Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

Posted on 27th Nov 2018

We may wish to applaud ourselves for losing weight, and perhaps to some extent it is well deserved, but there is a danger when trying to get in shape of focusing too heavily on weight loss. Of course we can lose weight by simply not eating, but that will result not just in a loss of fat, but muscle as well. Significant? Yes.

Gaining muscle - essential in burning fat

Gaining muscle and preserving it should be the ultimate goal when it comes to losing fat. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body will burn fat. This is due to muscle cells having a high density of these amazing energy consuming components or organelles called mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for metabolising fat, and the more you have, the more efficiently your body is able to efficiently burn that fat away and put of to good use.

Burn while you sleep

If someone offered you a pill that was proven to burn fat even while you slept, with no harmful side effects and that made you look great too, chances are you'd be more than a little interested. Well, muscle offers you this perfect combination. It's simply because muscles needs to constantly feed itself to maintain itself. And what does it feed on? It will draw energy from fatty acids, yes, even while you're asleep. 

Eat well - not necessarily less

Often people will ruin their diet program simply by not eating enough, and sure enough they will lose weight, but with now significant muscle gain either. They will see the weight loss on the scales and be rather pleased with themselves. But when they fail to take in the necessary nutrients to sustain their muscles and encourage muscle growth, they lose good muscle along with the fat. When that happens they are making it more difficult in the long run to lose fat. Loss of muscle results in a slower metabolism, which will mean you have to take in fewer calories to stay looking trim, but that will result in further muscle loss leading to a negative spiral effect which is not favourable on your health.

Healthy diet

To ensure you maintain your muscles, be sure to take in enough calories that are also dense in nutrients. That includes such foods as lean beef, skinless chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, whey protein, fish, oatmeal, whole grains and fresh fruit and veg. 

Use it or lose it 

As well as maintaining a healthy diet it is important to use your muscles. The old adage applies, use it or lose it. So having some sort of exercise program in place to build and maintain your muscles combined with a healthy diet is the best way to ensure you gain that essential fat burning muscle.

It's worth bearing in mind you don't necessarily need to have access to weights to build muscle or even join the gym (although it would help), but you could practice bodyweight exercises at home.

Bodyweight exercises are of course exercises which utilise your own body weight to put your muscles under tension in the same way that a traditional workout weight would. Some great exercises to incorporate into your routine are squats, pull-ups and chin-ups and push-ups all of which can be done around the home without having to spend money on gym membership.

So, although it may seem counter-intuitive, don't obsess too much over your weight when trying to lose weight by stepping on the scales 4 time a day. Instead try to get an overall view of your progress over time. How do you feel in your clothes? Do people comment that you are looking better? By focusing on muscle gain as opposed to weight loss, you will be giving your body just what it needs to burn body fat in the most effective way. Yes, even while you're asleep.