People care much about weight loss and fat loss, is trying to reach for a healthy change or an improvement in our wellbeing. The truth is, while fat loss can be a part of losing weight, you usually lose more than just fat. For most individuals, fat loss is the goal, so you need to take a deliberate, focused approach for the best results. Read on as we cover the key differences between weight loss and fat loss and how you can optimize for fat loss.
Weight loss is an overall reduction in body weight, while fat loss is a reduction in body fat. When you lose weight, you’re not just losing body fat: you’re making changes to each component of your body composition – body fat, Lean Body Mass, and Body Water. This is true for weight gain as well. You don’t control how much of each you lose, but you can influence what’s lost.
How does weight loss happen? While there are hundreds of diet and exercise programs out there that will help you achieve fat loss—some better than others—the good ones boil down to essentially the same thing: reducing energy in from food while increasing energy out via exercise/activity (a caloric deficit). This combination forces your body to make up for the missing energy by breaking down your body tissues, including body fat and muscle.
Body fat, in general terms, is a combination of your essential fat, which plays a vital functional role, and storage fat. Storage fat is adipose tissue that has accumulated as energy reserves. This type of fat will visibly change as you modify your diet and exercise routine. Too much storage fat can negatively impact both our physical and mental wellbeing, so this is what you should focus on for better overall health.
There is an unfortunate stigma when it comes to weight. While there is a clear link between obesity and chronic diseases, weight loss goals can lead to unintended consequences like disordered eating. That is why a focus on fat loss—and a healthy body composition—is a much better approach because it encourages the individual to move more and eat well.
Body fat percentage is a much better gauge of health than weight. Remember that weight is composed of lean body mass, body fat, and water, so any changes in these components can lead to weight gain, not just fat loss.
To track body fat loss, you’ll need to have your body composition tracked regularly. There are several devices and methods for determining body composition, including calipers, hydrostatic weighing, DEXA, and BIA. If you want truly accurate results, always be tested by a highly skilled professional body composition from Visbody who uses a medical-grade tool to assess you. $10 plastic calipers and at-home bathroom scales aren’t the best options.