Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss - What’s the Difference?

 
What's the difference between Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss? Jumping on the scale every day is never a good idea. Your weight can fluctuate for number of reasons which can really mess with your head especially when you are working really hard to be healthy and lose weight! Here we give you 4 tips on how to measure your progress without focusing on the scale weight.
 

Often when we discuss losing weight, we are really discussing fat. The problem is that they are not a one-to-one thing but we emotionally think they are.

Too often we are dictated by the tyranny of what the scale says, we think it’s telling us exactly how “fat” we are in a given moment.  It goes up, it goes down, and at times it seems to have a mind of its own.

It can really mess with your mind when you’ve been working out, are feeling good, and visually look better, but STILL, the scale weight either stays the same, barely changes, or even (God forbid) goes up! Many times as a trainer, I have to talk folks off the ledge when this happens. What gives!

Unfortunately, the scale is often the ONLY tool folks use in order to track whether or not they are losing body fat and the scale number comes to define whether they are being successful or not.

What's the difference between Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss? Jumping on the scale every day is never a good idea. Your weight can fluctuate for number of reasons which can really mess with your head especially when you are working really hard to be healthy and lose weight! Here we give you 4 tips on how to measure your progress without focusing on the scale weight.

What does the number on the scale really mean?

Truthfully, for a fat loss goal, the scale by itself is a fairly crappy measuring tool. It will tell you your weight but it can’t differentiate WHAT that weight is composed of. Items such as fat, muscle, water, waste and so on. Your scale weight is simply your current relationship to gravity. That’s it. We all (me included) attach too much emotion to what that number sometimes signifies.

Our body weight is constantly changing a little bit up and down every day. The scale can’t tell us what percentage of our weight is water at a given moment (more or less dehydrated), whether we have gained muscle from training, lost some body fat, what one’s current hormonal state (ie. where someone could be in their menstrual cycle), what current waste is being held in our bowels or bladder, or whether we have been having more (or less) carbohydrates in our diet.

For example, for every 1g of carb you take in, your body also holds onto about 3g of water.  So if you consume say an extra 200g of carbs on a given day, that’s an extra 600g of water right there. 1lb = approx 454g so that 200 grams of carbs you just ate represents almost 2 more lbs right there between food and water in your system.

Losing fat and losing weight are NOT the same thing. 

They have a relationship but they are not one and the same.  It’s important to try and emotionally understand that, as hard as it is sometimes. What you SHOULD focus on most when thinking about losing WEIGHT is actually losing body fat, gaining muscle, and in-turn changing the SHAPE of your body.

Really, in the end that is what we mean by losing weight. We really want to feel a certain way or look a certain way. 1lb of fat takes up a lot more space in the body then 1lb of muscle. 

For example, if you lost 5lbs of body fat BUT also GAINED 5lbs of muscle you would weigh exactly the same on the scale but would look much different and your body would have a different shape.

 
What's the difference between Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss? Jumping on the scale every day is never a good idea. Your weight can fluctuate for number of reasons which can really mess with your head especially when you are working really hard to be healthy and lose weight! Here we give you 4 tips on how to measure your progress without focusing on the scale weight.
 

Here are 4 tips for measuring your progress:

First things first. If you are trying to lose body fat, focus on making a plan, following a reasonable, balanced nutrition and fitness plan and stick to it. When you track anything, scale weight or not, it should be measured against how your plan is working out or not.

1) Reduce your frequency of getting on the scale

If you are a chronic weight scale checker I encourage you to reduce the frequency you get on it and torture yourself. I have absolutely no problem with checking body weight but anything more than 1x a week or every other week is plenty. Remember that the scale weight doesn’t give you the whole story, it won’t take into account other factors such as fat, muscle, water weight, waste, food, bloat, etc.

2) Take circumference measurements

In addition to checking your body weight, another tool you should be using is a tape measure to take circumference measurements. You can buy a very inexpensive tape measure for under $4 and take them at home. Remember that when your goal is to change your waistline or body shape, a tape measure is going to be a much better tool to use than a scale to measure and track change in your body.

3) Measure with a piece of clothing

One of our favorite measuring tools with clients in our programs besides photos and circumference measurements is using a piece of clothing to measure progress. usually, a pair of tighter pants or jeans works well. You can check progress every 2-4 weeks and see if they start to become loser on you.

4) Take pictures to track your progress

It can be very easy to forget what your body looked like before you started on your fat loss journey. Even if you are noticing changes, they most likely are subtle changes over days, weeks, months and you are not going to really remember precisely where you started. As much as we all hate taking pictures of our body when we are not in our best shape, just DO IT! We have had clients tell us that they don’t think they’ve made much progress with the way their body looks, only to find out later that they actually made HUGE progress in their body composition when looking at their before and after photos side-by-side. It’s easy to forget where you started once you’ve already made progress and only see the way your new body looks.

Once you take your “before” photos just set them aside and forget about them for the moment. Don’t sit there and judge them. If you are making changes you WILL look differently as you go and really what the end product looks like is much more important than where you started. We recommend taking updated progress photos every 2-4 weeks and throwing them into that same folder to look at down the road when you are ready or entering the photos into a fitness app that will allow you to see your progress shots side-by-side. When taking your photos, try taking them at the same time of day, morning is usually best and if possible, in the same outfit or swimsuit. Again, If you are serious about making a healthy lifestyle change, and stay consistent with your workout and nutrition plan, you WILL see major changes in your body!

