Stuck between weight loss and fat loss? Not able to understand what are you losing and which is better to lose first? People confuse fat loss with weight loss. All you want to do is weight loss but what you actually mean is fat loss.
For a successful weight loss, preserving muscle, or possibly even gaining some, while at the same time losing as much body fat as possible is the key. Your body fat percentage is a key indicator of success of your weight loss journey, not the weighing scale.
Muscle is significant to your success for losing fat. Muscles have mitochondria also called fat-burning powerhouses. Mitochondria are cellular power plants that are responsible for the production of energy. It’s in the mitochondria that fat is metabolized. There is a positive correlation between the amount of muscle you have and the number of mitochondria. And it stands to reason that the more mitochondria you have, the more the potential to burn fat.
What is weight loss?
The body weight can be referred to as the sum of the weight of your muscles, your bones, your organs and the amount of water your body retains. Weight loss is the total (sum) loss of your total weight. Weight loss occurs when you lose muscle, fat and water weight.
What is fat loss?
As the name suggests, fat loss is the loss of the fat that your body carries. There is a reduction in your stored body fat. What you should aim for is maximum lipolysis i.e. the biological process of breaking down (fat) lipids and triglycerides. The excess fat gets stored in your body leading to weight gain. This mostly happens in the mitochondria of the muscles, which is why the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. Exercise has also been shown to regulate those lipolytic enzymes and improve mitochondria function, which is why working out helps you shed fat.
Is muscle loss bad?
To maintain muscles, it requires constant work. But if your focus is on fixing diet or cardio in order to burn fat, that focus is probably coming at the expense of strength training. Losing weight from diet can be possible till a particular level as diet helps you lose water weight but combining diet with exercise works best as it helps you lose fat as well. If working out, having the right amount of protein from natural food sources is also important as without enough protein in your diet, your body can’t rebuild the tissue even if you are strength training.
Over to you
Building strength and muscles should be a priority rather than losing weight. Achieving fitness goals is important and having the right guidance is something to be paid attention to too. Understand the difference between the two and work on yourself to reap the maximum benefits.
It is advisable to consult a dietitian before going for any type of diet and note that not every diet may work on every individual as the body type varies.