Weight Loss & Fat Loss – What’s The Difference
So lets start with some basics – The tissues in your body (which include muscle, bodyfat, your heart, liver, kidneys, bones, etc.) all weigh a certain amount. If you take them out of your body and put them on a scales you can find out their weight. Your total bodyweight is the sum of the weight of every one of those tissues. Only SOME of your total bodyweight is bodyfat. Often people split the body into two different parts fat mass (the total sum of the bodyfat you have on your body) and lean body mass (everything else).
Obviously, standing on a scales gives you your body weight. Then dividing the total amount of fat into the total bodyweight, you can determine a bodyfat percentage which represents the percentage of your total weight is fat. The best way to get your bodyfat measured is by dexa scan but this is very expensive. Second best is Body Fat calipers which we use and measure from 12 points on the body (Biosignature).
Top level sports performers often have body fats that are 5-10% meaning this amount of their total weight is fat. So an 80kg person with 10% bodyfat is carrying 8kg (80 * 0.10 = 8) of bodyfat. The remaining 72 kg of weight is muscle, organs, bones, water, etc. This remaining 72kg is also called the lean body mass or LBM. This stands for Lean Body Mass, the amount of your body that is not fat.
Our clients bodyfat levels vary a lot although most clients who come to work with us initially have bodyfats above 20%. So if we take a client who’s weight is 80kg and their bodyfats come in at 30% it means they have 24kg of fat in their body. The remaining 56kg is muscle, organs, bones, etc.
When you join certain weight loss courses or groups, even certain trainers I know only focus on weight loss. Yes I do agree some people do need to lose a lot of weight but the primary focus of any transformation programme needs to be FAT LOSS. To get potential clients attention we do say weight loss on certain posts or ads we run. But once we speak to the client we try to explain it to them that it’s not all about weight and we tricked them (joke!!!).
Why is this important?
So let’s say you start a diet, reducing your food intake. You will probably begin exercising too. Soon when you weigh yourself it tells you that you have lost a given amount of weight. But how much of it is fat? Well to be honest you have no way of knowing with just the scales. – You could have lost fat or muscle or just dropped a lot of water.
Remember this as this is extremely important – The scales wont tell you WHAT you have lost, it can only tell you how much you have lost.
When you’re embarking on making body transformation changes, your real goal should be fat loss. Most big drops that happen over short periods are
water weight. A lot of our clients see these results but we try to educate them that this is not how it will continue long term – understanding this is crucial or you WILL 100% go back to square one or worse.
I am not saying big drops in weight are not good but what I am saying is that if you don’t understand the concept of fat loss then you are heading for a big fall. So many people, women especially get disillusioned when they don’t see continuous drops on the scales. But as your body fat gets lower towards that 16% mark (10% for men) weight loss will slow, if your still losing weight at this then you will begin to lose muscle also which I don’t recommend in most cases.
This is why our 6 and 12 Week Transformation Programmes are doing so well at present. Our clients are now starting to understand the clear distinctions between weight loss and fat loss. Sure some of our clients need to and are losing weight but they understand the primary goal is fat loss.
So when you see that people have lost X amount of weight quickly ( I include our clients in this) don’t be mislead into thinking its all bodyfat. But if they lose the weight and are focused on bodyfats then good things happen. The ones who understand this concept the best will smash everybody else out of the park for body transformation results both medium term and long term.
Hope this clears up a tricky little subject!!