Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
Weight loss is pretty easy to measure. Hop on the scale before. Hop on the scale later on. If the number on the scales has gone down, weight loss has occurred. Whether it’s fat you have lost or muscle mass you have lost, some type of weight loss has occurred. It’s just the sum of total body mass, whether it’s muscle mass or bodyfat. Weight loss doesn’t’ correspond to a loss in subcutaneous fat. You know that stuff that hangs around your waistline? Take the typical person who undergoes a low calorie diet and a plan of steady state aerobics. They in fact may lose weight, but they may have also undergone a loss in fat free mass (muscle) resulting in a higher bodyfat percentage. The old “skinny fat” syndrome. I can attest to that. The years when I was training for the marathon, my weight went down, but my percentage of bodyfat went up. I was also weaker and always hurt, but that’s a different story. Weight loss is also usually going to be accompanied by a loss in metabolism as bodyweight drops, especially if muscle mass is not maintained.
Fat loss is a measure of just one characteristic, bodyfat. Fat loss can not be measured by just hopping on a scale. Fat loss is measured through body composition testing, whether it’s calipers, underwater weighing or scanning. Or another not so scientific way is how your clothes fit. Maybe you weigh the same, but your clothes are feeling a bit looser. That’s a pretty good indicator of a loss in bodyfat. Whereas a drop in overall weight may result in a drop in metabolism, a drop in bodyfat may result in an increased metabolism if there is an increase in muscle mass.
Don’t make the mistake that bathroom scale is going to tell you everything in the pursuit of a leaner and healthier look.