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We hear the words weight loss and fat loss used interchangeably often. In fact, many people think they are the same thing. The truth is, there is a lot of difference between the two. Another misconception is that when you exercise and switch to a strict diet, you lose a lot of fat. Well, the fact is that you might lose muscles a lot of times.
The right exercise regime is what will help you lose fat. Therefore, if your goal really is to lose fat, you will understand that you do not want to ‘lose weight.’
Often you may hear people say that they want to lose weight AKA excess fat. Sometimes their research and advice get mingled. What happens is they end up starting on the wrong foot and never see the desired results.
For example, you probably stepped on the scale and found out how much weight you started with and how much you currently weigh during your workout and diet journey. But you won’t know how much of that is fat and how much of it is muscle. Muscle makes you toned and in perfect shape but it weighs more than fat!
Just because you lost 50 pounds on the scale may not mean that you succeeded, or you should follow the pattern that you are on. This often involves cutting down calories, doing lots of cardio, and going on a calorie deficit diet. What people do not notice is that through this regime they just get smaller, not healthier. This is all because they focus on losing weight instead of fat.
The second mistake people often make when they aren’t introduced to the concept of weight loss vs. fat loss is that they count the calories they consume in efforts to consume as little as they may need to survive, which is super unhealthy. This mostly involves cutting out entire food groups and skipping meals. This eventually leads to muscle loss, and if you keep up, this regime may even lead to illnesses and lethargy.
Now that we have concluded that weight loss is the unhealthy alternative to fat loss, here is how you can make sure that you lose fat and not muscle.
If you want to work on your physique, look smaller and in a lot better form, you cannot go back to relying on cardio solely. Sure Cardio exercises are a great way to get your heart rate up and burn all that excess fat, but on its own, it is not enough. The best way to melt away the fat is to make weight training a part of your daily routine. While cardio is excellent for burning the calories, toning your muscles is just as important. So lift weights.
You will notice that your muscles show under the skin. When you cut down on fat and water, you emphasize them even more. Another reason you should target increasing muscle mass is that it replaces fat.
Your Diet Should Always Be Custom Made
A proper diet means everything when you are dedicated to losing fat. When you are dieting, never completely cut off a necessary food group. You might believe you are cutting down on calorie intake this way. However, this move does more damage than good to the body. You want to give your muscles fuel not take it away so they diminish. You want to eat more of whole foods, and try to avoid starchy carbs. Processed foods are filled with sodium, something that does no good for your body.
How to Track Progress the Right Way
You need not track progress every week, you might not notice any drastic changes. Some things that you need to consider include:
- Understand that you must track progress bi-monthly. Your body weight fluctuates daily, and you do not want this to interfere with your motivation.
- Track your strength by logging how you exercise. Strength training that goes up means you have gained muscle.
- Do not look in the mirror all the time, you won’t notice change suddenly. Self- image does a lot to mess with your perception from the difference your hard work has really made in sculpting your body. You want to get a before and after photograph and then compare the two between 6 weeks’ time. You can use supporting shapewear such as waist trainers to boost your confidence.
- There is a surefire way to keep a track of your body fat. The fat caliper is an excellent solution.
Your goal would be a lot easier to accomplish with the right perspective and optimization for fat loss. You want to target ways for muscle preservation as well. Patience is an important part of the process and without it, your journey will not be successful.