Feb 10, 2021
Focus on Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss

A little more than a month into 2021, how many people have given up on their health and fitness goals for the new year after not seeing immediate results in weight and/or fat loss?

But what should we be focusing on — weight loss or fat loss? What is a greater sign of overall health and fitness? Well, fat loss refers to weight loss from fat while weight loss refers to a decrease in overall body weight from muscle, water, and fat losses.

fat loss
Photo: StockCatalog / Creative Commons

So what’s the difference? Fat loss is more specific, and a more healthy barometer of your fitness goals. A recent article on Healthline.com further detailed the differences.

Below is an excerpt from that article.

Maintaining a healthy percentage of muscle has several benefits, such as regulating healthy blood sugar levels, maintaining healthy fat levels — like triglycerides and cholesterol — in the blood, and controlling inflammation.

Indeed, several studies have linked a higher fat-to-muscle ratio to chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.

Maintaining your muscle mass may also reduce your risk of age-related muscle loss, which results in frailty and potential disability. Additionally, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.

There are a few simple ways to ensure you’ll lose weight in the form of fat and either maintain or gain muscle mass. These include eating plenty of protein, exercising regularly, and following a nutrient-dense diet that puts you in a slight calorie deficit.

In one 4-week study, young men were randomized to consume a low-calorie diet containing either 0.55 or 1.1 grams of protein per pound (1.2 or 2.4 grams per kg) of body weight combined with an intense exercise training program.

While both groups lost a significant amount of weight, the men who consumed the higher protein diet lost 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) more fat mass and gained 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) more muscle than men who consumed the lower protein diet.

To read the full story on the differences between fat loss and weight loss from Healthline.com, click here

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