Are you trying to lose weight? Or are you trying to lose fat? Many of you might be confused right now because it’s a common perception that both of them mean the same. But to speak factually, they are not alike. Anybody can lose weight; it is quite simple. Compromise on your food, and sooner or later you will lose some weight, but the weight that you’ll lose will be from both from your muscle and fat. Yes, it’s true!
In this article we’ll try to clear, most of the common misconceptions that people have about weight loss and fat loss and navigate you in the right direction!
Fat Loss v/s Weight Loss
Let us understand that weight loss and fat loss are not the same! What you should strive for is losing fat in a way that not only preserves your muscle but also builds them. Your real success scale is not the weighing scale; it is the body fat percentage.
There are various ways of losing weight but there is only one way to lose fat from your body. Weight loss is achievable through poor eating habits whereas fat loss can be achieved by modifying your nutrition.
What Really is Body Composition?
Body composition demonstrates the quantity of fat and fat-free (lean body) mass that our body contains. Total body weight includes lean body mass and body fat. Lean body mass comprises of bone weight, muscle weight, organs, body fluids and essential body fat.
Body fat is nothing but the excess fat that is not at all helpful in performing your day to day activities. It is a cluster of cells which stores unused energy as triglycerides. It is also observed that many times this excessive fat is the primary reason for metabolic diseases.
Body composition is a very important parameter because our aim here is higher than just restricting or reducing the numbers on some kind of a machine!
Fat Loss Myths
Myth #1: Weight Loss = Fat Loss
We often hear these words “muscle weighs more than fat”, which is somewhat true. Naturally, the muscle will weigh more than fat, but it is important to understand that muscle occupies a lesser amount of space for an equal amount of weight as fat!
Muscle occupies less volume in our body, it is compact, and it has the tone and is firm. And on the contrary, fat is less dense and is lighter. It occupies more amount of space and is loose and flabby with no tone.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fittest of them all?”
In reality, you will observe that by adding muscle and losing fat at the same time, you might not actually see a lot of change in your weight, but it would be reflected in your productiveness and mental health.
The point here is not to equate fat loss and weight loss!
Myth #2: Just Stop Eating to Lose Weight
Losing weight is much simpler than you think. The simplest way is to stop eating and you will definitely see a drop in your weight. The question still remains ‘What kind of weight are you losing?’ because when an individual loses weight, it can be an outcome of water loss or muscle loss or body fat or bone mass, any of these, one cannot say for sure.
Weight loss can be a consequence of crash diets, poor nutrition, dehydration and excessive workouts. The weighing scale is undoubtedly not a measure for your success!
Myth #3: Fat Loss is Complicated
No matter how much one weighs, one wants a toned and fit body, right? The weighing scale might not reflect how light and lovely you feel after losing fat and how perfectly you can get into your old clothes. Then why is it bothering you? We should invest our energy in getting rid of body fat instead of pondering over the weighing scale.
The key point here is how you maintain a balance between the intake and utilization of your calories. Fat loss can effortlessly be achieved by correcting your eating pattern. Right nutrition conserves muscle mass and also assists the body in breaking down fat reserves.
A ketogenic or a low carb diet is the most effective way to cut down your excess body fat.
Myth #4: Workouts is the Main Reason for Fat Loss
Many people actually believe that running on a treadmill for long hours will help them in weight loss. Doing excess cardio no doubt is a great way to get your heart pumping the right way, but it is not ideal for weight loss. People also think that workouts and fat loss are directly related to each other. But in fact, energy expenditure doesn’t dictate body fat.
If an intense workout was the only way to lose body fat then why are so many heavy weight lifters and sportsman obese? Exercise only helps you to gain muscle and strength and if you are not able to lose fat simultaneously with it, then perhaps maybe you need to focus on your diet now!
However, it is a proven fact that higher muscle mass contributes in a big way towards reduction of body fat percentage. The explanation for this is that the more muscle you carry, the higher is the probability of you burning fat at rest.
Working out for merely an hour each day, surely won’t make a difference if you are indulged in poor diet and lifestyle. You also need to make the remaining twenty-three hours count!
To sum it up, it is equally important to look after both – nutrition and workouts.
Coming to the point, it is very much important to include strength training along with cardio while pursuing a correct diet with a proper mindset. This supports the growth of muscle while losing bodyweight and you would be able to attain a better body structure.
Stop Using a Weight Scale to Measure Your Progress
Let us not give the weighing scale the power of measuring our progress. Weighing scale can only de-motivate you, so instead make use of the following two methods.
Take photos or even videos of your body after constant intervals. Don’t be disheartened if you cannot see huge changes instantly, it is a sluggish process and you are definitely progressing.
Lean and toned body indicates less of fat and more of muscle, whereas a loose, flabby body indicates more of fat and less of muscle.
Take a tape and measure the circumference of your body and then compare the changes in inches. Shift your focus from kilo loss to inch loss. Measure the dimensions of your chest, waist and hips. Make sure that you do this at regular intervals (at least once per week).
Best Tips for Fat Loss
Find a good coach and mentor:
When you kick start your fitness journey it is extremely important to start it in the right direction, and for this you need someone who is experienced in fitness training and also can understand your body type pretty well. Invest in a good coach or mentor! After all it’s all about journey!
We as human beings are quite ignorant of the mind-heart-body connection. The calmer and happier you are the healthier you grow which eventually leads to contentment.
Prioritise your goals and aim to be better each day:
Set your goals high and no matter what follow them faithfully. Remember the mantra, one step at a time!
Don’t compare your progress with others:
Both your body and your journey are unique and it absolutely deserves no comparison. Keep your eye only and only on your target, not on your competitors.
Be patient with your journey:
Every successful body builder once had an ordinary body, it’s no rocket science. So, remain patient and hopeful and you’ll be unstoppable for sure!
The foods that are the roots of your problems won’t help you fix it. If you follow a plan and strategy and you still feel that your physique is not up to the mark, it’s more or less the time to make a change.
It is common sense that you can’t possibly solve a problem with the same thinking that caused them in the first place. It’s an absolute necessity to eat rich and to feed your body what it requires.
When you eat the correct kind of food, you start healing. Everything fits in perfectly, and it ends up in increasing your overall efficiency. The kind of food you eat will determine the kind of life you will eventually lead, as simple as that.