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What's the Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss?

by Suresh, 11 Dec 2023

Your total body weight lowers when you lose weight because you lose water, muscle, and fat. Fat loss is the term used to describe weight reduction through fat, as opposed to weight loss, which is more widespread and unhealthier. However, it could be difficult to distinguish between fat loss and muscle loss.

This blog discusses the differences between weight loss and fat loss, the importance of both, and how to shed fat while maintaining muscle.

How to tell whether you're losing weight

It is common to check your weight loss development on a scale. Most scales do not differentiate between muscle loss and fat loss, despite the fact that this is helpful. Because of this, keeping an eye on your weight is not a reliable way to determine whether or not you are losing muscle or fat, and if so, how much. By analysing your ratio of fat to muscle, a body fat scale, on the other hand, can provide you with a more accurate picture of your body composition. Skinfold callipers can also be used to correctly calculate your body fat %, but it takes practise.

Prioritise fat loss over weight loss.

Many weight loss programmes promise to make the process easy and quick for you. It's important to realise that a large percentage of this weight may be due to water retention and muscle loss. Since muscle is vital to your overall health, losing it might be hazardous.

Maintaining appropriate blood fat levels, such as triglycerides and cholesterol, and lowering inflammation are all advantages of maintaining a healthy percentage of muscle.

In fact, multiple studies have linked having a higher fat-to-muscle ratio to chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes. Maintaining your muscular mass may also reduce your risk of becoming feeble or even impaired due to age-related muscle loss. Additionally, you burn more calories when at rest if you have higher muscle mass. The main reason why males often need more calories than women is due to this.

Therefore, reducing muscle mass can reduce the amount of calories you burn while at rest, making it simpler to gain back any weight you've lost.

How to keep or add muscle while reducing fat

There are a few easy strategies to guarantee that you'll lose weight as fat and either keep or add muscle mass. These consist of getting enough protein, doing out frequently, and eating a nutrient-dense diet that results in a small calorie deficit.

Consume a lot of protein

Protein is a crucial ingredient for many biological processes.

Making enzymes is essential for a variety of processes, including those that maintain immunological health, manage fluid balance, and aid in digestion and energy production. Protein is crucial for preserving existing muscle mass and promoting the development of new muscle, particularly when trying to lose weight.

Importantly, the study discovered that the combination of high intensity resistance training with a high protein recovery snack had the greatest impact. The men's fat consumption was also restricted in order to produce a calorie deficit, while their carb intake was maintained to provide enough energy for exercise.

And while consuming a lot of protein along with a calorie-reduced diet and no weight training may prevent you from gaining muscle, it may help you keep your existing muscle while accelerating fat reduction.

A high protein diet that contains at least 0.68 grammes per pound (1 gramme per kg) led to better muscle mass retention and fat reduction than a lower protein diet, according to an analysis of 20 research involving men and women 50 years of age and older.

When the amount of protein you require per day depends on your age, health, sex, and degree of physical activity, eating in the range of 0.45-0.73 grammes per pound (1-1.6 grammes per kg) of body weight can help you maintain your muscle mass when dieting.


The best technique to promote fat loss over muscle loss is through exercise. According to a study, older obese persons who exercised at least three times a week and followed a calorie-restricted diet kept 93% more of their muscle mass than those who did not.

Exercise by itself is a good way to retain muscle mass while dieting, but increasing your protein consumption may help you achieve even better outcomes.

Eat a diet low in calories.

To reduce weight, you must create a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit can be produced by either eating less calories or exercising, although it is best to do both. But too much caloric restriction can result in more muscle loss than fat loss.

In order to prevent muscle loss while still promoting fat reduction, strive to moderately cut your daily calorie intake by 500–600. By consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein foods, and low-fat dairy, while consuming fewer sugar-sweetened goods, processed meats, and fried foods, you can minimise the number of calories you take in.

The conclusion

Having less body weight overall is referred to as weight loss, whereas having less body fat is referred to as fat loss, which occurs specifically from losses in fat mass. Monitoring fat loss with just your body weight is less effective than using a skinfold calliper or body fat scale.

Other easy ways to track fat loss include keeping track of any changes in how your clothes fit around your waist and measuring the inches or centimetres that have been dropped from your hips and waist. Given how crucial your fat-to-muscle ratio is to your general health, losing weight in the form of fat rather than muscle should be your top objective. You can prioritise fat loss by eating a lot of protein, working out, and substantially limiting your calorie intake.