Weight Loss or Fat Loss?

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Weight Loss or Fat Loss?

Patrick A. Frey, CSCS

Patrick A. Frey, CSCS

When it comes to weight loss, the scale isn’t telling you the whole story.  The scale is an important tool in tracking progress, as is a measuring tape, but they don’t tell you how much of your loss is fat and how much is muscle.  In order to know if your weight loss has been primarily fat loss, you need to know your bodyfat percentage preferably from skin fold calipers, hydrostatic weighing or DEXA.

I’ve encountered too many people who are proud that they’ve reached their “ideal” weight, but more often than not they achieved it through unhealthy diets.  If they exercised at all, they probably only did aerobic/cardiovascular exercise and left out resistance training.  The result is a loss of muscle mass and they still have an unhealthy bodyfat percentage that can potentially be higher than it was before they started the diet.

When a caloric deficit is created through diet and aerobic exercise, the body will probably lose weight.  Unfortunately, your body would much rather shed muscle than fat so you need to send a message to your body that it needs to keep the muscle it has.  The way to do this is with a properly designed resistance training program.  In addition to keeping the muscle you have, you might also build more muscle which will help you burn even more calories even while at rest.  Plus, resistance training will help increase bone density, reduce the chance of injury, lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes, and the list just goes on and on.

So, be sure to include all of the necessary components in your weight loss program. An incomplete fitness and weight loss program will lead to incomplete and compromised results.

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