”I want to lose weight” is what a lot of people think and say but they actually want to lose fat, it’s just not common knowledge that there is a big difference between the two. If we would take a bird’s eye view on losing weight and losing fat, they might look the same, but they couldn’t be more different in some really important aspects. One will force you to spend more energy than you’re putting in and the other one will allow you to eat about the same number of calories but tailored to your lifestyle.
The biggest difference between weight and fat loss is that weight loss requires you to eat less calories a day than you’re spending (caloric deficit) and fat loss allows you to eat the same number of calories as you’re spending, they just need to be timed right and come from the right macronutrient sources.
Why is it different?
It’s different because you’re not just losing fat while focusing on losing weight. You can focus on reducing your calories to make sure it’s still under the total number of calories burned that day in order to lose weight. You will start to lose weight but we are not just talking about weight as in fat, but you will also lose a significant amount of muscle mass (muscle is super important if we want to burn fat or weight). You can fight this by adding more protein to your nutrition and by doing weight and resistance training. There is still a good chance that you will lose some muscle mass by sustaining a caloric deficit.
Muscle mass is extremely important when it comes to losing weight and fat because every ounce/pound/kilo of muscle mass will burn calories for you throughout the day without doing anything extra.
The big difference
This bring us to why los fat is different to losing weight. (This example is based on the assumption that I am just focused on losing fat). If I want to lose fat, I will have to look at my lifestyle and assess when my body is using carbohydrates as a fuel source and when it’s using fats. Most jobs out there will have our bodies use fats as a fuel source, this is positive for your goals because that’s what you want to burn. Knowing this, it doesn’t make sense for me to fill my body up with carbohydrates at every meal because that’s not the fuel source my body is tapping into.
Going back to what I said before: ”Every ounce/pound/kilo of muscle mass will burn calories for you without doing anything extra. Knowing this we can use this to our advantage because we can leverage our muscle mass to burn more fat than carbohydrates. I still want to consume carbohydrates because it helps with the recovery of my muscles, spikes the metabolism and is beneficial to gaining muscle mass (not as in getting super big), but I want my fat storage to be the main source. It’s all about timing your carbohydrate and fat intake right, because we want to keep our muscle mass up so it can keep on burning fat for us. You see how this is a virtuous cycle? By timing our carbohydrate intake right, we can stimulate muscle growth while still forcing our bodies to use fats as our main fuel source ( win-win). You don’t want to eat less calories than you’re spending daily when trying to lose fat because it will also lose a part of that muscle mass that’s so important.
If it fits your macros doesn’t work
There is another big difference between the two. By now we know that a caloric deficit will help you lose weight, but what happens when all of your macros come from sugary treats, donuts and beer? We might lose the weight, but our bodies won’t change for the better. I think we can all agree and understand that.
This is why good foods, whole foods and un-processed foods are so important to fat loss. You might lose the weight while eating those processed/sugar filled foods, but our body will show for it.
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