Whatever you choose to do to track your progress, just remember, body weight and body fat are not the same thing and that the scale is mostly just telling you your relationship to gravity in a given moment. Change doesn’t happen overnight so just keep focusing on making positive changes for your body through good nutrition and fitness habits. Your hard work WILL pay off in the end!

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

What's the difference between Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss? Jumping on the scale every day is never a good idea. Your weight can fluctuate for number of reasons which can really mess with your head especially when you are working really hard to be healthy and lose weight! Here we give you 4 tips on how to measure your progress without focusing on the scale weight.
 

5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Procrastinating So You Can Crush Your Health and Fitness Goals

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

The holidays, believe it or not, are just around the corner! Amber and I have been seeing Christmas displays popping up in stores recently, which absolutely blows my mind, given that’s it just the mid-October! At least wait till November folks!

Seeing Halloween decorations and costumes next to Christmas trees is pretty hilarious though. The reason I bring up the holidays is that NOW is the time to start up building good fitness habits instead of after the holidays!

Every year, I see folks waiting until after the New Year to implement a fitness and nutrition program thinking that’s the best approach.  Remember 2 or 3 months from now is a decent chunk out of the year - that’s 16 – 20% of your year!

After the fallout of the holidays, not only are you then trying to FINALLY establish good workout and nutrition habits BUT also typically digging out of a MASSIVE hole that was dug over the months around the holidays eating season.

The statistics of post-New Year fitness habits actually sticking around are pretty bleak because you don’t already have those good habits put into place after eating and drinking a lot over the past few months. It can also be confusing not knowing what workouts you should be doing and can be discouraging.

Plus It’s cold and dark out. It takes some will power to get out and get your butt to the gym. Losing those  inches around the waistline takes more time then people believe and too often folks quickly throw in the towel. 

Hopefully now you see that the urge to procrastinate on your health and fitness goals is a huge mistake and is one that the AVERAGE person unfortunately often makes.

We don’t want you to be average! We want you to separate yourself from the average and choose something different.

NOW is the time to start building those habits! TODAY is the day you do that workout. Not 2 months from now. Doing something that builds up your good habits and helps you feel fitter and stronger is going to pay off in the end.

If you start focusing on your nutrition and building a fitness habit now, you will go into the holidays actually burning more through building exercise and establishing better eating habits. So when the holiday parties roll around, you can enjoy it guilt free and know that you have prepared your body to be able to put those extra fun calories to good use in the gym!

EVEN IF all you end up doing is staying mostly the same, CONGRATULATIONS!!! The average weight GAINED during the holidays is 10+lbs so you’ve avoided that AND you have the habits necessary to sustain you post holidays.

The urge to procrastinate is a strong one and one that I have to fight off as well.

Don’t wait for things to be perfect to get started because there will never be that perfect time. Focus instead on the little things that build you up towards your future self. Focus on the things you CAN do!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals

5 Tips for how to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals:


#1: Ask yourself what motivates you to get the results you want to see? What drives you?
 

This is your chance to stop and listen to yourself, cut out the outside noise and see what intrinsically motivates you. Write it down! Be specific! General responses tend to lead to general outcomes.

#2: Get started by establishing a short term goal with a reward at the end. 

Wanting to lose 50 lbs is awesome but why not start with actions that lead you towards that goals such as going to the gym 4 days a week for the next 2 weeks. When you do that, plan a little reward for yourself. The brain likes to be rewarded and it feels good to accomplish something you set out to do. Once you’ve accomplished that, they shoot for another 2 weeks.

#3: Practice visualization. 

You need to actually envision the future, see your future self and imagine what you will look like, how your clothes will fit, and how it will feel to like to achieve this for yourself. Some of the most accomplished athletes and people in the world make this a practice. You are training your mind to help you accomplish the tasks you need in order to achieve your goal.


#4: Prioritize the tasks that are going to lead you to success.
 

Now that you know what you would like to achieve, you’ve clearly defined what that is and you can see yourself doing it. Now is the time to cut out the distractions. Every one of us has 24 hours in a day. Most often the things that aren’t as important will just end up taking care of themselves if you can just FOCUS on the things that matter. Stop with the illusion of multitasking. Often the multitudes of things that you are juggling are just keeping you feeling busy but robbing you of focus. Focus on your priorities before even worrying about the other things.


#5: Get in there and get messy! 

Life is messy and so is starting something new. Just make a mess and get started. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you make an effort. Your future self will be very grateful you did!



Learn How to Stop Bloat From Happening

Want to reduce inflammation and lose fat for good? Start by downloading our free guide: 5 Easy Steps to Beating Belly Bloat!

We are Chris and Amber, a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you improve your nutritional and personal fitness habits for a better lifestyle. If you have issues with bloating, inability to lose fat, brain fog, or are in need of a proven nutrition and fitness plan to get you out of a rut, then sign up for our 28-Day Beat Belly Bloat Program today!

5 tips to avoid holiday procrastinating so you can crush your health and fitness goals