healthy muscles while simultaneously burning fat. We recommend sticking with a fitness program that you enjoy. A great workout is HIIT, or high intensity interval training. It’s a scientifically-proven workout that burns fat and increases your metabolic rate.
It’s also essential to fuel your body with a balanced diet and stay properly hydrated every day.
Ditch the Scale
We recommend you ditching the scale, because it isn’t an accurate representation of your body composition. The next time you pull out the bathroom scale, take a moment, and ask yourself – does this number truly matter? Or do you care more about loving the way your clothes fit when you get dressed every morning? Be proud of feeling strong and healthy! We encourage you to focus on how your body feels, rather than the numbers on a screen.
Want to learn more about ditching your scale for good? You can learn more about the healthy habits we teach at FXB during your free week. We’ll show you how you can transform yourself—inside and out!