Weight loss vs Fat Loss
Everywhere we turn nowadays there are pills and exercise programs promising to help you lose “X” lbs in “x” days! They seems so simple, and the before and afters are promising. So while these claims can be accurate, and doable, what do they actually mean?
Weight loss generally occurs in one of three ways: losing fat, losing water, and losing lean mass (including muscle and bone mass). For long-te
rm success, and health, the ideal weight loss program would be to lose fat and some excess water weight, while actually gaining or maintaining muscle mass.
A lot of the quick fixes help us to lose water weight. This helps us look and feel better, but does little to change the habits that got us to a place of wanting to lose weight. A study done in 2012 (yes it’s a little outdated) by Duke Medical Center (Link) looked at the weight loss effects of 3 basic workout programs. Aerobic only, Resistance only, and Aerobic and Resistance Training. The conclusion was that aerobic exercise was better than resistance training for weight loss!
Say What?! So let’s all just hop on a treadmill and get to work! Not so fast.... when you look closer at the data, the Aerobic group lost fat and lean muscle mass, and 34% of participants dropped out!! The Resistance only group lost a little fat, but gained weight overall with lean muscle mass gained. The Combo group actually lost the most fat, but they gained weight in the form of lean muscle mass, so they lost the title of best weight loss program.
So, why do we care about how we lose weight, and not just the number on the scale? The basic answer is metabolism! When we increase lean muscle mass, it increases the amount of calories we consume while we rest, we call this your resting energy expenditure! As we lose fat, and tone up we burn more calories! The scale will move, and you will feel better while working towards all your goals!
PS. if you haven’t see yet we are running our first ever New Year New You Transformation Challenge, starting next Monday (Feb. 18th). This program will teach you the nutrition habits and workouts needed to lose body fat. Click HERE to check it out!!!
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