There Is a Difference Between Losing Weight and Reducing Fat

One common misconception people have when we talk about weight loss options is the need to lose the weight. They often rely on their scales to tell them whether they are making any progress on their weight loss goals. If they see the number go down, they are excited and can be motivated to continue to work even harder.

However, the reduction in weight could be due to the loss of muscle mass, fat loss, water loss, or a combination of these things. Unfortunately, what most do not realize is that there is a BIG difference between reducing body fat and losing weight.

The body consists of both fat and muscle, along with organs, bones, and water. Each of these things is not differentiated when you step onto a scale to see how much you weigh. Rather, your weight is the total of each of these things.

overweight woman measuring waist in gym

How to Accurately Determine Your Weight Loss Progress

A much better way to track your weight loss progress is by measuring yourself. It is a good idea to start a journal and measure yourself weekly and record the following areas:

● Neck
● Upper Torso (Under the Arms)
● Belly
● Waist
● Upper Thighs
● Ankles

If you are losing fat, you will start to gradually notice there will be changes to the measurements in certain areas of the body. However, just like your scale, an increase in measurements does not mean you are failing in your weight loss goals.

Why Increases in Weight or Body Measurements Do Not Imply Failure

The reason people get discouraged when they see their weight or body measurements in certain areas increase is that they automatically assume they have gained back the fat they thought they just lost. However, this can be a very inaccurate assessment in some cases.

What you may not realize is that muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue because it has a much higher mass. As you diet and exercise, your body burns calories and slowly starts increasing the size of your muscle tissues.

In order to keep your muscles healthy, the body starts using up fat stores to provide the added nutrients the larger muscles require. As muscles become stronger, their mass continues to increase, which also increases their weight.

So, just because your upper torso measurement moved up or you notice your weight go back up a few pounds after a continuous decline, it could easily be the result of your muscles having gotten bigger and heavier.

Another reason you could notice an increase in weight is when your body is retaining water. Water retention can occur for a variety of reasons. This is why it is important to not fully base your progress on your scale.

fit woman wearing oversized pants

How Else Can I Tell if I’m Losing Fat?

Aside from using your scale and taking body measurements, how you feel and how your clothes are fitting are two other ways to mark your fat loss progress. If you have more energy and your clothes are looser, then you know you are on the right track to reaching your weight loss goals.

If you are having difficulties in losing fat, you may want to consider different weight loss surgery options. To learn more about these options, please feel free to contact Houston Sleeve Surgery Clinic at (281) 888-7767 to schedule an initial consultation today! Also check out our new SECA Body Composition Scale services.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All people should consult with their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles, posts, or videos. All people have individual needs and limitations that only their physicians can be fully aware of.

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