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Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss: Which Approach Will Get You the Body You Want?

Each year, an estimated 45 million Americans participate in one of the 70+ diets you could search for on the World Wide Web. However, nearly two-thirds of Americans are still overweight or obese.

Sadly, statistics show that approximately 65 percent of these dieters rebound, regaining the weight lost (plus more) in just one to three years.

With so many diets available and so much information available, it can be very confusing which approach one should take when ready to achieve the body and health you desire. So let’s compare two approaches.

Weight Loss Approach

When most people are ready to make a change in how their body looks and get “healthy”, they focus on weight loss and what the scale says. This common approach involves decreasing calories with restrictive crash diets, increasing exercise via hours of cardio or overtraining, and judging their progress solely by pounds lost on the scale.

Most taking the weight loss approach will lose weight for a while, but it will eventually come to a halt for a couple reasons. One, you are starving all the time and it’s too hard to keep up with; or two, you want to keep losing, but you can’t afford to drop your calories any lower or spend anymore time exercising. You get stuck and the yo-yo cycle begins.

Not only will frustration set in, but this approach will most likely also cause:

  • Decreased metabolism

  • Muscle loss

  • No strength improvement

  • The “skinny fat” look

  • Low energy

  • Premature aging

  • Increased risk for disease

  • Increased anxiety about body image

Is this something you would recommend for your body (if you haven’t tried it already)? Hmmm, not amazing results by any means. Let’s take a look at the other side…

Fat Loss Approach

You may have heard the myth that muscle weighs more than fat. The fact is that 1 pound is 1 pound, no matter muscle or fat. However, fat takes up much more room than muscle under your skin. In fact it has been said that 1 pound of fat is about the size of a grapefruit compared to 1 pound of muscle looking like the size of a tangerine.

Bottom-line, the more muscle you have, the slimmer you look. To achieve this use a fat loss approach where you are eating enough for how much you are exercising. This typically looks like a balanced nutrition with mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods, strength training and cardio (as needed).

When the focus is on losing fat vs. weight, you could technically not step on a scale again and instead judge your progress by taking full body pictures, circumference measurements of your waist and hips, and paying attention to how your clothes fit on a regular basis.

With the fat loss approach you will most likely see:

  • Increased metabolism

  • Muscle gain

  • Strength improvement

  • “Lean and toned” look

  • Increased energy

  • Delayed aging

  • Reduced risk of disease

  • Positive mindset and body image

Yo-yo or serial dieting can be damage many things besides your weight, including your health, mood and body image. Make 2017 the year you finally get off that yo-yo train for good!

Let’s get fired Upp!


P.S. If you have any questions on how you can get off your yo-yo dieting train, I’m happy to give you some tips and suggestions in a complimentary Fitness Success Session call. Just email me to schedule.

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