What’s the Difference Between Weight Loss & Fat Loss?

There are many ways to help you to lose weight quickly. Some require a controlled diet while others require eating at fixed hours.

But, does losing weight mean that you lose fat or that extra inches around your waist? Sometimes, the term weight loss and fat loss are used interchangeably. It is important to understand the clear scientific difference of weight loss and fat loss with its effect on your health.

Weight loss is the overall drop in weight due to body components including fat, muscle, water and more. These components can play a vital role in weight loss. Meanwhile, other factors like bone mineral and glycogen stores can also have an impact on weight loss. Glycogen stores may be relevant for those who follow low-carb diets. 

Fat loss refers to weight loss from fat, and it’s a more specific and healthful goal than weight loss.

When we talk about wanting to lose weight, we`re talking about wanting to lose fat simply because excess fat is potentially dangerous to health.

The main focus: Fat loss and NOT weight loss

In the battle of weight loss, you should focus on fat loss. 

There are many weight loss programmes which help to achieve quick results but they are achieved in the form of losing water & muscle from your lean body mass. This is a big red flag for your health in the future.

If you lose weight quickly, you lose electrolytes and other essential components which leads to arrhythmias, dehydration, kidney damage and light-headedness.

To understand this concept, we should know our body composition:

Body composition compartments; differences in the estimation of fat-free mass and lean soft-tissue/lean body mass. Residual mass considers connective tissue and blood.

How do you lose fat without losing muscle?

Although it is not possible to just lose fat without losing a little bit of lean body tissue, there are plenty of things you can do to shift the balance towards fat loss while preserving as much lean body tissue as possible.

  1. Eat more protein: Protein is important if you want to maintain and build muscles. Indeed, your muscles are made of proteins, so it makes sense that increasing your daily protein intake will help build your muscles.  The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8-1.2 grams per kg of body weight per day.
  1. Moderate cardio: A weekly cardio routine of 150-180 minutes aiming for 80% of your maximum heart rate might help tone your muscles. However, excessive cardio is not recommended.
  2. Consume fewer calories: This is essential. Reducing calories too much is not advised as that can lead to losing muscle instead of fat. 500-600 calories a day by consuming lean protein, whole grain, vegetables and fruits can help.
  3. Proper hydration: Water helps to retain electrolytes and reduces stress to the body.


Losing weight in the form of fat rather than muscle is much more beneficial for your long-term health. Stay consistent in your approach, and continue to focus on your progress.

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