Weight Loss Or Fat Loss: Which Would You Rather Have?

posted Apr 22, 2014, 1:05 AM by Rebecca Smith

Most people believe that weight loss is like mathematics. Eat less and exercise more is usually the go-to. But if youre someone who has always struggled to transform your body, your feelings may be different.

Allow me to come to your defines and say it loud and clear: a body transformation is about more than calories. Much more.

How many calories does stress have?

How about sleep or dehydration?

The human body is much more complicated than a mathematic equation.

Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss

Weight loss does NOT equal fat loss. You may be burning calories or losing weight, but that weight and those calories may or may not be coming from fat.

If you follow the standard eat less exercise more model you are likely burning muscle not fat. A loss of muscle means a less efficient metabolism.

This is the missing link when trying to transform your body.

It has been known for sometime that the low calorie, do lots of cardio approach does damage o your metabolism in the long run.

A study published in the Journal Of American College of Nutrition in April 1999 showed how damaging the weight loss approach can be on your metabolism.

This study looked at a group of overweight people who were put on a very low calorie diet an designed to one of two exercise workouts:

Exercise Approach #1:

Aerobic Exercise (walking, biking, jogging) x 4 days per week

Exercise Approach #2:

Resistance training 3x days per week and no aerobic exercise

So what happened? At the end of the 12 week study, both groups lost weight but the difference in muscle vs fat was interesting.

The aerobic group lost 16kg, the resistance training group lost 14.5kg. If you were just going off weight loss then the aerobic group would be the winner.

But, the aerobic lost almost 4.5kg of muscle whilst the resistance training group maintained their muscle and lost fat only. But wait theres more.

They also measured their metabolic rate (metabolism) and the aerobic only group were burning 210 less calories each day!

While the resistance training group actually increased their metabolism by 63 calories per day.

By following a low calorie and cardio based program you may be making things worse not better. It was shown as far back as 1988 in the eNew England Journal of Medicine that a slowed metabolism is a big indicator of fat gain over the course of a 2 year period.

Focusing on resistance training over aerobic training has shown to do the exact opposite from aerobic exercise. Resistance training actually increases your metabolism.

Study #2 Just To Seal The Deal

Another study in the issue of Obesity compared aerobic exercise and resistance training revealed a similar loss in weight, but the aerobic group lost 2 pounds of muscle while the resistance training group gained a pound of muscle.

So What Should You Do?

It is time for a shift in our thinking from weight loss to fat loss. The single minded and simplistic approach of low calorie diets and heavy aerobic exercise is not as beneficial.

The focus needs to be on the type of food consumed and the type of exercise done to maintain muscle and your metabolic rate (metabolism).

Weight loss is about the quantity of food eaten and time of exercise, fat loss is all about the type of food and the type of exercise.

A focus on resistance training and a some-what lower carbohydrate and higher protein diet is key. These programs not only provide better fat loss results but better health as well.

If you have any questions ask Trainer Tim, Id be happy to help :)

Tim Riley
Senior Personal Trainer
Difference Personal Training Narellan

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