My previous blog post was about increasing your metabolism by focusing on fat loss and not weight loss. This post focuses on why fat loss is more important than weight loss.
The “Weight Loss” Dilemma
A large part of the population is struggling with their weight problems or are fighting hard with their body to stay fit and healthy, but in actuality they fail to distinguish between losing weight and losing fat. This post explains what you are actually getting into when you are set to work out with an aim to either shed those love handles or to get that chiseled well-toned look.
The majority of brides-to-be who go to the gym prefer sticking to cardio routines in order to shed extra weight while keeping away from somewhat challenging routines of weight/ strength training. People strongly believe that strength training might tone their body, but might not impress their bathroom scales. We have all heard the saying ‘muscle weighs more than fat’, right? So…is this true?
Nope! One kilogram = one kilogram. So, 1kg of muscle weighs the same as 1kg of fat. However, muscle is much denser than fat, meaning it takes up much less space. So even though 1kg of muscle and 1kg of fat weigh the same, they don’t take up the same amount of space. This explains why you can have two people who weigh exactly the same but one wears a size 10, and the other a size 14.
People often confuse the difference between losing weight and losing fat. So what is the difference?
While scales provide you with a number value of how much your body weighs, it is important to remember that this includes your bones, muscles, organs, water and waste. What the scales don’t tell you is the percentage of muscle or fat in your body.
So what is more important? Losing fat or losing weight?
The word “weight” means everything that is present in your body which includes your fat, bones, muscles, organs, water, blood, tissues and more. Whereas fat comprises of subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is present below the skin surface that makes us look thin or large; and visceral fat is the fat that is present around our organs that the body stores as a reserve backup to fuel ourselves in emergencies.
What Are You Actually Losing?
By continuing to diet and only doing cardio in your daily workout routine to lose weight, you are not sure what you are losing to bring the scales down. In essence you are actually losing critical muscle mass where as some diets even lead to bone mass/density erosion along with the desired effect of emptying your “excess” fat stores- which is mostly the above mentioned subcutaneous fat. The biggest reason behind this is that your body obtains the energy that is stored in your muscles much quicker and more efficiently than it can by burning the fat present in your body.
As a result, people who are doing cardio seem to look leaner and shed weight quicker than those who are doing weight exercises. Most cardio routines will not have enough intensity to force the body to burn out the visceral fat reserves present in your body. So, next time if you look lean and think that you are low on fat, then please shake off that false belief and accept the reality. In fact, it is quite possible that people who are slim can have a poor muscle mass and can store more visceral fat than someone who looks bigger. Next time you follow a fitness initiative, even one that is targeted just at weight loss, you should try to develop your health in such a way that is sustainable and everlasting after your wedding.
Fat does not burn calories as it is an inactive tissue, whereas muscle on other hand is considered to be an active tissue that burns calories. Thus, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even without moving an inch. Though cardio does very little building of your muscles, it is very good for your lungs and heart so it is important to incorporate a bit of cardio into your routine. By slightly increasing your weights, strength training will reduce fat- especially the visceral fat that is present around your internal organs.
At the end of it all, always remember one thing, that diet is the ultimate health secret. If you follow a poor diet chart, it will put all of your effort to waste, whereas smart exercise choices will make you fit and fine. So, eat well, exercise daily and stay healthy.