Weight Loss Vs Fat Loss
For healthy weight reduction, it's more important to focus on fat loss rather than weight loss. Weight loss can come from a loss of muscle, water, and fat, but it's the loss of body fat that leads to improved health markers. Therefore, a combination of resistance training to maintain or build muscle and a calorie-controlled diet that promotes fat loss is the best approach for healthy weight reduction. It's important to aim for a slow and steady rate of fat loss, as quick weight loss often leads to the loss of muscle and regained fat.
Muscle, water, and fat loss all contribute to a reduction in body weight, which is what we mean when we talk about weight loss.
Fat loss is the reduction of overall body fat percentage, which is a more specific and beneficial objective than simply losing weight.
It's not always clear if the weight loss is coming from fat or muscle.
Why fat loss is more important than weight loss, and how to tell the difference, as well as strategies for losing fat while keeping muscle, are discussed in this article.
Strategies for gauging fat loss progress
A scale is a common tool for keeping tabs on your weight-loss achievements.
However, most scales don't distinguish between fat loss and muscle loss, so while this can be helpful, it's not perfect.
Losing fat or muscle, and how much of each, can have different effects on your weight, so keeping tabs on that alone isn't enough.
However, body fat scales are able to provide a more accurate assessment of your body composition by calculating your precise fat and muscle mass percentages.
Skinfold callipers are another option for estimating body fat percentage, though they require some practise to use accurately.
Cut the fat, not the weight.
There are numerous weight loss programmes that guarantee rapid and permanent weight loss.
However, keep in mind that some of this weight loss may be due to muscle and water loss.
Muscle is an important part of your body and its loss can have negative effects on your health.
There are many advantages to keeping a healthy muscle-to-fat ratio, including the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels, the maintenance of normal blood fat levels (including triglyceride and cholesterol levels), and the regulation of inflammation.
A higher percentage of body fat has been linked in numerous studies to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes as well as other chronic conditions.
Keeping your muscle mass up can protect you from the frailty and possible disability that come with ageing.
More muscle also means a higher basal metabolic rate, or the amount of calories burned while at rest. Because of this, men typically require more calories per day than women do.
Because of this, losing muscle mass can reduce your basal metabolic rate and make it simpler to regain any fat weight you may have lost.
How to reduce body fat while preserving or gaining muscle
A few easy adjustments can make it more likely that your weight loss will be fat rather than muscle.
Some of these include getting plenty of exercise on a regular basis, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and maintaining a small calorie deficit.
Consume a high-protein diet.
When it comes to keeping your body running smoothly, protein is crucial.
Enzymes aid in digestion and energy production, maintain fluid balance and immune health, and so forth; without them, these processes would not be possible.
Even more so when trying to shed pounds, protein helps keep muscle mass and encourages the development of new muscle.
Researchers had young men consume either 0.55 or 1.1 grammes of protein per pound (1.2 or 2.4 grammes per kg) of body weight for a period of 4 weeks while also engaging in strenuous physical activity.
Though both groups lost a lot of weight, the men on the higher protein diet lost an extra 2.9 lb (1.3 kg) of fat and gained an extra 2.4 lb (1.1 kg) of muscle.
A high-protein recovery snack after high-intensity resistance exercise was found to have the greatest impact. In addition, it kept the men's carbohydrate intake stable, so they had enough exercise fuel, and it restricted their fat intake, which helped them lose weight.
Even though a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet without weight training may prevent muscle gain, it may help you keep what muscle you already have while speeding up your fat loss.
A high protein diet of at least 0.68 g/lb (1 g/kg) was found to be more effective at preserving muscle mass and reducing fat mass in adults aged 50 and up than a lower protein diet in the aforementioned review of 20 studies.
Protein needs vary by age, health, gender, and level of physical activity, but eating between 0.45 and 0.73 grammes of protein per pound (1.16 and 2.6 grammes per kilogramme) of body weight per day can help you keep your muscle while dieting and lose fat.
The daily recommended value for protein is 0.36 grammes per pound of body weight (0.8 grammes per kilogramme).
Fat loss, as opposed to muscle loss, can be promoted most effectively through exercise.
Older adults who followed a calorie-restricted exercise and weight-lifting programme at least three times per week for at least a year had a 93% greater rate of muscle retention than those who did not exercise, according to a meta-analysis of six studies.
Although exercise alone is a great way to keep muscle while dieting, some research suggests that combining exercise with a higher protein intake may produce even better results.
The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend between 150 and 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities that target all major muscle groups for adults.
Keep your calorie intake low
Losing weight requires a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit can be achieved through decreased caloric intake or increased physical activity.
However, excessive calorie restriction can cause you to lose muscle mass rather than fat.
Instead, try aiming for a 500-600 calorie deficit per day to cut back on muscle loss while still facilitating fat loss.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods, and low-fat dairy can help you cut back on calories, as can limiting your intake of fried foods, sugary drinks, and processed meats.
On a conlcuding note..
Weight loss is the reduction of total body mass, while fat loss is the reduction of body fat percentage rather than total body fat.
Tracking your weight alone isn't as helpful for monitoring fat loss as using a body fat scale or skinfold calliper.
Measuring your waist and hips in inches or centimetres and keeping track of how your clothes fit after losing weight are two additional easy ways to gauge your fat loss.
Given the significance of the fat-to-muscle ratio to your health, it is preferable to lose weight through fat loss rather than muscle loss.
Weight loss can be prioritised by eating a high-protein diet, engaging in moderate exercise, and imposing a moderate calorie deficit.