Do You Want to Lose Weight or Fat?

When trying to lose weight most people think that all they want to do is lose weight. However, they are missing a VERY important piece of the whole weight loss picture…

What about losing fat? What about maintaining their muscle?

Two people can weigh exactly the same but have a totally different level of health and fitness. One person may have a body fat percentage of 15% whereas the other person may have a body fat percentage of 30%.

They weigh the same but their body composition is very different in terms of how much muscle and fat they have on their body.

Why is this important for people wanting to lose weight?

Well as you lose weight, the ideal way is to lose weight from fat, rather than losing weight from both fat and muscle.

As an example let’s say that two people weigh 15 stone. With a body fat percentage of 30% they would have 4½ stone of fat on their body.

Let’s say that the first person loses 3 stone of fat while maintaining their muscle. They now weigh 12 stone and have 1½ stone of fat on their body. They have a body fat percentage of 12.5%.

The second person loses the same 3 stone in weight but they lose 2 stone of fat and 1 stone of muscle. They now weigh 12 stone and have 2½ stone of fat on their body. They have a body fat percentage of 21%.

Both of these people now weigh 12 stone but the person with the body fat percentage of 12.5% is much healthier than the person with the body fat percentage of 21%.

This example clearly shows why the best way to lose weight is to maintain your muscle while losing weight from fat.

You get a healthier and fitter body.

You also get a better looking body. When you lose weight from both muscle and fat you very often end up looking like a miniature version of yourself. When you lose weight only from fat you end up with a much more toned and athletic looking body.

Also by having a lower body fat percentage you’re able to run faster and further. You’re not carrying around excess fat that slows you down, and you have more useful muscle.

The other huge bonus about maintaining more muscle while losing weight from fat is that muscle burns more calories than fat. This means that after you’ve lost the weight you can have a higher calorie diet and still be able to maintain your weight.

This is great for long term weight loss because you don’t need to be stuck on a low calorie diet just to keep the weight off.

So how do you lose weight from fat while maintaining your muscle?

Well you need to challenge your muscles as much as you can.

When you work your muscles hard they get broken down due to muscle fibres tearing. Your body then repairs these muscles and makes them stronger.

If you don’t work your muscles hard enough then your body will start using your muscles for energy. That’s when you’ll lose weight from muscle as well as fat and miss out on all the benefits that I’ve talked about here.

This is why exercise is such an important part of long term weight loss. It helps to maintain your muscle and allows you to have a higher calorie diet without putting the weight back on.

But which exercise is best?

It’s important to know that different running methods and different training methods have very different effects on your body.

Some exercises challenge your muscles more than others and this determines how much muscle and how much fat you lose. Ultimately how you exercise decides what body you end up with when you’ve lost your weight.

For example, quicker and harder running methods will help you maintain more muscle than long, slow runs because they challenge your muscles more.

Including other exercises in your training plan such as weight training or circuit training is also useful. They will complement your running and help you maintain more muscle while losing weight from fat.

In summary, remember to always consider fat loss rather than weight loss alone.

Train your body in the right way and you get better health and fitness, a better looking body, and you get to have an enjoyable diet rather than a restrictive one.


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7 Responses to Do You Want to Lose Weight or Fat?

  1. david mathers says:

    Very usefull imformation because I wanted to know how to lose fat and keep my muscle vey helpfull
    Thanks david

  2. Christine says:

    Does losing fat not muscle not also have alot to do with the types of food you are eating during this period?

    • James says:

      Yes that’s right Christine. Your diet also affects how much fat and muscle you have on your body and what body you end up with.

      For example, a high fat diet usually means a high calorie diet which leads to excess fat being stored on the body.

      On the other hand, using exercise along with a balanced diet that includes protein to help repair muscle leads to maintaining more muscle while having less fat.

  3. Irina says:

    Talking about losing the weight…all runners know that YOU WILL LOOSE WEIGHT if you run. To me more important is keeping it off. I lost many lbs. , now I am “stable”, BUT….I can see my body shape changed, yes, muscles look different than fat !! Of course it does matter what you eat, from my experience, not fat or sugar is the ennemy, but BOTH, in combination. I can say, if my scale is a bit high , after a couples of good runs I get back to what it was.
    Thanks James, very useful your Blog, I can read the comments and think….”Oooh, I didn’t think like that before”…

  4. Renea says:

    What is a good example of a quicker, harder running method?