When many of us are in pursuit of losing weight, we often rely solely on the numbers of the scale to tell us how we are doing. Unfortunately, this is not always a healthy measure of success. Losing weight without a complementary exercise regime can result in losing important muscle, which can have more dangerous effects in the long run. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at weight loss vs. fat loss, and what you can do to ensure that you’re losing weight in a healthy and safe way to make sure that you reach your health and fitness goals.
Weight Loss Doesn’t Mean Fat Loss
When most of us say that we want to lose weight, what we really mean is that we want to reduce the amount of fat in our bodies to create a leaner silhouette. Most of us know that the fundamental principle of losing weight is that if we burn more calories than we consume, the result will be weight loss. But where is this weight coming from? Let’s take a closer look at how our bodies process the calories that we consume.
First, the body converts what we eat into energy, which in turn gives us the power to go about our daily lives. When we consume more calories than we burn, the resulting calories are converted into fat. On the other end of the scale, when we consume less calories than we burn, we lose weight but we also lose energy. Unfortunately, the weight loss doesn’t necessarily come from the fat, but the energy stores that are depleted are made up proteins and carbohydrates, which are found in muscles. This means that the muscles get smaller, the metabolism lowers, and once the body has adapted to the lower energy levels, the body will cease to continue losing weight.
The bottom line is that simply decreasing the amount of calories consumed may result in short term weight loss, but the weight won’t necessarily come from fat. Plus, if the calories are restricted too much, the body could even start storing fat as a preventative measure, because it doesn’t know when it will start receiving normal levels of calories again.
Getting Rid of Fat Instead of Muscle
So what’s the right procedure to get rid of the unwanted fat? The answer is simple – begin a nutrition and exercise program that work side by side to help you achieve the perfect balance of health and weight loss. Your body still needs enough calories to keep your energy levels high, but you can eat a great deal more and keep your appetite satisfied with a healthy, balanced diet than you can with a diet full of junk or fast food. The other important factor is a balanced fitness routine comprising of both cardio and strength training. Both cardio and strength training are important for burning away fat and increasing muscle mass, not to mention increasing the metabolism.
Measure Your Body Fat
There are several ways of measuring your body fat, which is often a better gauge of your overall health than a scale. Calculate your Body Mass Index with a skinfold caliper or simply measure yourself with a tape measure and keep track of the results. The best way to gauge your body fat is to simply look in the mirror, take note of how your clothes fit, and most importantly, how you feel. Feeling great is really the best result of following a health and fitness and fitness program.
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