Many folk want to lose weight but the line between weight loss and fat loss has been blurred. I previously spoke about weight maintenance, gain and loss but now we examine the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
If you begin a weight loss diet on a caloric restricted eating plan, initially the body will respond well for about two to three weeks. This is because calories now are so low and the stress on the body is so high, our fat storing hormone cortisol levels rise, halt fat loss and start cannibalizing muscle tissue in order to cover the energy demand. In addition thyroid and leptin levels begin to shut down as well in order to lower the body’s metabolism and halt weight loss.
You see weight loss and fat loss is not necessarily the same thing. Weight loss is very easy to accomplish actually. All you have to do is take in fewer calories than what your body burns. So if for example your body burns 2 500 calories, and you just take in 2 000 calories, then predominantly weight loss will then occur. The problem arises when those calories that you take in on a daily basis are too low for your metabolism and don’t have the correct amount of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Most of the weight loss will predominantly come in the form of muscle tissue, water weight and this is because you drop calories too low, your body drops a shift in your metabolic rate and your body basically uses the stored body fat that you have as a survival mechanism, thus hoarding on to your fat.
The importance of lean muscle tissue and its advantages are so great. The more muscle one has or builds, the more capable he or she becomes of eating more calories without storing them as fat. This is because muscle is such a high metabolic tissue and requires more calories (energy) to sustain itself. The more muscle we have, the higher our metabolic rate, the quicker and easier it is to lose fat and stay lean.
If you lose muscle during standard dieting by dropping calories too LOW, you are more likely to not only regain the weight you have lost, but also become fatter than you were before. With this disaster you will most probably have insatiable hunger, relentless cravings, and inconsistent energy fluctuations throughout the day.
Caloric weight loss may work in the short run to make you smaller, but even that won’t last as almost everyone rebounds, regains the weight and creates what I call a permanent metabolic damage. Here is a critical distinction the weight loss world seems to miss: a plan that works well in the short term but is impossible to maintain in the long-run, is not a plan that works.
A common mistake people make is that they follow the weight scale and this can become your worst enemy by misleading you and killing your motivation. Rather use the approach of taking photos weekly, using the mirror as a guideline and a fat caliper, at least this way you can determine if you are losing water, muscle or fat weight.
Ideally the correct approach for fat loss is to exercise smarter and eat intelligently in a way that maintains muscle and focuses on fat loss exclusively. This approach takes great care to balance our hormones so that hunger is lessened, energy is raised, cravings are reduced, and fat is lost.
With taking this correct approach you optimize your important hormones, your metabolic rate stays normal and even higher, you have no fluctuations on blood sugar level and no mood swings that lead to cravings and irritability. When all these are balanced and functioning normally you will never have to battle to lose fat.