What is the difference between losing body fat vs. losing weight?
I am also going to give you 3 tips to help you get started on feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
When I start working with clients I always ask them what do they want to see when all is said and done. Typically, the 1st words are “I want to be [fill in the number] on the scale”. Which I usually respond with “If your goal is to weight 150lbs….What if you get to 160 lbs and you love the way you look and feel? Would you still want to see 150? Isn’t the bottom line how you feel in your own skin? So it really doesn’t matter what you weigh on that scale, right?”
What does it mean to lose weight?
This phrase is easily tossed around in most fitness program. I think it’s because everyone can relate to it.
Pretty much every woman born after 1960 knows EXACTLY what her “ideal” scale number is! AM I RIGHT!!
But if I said to you would you like to be 18% or 25% body fat, you’d be like “I don’t even know what that would look like”.
Losing weight means scale weight
The scale is simply the gravitational pull on your body.
That is it.
Your self worth is not tied into that scale. That number does not make you a horrible human being.
It is just a number.
That is neutral.
It’s the thoughts you have about that number that make it a problem for you. We’ll dive more into that in a future video.
Do we really need a scale to tell us if we are overweight??
Unless you have a dysmorphia (where you do not see yourself as you actually are)….you don’t need a scale to tell you if you are overweight.
It doesn’t matter if you are 5 lbs or 100 lbs overweight if you are not comfortable in your own skin you have a “weight problem”
Losing scale weight is not ideal for the long term…..you’ll learn a little bit later why this is NOT a good thing
What does it mean to lose body fat?
Body composition is made up of:
- organs …
- and body fat
Muscle is not the same as body fat.
Body fat does not change into muscle and muscle does not change into fat. You need to have some body fat on your body in order to be healthy. Keep reading to find out why you want to lose body fat and not just scale weight.
The typical way to lose scale weight is to drop your calories and do tons of cardio. If you grew up in the 70 & 80’s this is probably your default.
If we were to take two women with the exact same body structure and put one woman on a weight loss program and the other on a body fat loss program… they will both come out looking totally different.
Take those same two ladies, they can each start out weighing the same but when they are done the scale weight loss woman might show more of a decrease in weight on the scale but she will just be a smaller version of what she was heavier. So if she was pear shaped women (small torso and wide hips) she will still be small up top and still have wider hips just all in a smaller size. She will likely have little to no muscle tone or definition.
The Scale Weight Loss Downsides
- This is where your metabolism will tank.
- You can only cut so many calories and do so much cardio.
- You will stall at some point.
- Injuries are highly likely along with illnesses as well. WHY? Because you are wearing out the joints and putting a ton of stress on the body through all the cardio AND because you are in a huge calorie deficit chances are you will be sick quite often.
- And the psychological effect can be horrible… hence where the “dieter’s mentality” was born.
Benefits Of Losing Body Fat
The other woman on the body fat loss program might actually weigh more, BUT she will be smaller in inches and look lean and toned AND she will be doing less cardio and eating a ton more food!
- You need to gain muscle…”say what Nicole??” Yes you need to ditch the small dumbbells. Click here if you are afraid of lifting weights.
- You need to be a small calorie deficit. Dare I say, you might need to be in a surplus of calories (ummmm yeah! 😉
- You don’t need to do a ton of cardio. If you are doing more than 1 hour of cardio you are doing it wrong.
- Yes that scale number might go up depending on where you are currently at. Muscle weighs more than fat BUT muscle takes up less space (more dense than body fat) a.k.a. smaller girth measurements!!
- Building muscle and losing body fat takes time and patience. It takes waaaaay longer than 12 weeks to do this. It might take a year. Might take 3-5 years. This is why most women will give up. Everyone wants it quick and yesterday.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Now here is why losing body fat is the key!
You are building muscle. You want muscle (I promise you will not look like a beefy man by lifting heavy weights).
By lifting weights and gaining muscle:
- May prevent or slow down osteoporosis.
- You will likely be more active as you age.
- Independent living! You will probably not need anyone to come open your jars for you when you are 90.
- You will be stronger
- Your joints will be happier with less pounding from cardio.
- Everyone listen up because you are going to LOVE reading this….when you add more muscle YOU GET TO EAT MORE!!
- Muscle is very metabolic so you will burn calories just sitting here doing nothing. With the correct program, you will be losing body fat!
In conclusion, if you are eating very little and doing tons of cardio (and you probably feel miserable) and nothing is really changing, you need to switch gears to a body fat loss program.
Here are 3 tips to get you started:
- Before you step on the scale tomorrow morning (you know after you’ve peed and are in your birthday suit…I get it)….before you step on ask yourself how you are going to feel about whatever number comes up on the scale. Are you going to accept that it is just a number and that maybe you need some help losing body fat loss OR are you going to want to curl up in the fetal position and berate yourself all day long??? The choice is always yours 😉
- If you are currently working out increase your dumbbell weights so if you were using a 3lb dumbbell try to lift up a 5 lbs weight. Please make sure you know how to properly lift weights. Form is soooo important. You can check out my exercise library over on YouTube at the Shape It Up channel (just search “shape it up” and look for orange in thumbnails pics).
- Ditch the dieter’s mentality and focus on this as being a lifelong journey. Stop focusing so much on the scale weight and start focusing on losing body fat. If you need help putting this all together click here and request a chat with me.