The Great Debate: Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

Numbers never lie, that’s what they say right?

Well, in most cases that’s the truth, but when it comes to getting in shape, the number you see on the scale can be very misleading.
“Trying to lose 10 pounds gettin’ ready for summer.”DRAKE

That’s a lyric from Drake’s hit song “Fancy,” but the Canadian-born hip-hop star is a rapper, not a personal trainer.  That’s where I step in.

It’s always good to have goals in mind when training, but when it comes to losing weight and achieving a better body, most people are heading down the wrong path.  This brings me to the title of this blog post, The Great Debate (even though there’s really no debating the facts.)
To start, and put it plain and simple, there are no shortcuts or quick fixes when it comes to losing weight or fat.  The only way you will reach your goals in a healthy manner and make sure they stick is through hard work and dedication, as always.
Believe it or not, there is a difference between fat loss and weight loss.  You could be one of those guys or girls who many will refer to as “skinny-fat,” which is when you may not see a high number when you step on the scale, but your body tells a different story.  A girl who is 5’2” 120 lbs. could look worse than one who is the same height but 10-20 lbs. heavier.  That’s because of this scientific truth:

Muscle is much more dense than fat, so that, by volume, it seems to weigh more. That is, a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat. In addition, because a pound of muscle burns more fat than a pound of fat, even at rest, by increasing your lean muscle tissue mass, you’re helping your body burn more calories.


It’s for that reason alone that you should focus on fat loss rather than weight loss.  You will look more defined, feel healthier and become stronger and more athletic if you do so.


Its muscle that determines just how much fat you burn. That’s why holding on to muscle is so important. When you lose it, your whole body shape changes. So does your metabolism.
That lost muscle literally puts out the fire on your fat burning furnace while at the same time turning up the chargers on your fat making machinery.

Now you know why it’s so difficult to burn fat as you age. And why you seem to keep getting squishier, even if you’re eating the same way you always did! So focus on building muscles to ignite the fat burning furnace.
Believe it or not, training to burn fat is a lot different than just shedding pounds.
Walk into your gym after reading this and count the number of people who are on the elliptical, treadmill or exercise bike.  Shoot, take it even a step further; ask them why they are there.  I bet 95% plus say “to lose weight.”  Endless cardio is for the hamsters, not for burning fat.


If you want to see meaningful results and burn fat effectively, you’ll want to ditch the “cardio-for-days” mentality and start picking up the heavy weights.  It’s been proven that performing compound lifts with heavier weights (again using best practices to avoid injury) is a more effective vehicle for burning fat than most cardio you’ll see people doing at the gym (the lone exception being High Intensity Interval Training of HIIT).
This means you’ll want to start incorporating deadlifts, squats, cleans and presses into your training regimens.

Another important thing to remember is that you will need to monitor your eating habits and not starve yourself.  Many people will crash diet or severely cut their caloric intake when training to lose weight, this could not be unhealthier and it actually inhibits your body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat.  Crash dieting will cause your body to become weaker and your muscles will atrophy causing you to lose weight, but not in a good way.
Eating healthy foods that are high in protein and good carbohydrates (green vegetables) will not only help you build muscle (which in turn eats fat), but it will also keep you feeling full for longer.


Remember, there is no way around the hard work that is required to get that body you so badly desire, but achieving it in a healthy manner is also important.  Focusing on building muscle and burning fat through proper diet and implementing an effective training routine that focuses on compound movements with more challenging weights will help you reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible.
Call us to find out more information or to Reserve your spot for one of our group training session at 917-432-9418.

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