What’s the Difference Between Weight Loss or Fat Loss

If you have been trying to lose weight you may be confused with the terms “weight loss” and “fat loss”. If so, this article will address the differences between the two.

Weight Loss or Fat Loss — What’s the Difference?

People sometimes use the terms interchangeably but there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. It’s a big one too and it’s a difference you need to understand if you are making serious attempts to ditch the flab and get slim.

Although fat loss is normally accompanied by weight loss, it’s possible to lose weight without reducing your stores of body fat.

Most people who are dieting will tell you they are trying to lose weight. This is probably incorrect. They will really be aiming to lose fat and this, of course, will bring about a corresponding reduction in weight.

Of course, the big question is, how is it possible to have weight loss without fat loss? Let’s take a look at that now.

Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss — The Difference Explained

Fat loss only happens if you get your diet right. You need to make sure you don’t provide your body with enough energy to keep your biological functions ticking over throughout the day. That creates the scenario that forces it to begin burning its stores of fat. 

The average man requires 2,500 calories per day to keep things ticking over and maintain his present weight. The average woman needs less—only 2,000 calories per day.

These are the energy requirements when the body is at rest. Physical activity will cause the energy requirements to increase. That’s why exercise can be such an important part of an effective weight loss regimen.

A good weight loss diet needs to provide around 500 calories less than the body needs. Some low-calorie diet plans force the body to function on fewer calories still. Throw in some fat burning foods and you are good to go.

When the body experiences an energy shortage, it draws on its back-up energy supply—body fat.

Body fat increases when the body gets more energy than it needs. A low-calorie diet breaks down the fat to release the energy inside. It does this via a process known as lipolysis that reduces the fat to glycerol and fatty acids.

Each gram of body fat contains 3,500 calories so depriving your body of 500 calories per day will allow you to burn one pound of fat per week. However, that does not mean you will lose one pound in weight. You could lose a little less or you could lose a little more.

Weight Loss Due to Loss of Muscle Mass

Low-calorie dieting generally causes the body to burn a little muscle tissue as well. This is undesirable because loss of muscle tissue can slow your metabolism making it harder to lose weight.

Due to the severe restrictions they impose, crash diets can increase loss of muscle mass while dieting. That’s part of the reason the weight you lose due to crash dieting is often so quick to return.

Failure to eat sufficient protein while dieting can also contribute to loss of muscle mass. That’s why it’s important to make sure your low-calorie diet provides a healthy balance of nutrients.

Overtraining can cause you to lose muscle mass too. People diet because they want to lose unsightly fat from their bellies and/or other regions of their bodies. Although it will make you physically lighter, losing muscle does not support this aim.

Weight Loss Due to Loss of Water

It’s also possible to lose weight due to loss of water. This can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most obvious ones is dehydration. This may happen if you fail to drink enough liquid each day. Especially if you are training hard and sweating a lot.

Some natural compounds, such as dandelion, are diuretics. This means they have the ability to cause your body to carry around less water. 

Unscrupulous supplement manufacturers often add diuretics to their weight loss formulations. Their presence can induce rapid water loss that may be mistaken for weight loss.

Although supplements of this nature may appear to be very effective, there is a big difference between weight loss due to water reduction and weight loss due to fat loss.

There is a limit to how much weight you can lose due to water loss. This is not so with fat loss. You can go on burning fat until you reach your target weight. 

Weight loss due to water loss is also strictly a temporary thing. As soon as you stop taking the diuretic the water will return and, unless you have lost fat too, you could be back to square one.

Weight Loss or Fat Loss – Final Thoughts

Although weight loss due to fat reduction is desirable, losing weight due to reductions in muscle mass or water is not. Unless you have skipped important parts of this article you should have a better idea about the difference between weight loss and fat loss and why you should make fat loss your aim.

Unless you have health problems that limit your ability to exercise, resistance training is a good way to improve your muscle mass and reap the rewards a faster metabolism can provide. 

Of course, training is only half the story. You will need to make sure your diet provides plenty of protein. You muscles require it to heal and grow. 

Certain natural compounds, including CLA and yohimbine, are good for supporting fat loss while also helping you to maintain or improve on existing muscle mass. A-Laceys Reset has this ability too.

Healthy fat loss also requires adequate hydration. Your body is unlikely to function well if it is lacking in water. 

Water is a zero-calorie drink option. You can drink as much as you want and it won’t cause you to gain weight. It can also help you avoid hunger pangs between meals by making your stomach feel full.

The bottom line is you need to try and maintain healthy levels of muscle mass and stay hydrated. It’s only the fat you should be trying to lose. A low-calorie diet can help you to do this but you will need to put a little thought into planning your ideal weight management regimen.

About Steve Calvert

Steve Calvert (CPD Certified in Nutrition for Weight Loss) Steve is an experienced writer and researcher with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the fitness, nutrition and weight loss sector. He has a background in bodybuilding and the martial arts and continues to use a combination of exercise and healthy eating to stay in shape. Steve has reviewed hundreds of supplements since 2012. He is very accurate and methodical in his approach and understand the importance using correctly dosed ingredients. LinkedIn