The difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss and Why you should focus on FITNESS (not skinniness) for Long Term Health. The ideal body composition–the ratio of lean muscle to fatty tissue in our bodies–is low in fat and high in lean muscle.
Restricting Calories to Lessen Body Weight will diminish the body’s ability to fight illness and disease. With all of the above considered, you must understand that your chances of becoming Obese (which is a medical classification, not a judgmental adjective) are much higher when you only focus on being ‘skinny’; where when you work on strength training, you will continue to ward off obesity, and all the diseases associated with it. Get tested: Have a fitness professional test your body fat for you at your local gym or test yourself at home using this protocol.
Pump it up: Research shows that muscle strength declines by 15 percent per decade after age 50, and 30 percent per decade after age 70. Protein: Protein is the building block of muscle and it is essential for repair after workouts.
Practice stress management: Elevated levels of stress hormone (cortisol) can have a negative effect on body composition by increasing the breakdown of muscle mass and increasing the deposition of fat around the abdomen. A balanced diet, regular exercise routine, and positive state of mental health will help you look and feel your best.
This post is not meant to say people shouldn’t lose weight, with the obesity epidemic we do need to encourage our world to maintain a healthier weight. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
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Few nutrition concepts are shrouded in as much misinformation as the management of Calories to cause changes in body weight and body composition.
In this article, I’ll briefly touch upon every pertinent bit of information you need to know about how Calories impact your body composition.
First, Calories measure of the approximate amount of energy your body derives from food per its weight – usually in grams or ounces.
NOTE:  In a few paragraphs, I'll expand upon why I keep writing "approximate" and why it's important to understand that these numbers cannot be interpreted absolutely. The relative balance of energy intake with energy expenditure is called energy homeostasis and disrupting this balance causes either weight loss or weight gain. No, you do not have to meticulously measure, weigh, and track everything you eat to apply basic Calorie management principles.
Of course, there is some logic behind the argument against using Calorie management as a weight loss strategy. There are hormonal differences between people that impact how food is digested and utilized. Last but not least, metabolic adaptations to training and dieting make accurately estimating energy requirements and expenditure more difficult.

Fat is necessary to build cell walls, produce hormones, and transport fat soluble vitamins. The most obvious benefit of exercise is that doing more work with your body increases your TDEE and creates a larger Calorie deficit, however, I caution against using exercise as a means simply to burn Calories. Without going into too much detail, the best exercise you can do to preserve muscle is resistance training. NOTE:  If you're reading this article and you have a diagnosed medical condition that impacts your weight, consult your doctor and get your health under control before you worry about getting ripped. Most of our readers and members, and indeed most people who want to lose body fat, are under eating when they get to the point where they’re ready to do things right. Eat at TDEE for 1-3 weeks, depending upon how long you’ve been dieting and how lean you are. During this period, most people start noticing that their muscles look more full, that their performance increases, and that their energy levels go through the roof.
As you transition into your fat loss phase, you have several options but our go-to is to utilize Calorie cycling methods to slowly drop body fat while preserving or even building muscle mass. After 6 weeks, return to maintenance approach by following the steps outlined in Phase III. That last rule is probably the most important, yet most difficult to understand aspect of successfully losing body fat and keeping it off for good. After about 2 weeks, you should be back to eating at your TDEE and your weight should have increased by a few pounds.
Our members are burning fat, building muscle, and losing weight using the REAL science of nutrition. Many people seem to think that Weight loss and Fat loss are equivalent, yet this is not the case. While weight may be important in the grand scheme of things, but there is a number that is much more accurate than this at providing a measurement of health: Body Fat Percentage.
This means that you may be technically heavier than what you would like, but what you ‘like’ is based on an error in education! We become unhealthy when our percentage of body fat is too high because of excess fat and because of muscle loss.
Loss of muscle is linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and high blood pressure. Having a fit body means you are fueling it properly and each of the body’s processes are operating to their maximum ability. This also means that more of the foods you eat are used as fuel, while the extra is passed and not stored.
As expected, along with this decline in muscle mass is a five percent decrease per decade in our metabolic rate.
According to a recent study from the University of Illinois, a higher protein intake during weight loss can offset negative effects on muscle mass by maintaining more muscle relative to the amount of weight lost.

Questions to consider before starting your fitness careerMelissa Morony on Teaching Fitness 101.
I want you to be as educated as possible, and this means understanding why a ‘healthy Body Fat Percentage’ is so much more accurate of a goal than a ‘healthy weight’.
And of course, continuing to exercise will aid in keeping your metabolism boosted so that you continue to feel younger, and look your best.
You should adopt a well rounded exercise plan that incorporates strength training to maintain lean muscle mass and keep your metabolism running fast.
If your weight loss plan includes weight-lifting or resistance training (as it should), your best incentive is to judge your progress by the fit and feel of your clothes rather than your weight. Do not overdo cardiovascular exercise — it can damage the muscle fibres that you are working so hard to build and maintain.
This post is simply meant to argue that it’s not weight but your body composition that is important in assessing health and achieving wellness.
Losing muscle can actually result in a long term fat gain and alter your appearance in a negative way. As you can see you’re actually better off weighing more on the scale if you’re able to maintain a healthy fat mass-to lean mass ratio.  The more muscle you have in your body, the more metabolically active you are. All of these things add up quickly to provide a healthier body composition and a happier picture of wellness in the long-term.
Fat loss on the other hand, is one’s attempt to specifically lower the amount of fat their body carries. You’re less likely to develop joint problems, osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes and more.
Therefore, when you are really trying to cut weight and look better you want to focus specifically on burning fat. Fat loss will help drop weight in a healthy manner and promote a positive change in your appearance. First, you want to incorporate some cardiovascular exercise such as running, aerobics, biking, etc. This type of exercise is good for burning fat but should not be done in excessive amounts because it can also result in a loss of valuable muscle. If someone is in-taking fewer calories while working out hard and not allowing proper recovery they run the risk of not letting the muscles heal or grow.

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