Body Weight vs. Body Fat

What's the difference?

 

There is a big difference between losing body fat and losing body weight.  An abnormal amount of excess body fat is usually a signal telling you that you are taking in more food than your body needs to function, or that you are not obtaining sufficient exercise and physical activity in your daily lifestyle. Other factors, such as heredity and metabolism also contribute to your physique.


There is a distinct difference between losing excess bodyfat and losing weight. The term "weight" refers specifically to overall bodyweight, which includes bones, organs, skin, fluid, muscle, and fat. For this reason, fad diets that promise that you will be watching numbers rapidly drop on the scales are sometimes dangerous. Bodyfat is not the only thing you lose on these diets. Losing muscle as a result of dieting decreases metabolism and actually slows down bodyfat loss.


If you are starving yourself just to watch the numbers go down on the scales, remember this. The weight you may lose at first on an extremely low-calorie diet is not just bodyfat. Much of it is muscle. When muscle tissue is lost, it is easier for the body to store fat. When you lose muscle tissue, you will become weak and tired, resulting in a reduced level of physical activity. In turn, this inactivity and weakness causes an even greater loss of muscle tissue.


It is also imperative to understand that muscle and fat are two distinct types of tissue. You cannot burn fat and turn it into muscle. Conversely, unused muscle does not simply turn into fat.


The good news is that when you begin or accelerate a strength training program, your existing muscles become larger in response to the amount of resistance placed on them. When you perform a sufficient amount of aerobic exercise, your body burns fat by using your existing fat stores as a source of fuel.  The awesome advantage of lengthier aerobic sessions is that they increase your metabolism long after you stop sweating, in some cases for up to six or seven hours.


If you weigh yourself frequently, please keep the following facts in mind. Muscle really does weigh more than fat—approximately two and one-half times more. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism is.


Also keep in mind that it is perfectly normal and healthy to have some visible body fat. Like every other component of your amazing body, fat has a necessary purpose and function and is there for a reason. Truly loving and respecting your body exactly as it is at this moment becomes much easier when you accept this simple fact.


Only you know at what weight you feel most comfortable, healthy, and energetic. Do not waste valuable time and energy worrying about how much you weigh. Instead, concentrate on how physically fit and truly healthy you are—inside and out!