Weight loss & fat loss may sound a lot similar but let me tell you there’s a huge difference between both. So, lets understand both one by one & find out which one is healthier to reach.
Weight loss means decrease in overall body weight comprising all three, water, fat & muscle. Whereas, Fat loss refers to decrease in weight from fat. Fat loss is much healthier and sustainable in long term.
However, one may find it difficult to know if you are losing weight from fat or muscle. It's difficult more so because weighing scales are often used to measure progress and scales don’t differentiate between fat loss & weight loss.
Why Fat loss is healthier
Let's understand why weight loss is not an optimal choice for your health in long run. A lot of weight loss programs claim to help to lose weight very quick & fast. However, during this quick & fat weight loss period you might be losing a lot of muscle weight too.
Muscles play a very crucial role in our overall health as maintaining a healthy muscle percentage helps regulate blood sugar levels, maintain cholesterol levels & fight inflammation. Whereas, higher fat-to-muscle percentage leads chronic diseases like diabetes, poor heart health & metabolic syndrome.
Moreover, higher the muscle percentage in your body, higher the rate you will be burning calories at rest too. This is the first & foremost reason why men need more calories than women.
Whereas, losing weight in the form of muscle decreases your chance of burning calories at rest, which makes it easy to regain any weight you lost in the form of fat.
How to lose fat & maintain/grow muscles
Eat Protein: Protein is very important nutrient which helps maintain muscle or grow new muscle specially during weight loss
Regular Exercise: Known to be the most effective way to promote fat loss instead of muscle loss. Strength training 3x/ week is recommended for ideal fat loss.
Creating Slight Calorie Deficit: Creating huge calorie deficit leads to muscle loss. Therefore, creating small calorie deficit along with strength training leads to optimal fat loss.
Weight loss refers to decrease in overall weight whereas, fat loss refers to weight loss that occurs through fat mass loss.
Scales don’t differentiate between weight loss & fat loss. Inch loss is an easier way to find out or when you start to see how clothes fit you better now.
Higher muscle-to-fat ratio is important for overall health.
Ways to prioritize fat loss, eating enough protein, regular exercise consisting of strength training days & not creating a huge calorie deficit rather focus on creating slight calorie deficit.