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Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss: What's the Difference?


Weight Loss Vs. Fat Loss: What's the Difference?
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If you've ever found yourself standing on the scale and obsessing over the numbers, you're not alone. In a society that is increasingly focused on losing weight, it's natural to want to see results quickly.

Toiling away on the elliptical, watching every calorie that goes into their mouths, and keeping a strict eye on the scale numbers is what we go through every day to see some progress.

If this describes your situation, don't worry - you're not alone. In fact, you're in the majority. According to a recent study, more than 80% of people who start a fitness program do so in order to lose weight.

We all know the feeling of triumph when you step on the scale and see that you've lost a few pounds. But have you ever wondered what exactly you're losing when those numbers go down? Is it just fat? Is it muscle? Or is it water weight? Let us enlighten you.

There are two terms that are often used interchangeably; weight loss and fat loss. While they might seem the same thing to you, they are not.

Weight loss is simple – it's the total amount of weight (fat, muscle, water, etc.) that you lose. Fat loss, on the other hand, refers to the specific loss of only body fat. And unfortunately, people are often focused on numbers on the scale rather than fat loss.

Why is this a problem? Because when you lose weight, you're not necessarily losing all fat. In fact, you might even be losing more muscle than fat! And this is a problem because muscle is key to burning calories and maintaining a healthy weight. So even though you might see the numbers on the scale go down, you might not be getting any closer to your ideal body composition.

So next time you step on the scales, don't get too excited or discouraged by the number you see. Focus on your body composition instead: are your clothes fitting better? Do you have more energy? Are you seeing changes in your body shape? These are the things that matter, not the number on the scale.

And now that we have understood the importance of knowing what you are shedding off let's discuss their difference in a detailed manner.

Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

For many of us, the thought of weight loss conjures up images of deprivation and grueling workouts. But it doesn't have to be that way! Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight.

This can be from the loss of water, muscle, glycogen, or a combination of all three. You don't want to lose muscle, as keeping your metabolism up and burning calories is essential. Retaining muscle reduces your risk of age-related muscle mass, resulting in potential disability.

So, if you're looking to lose weight and keep it off, you want to make sure that you're not losing too much muscle mass in the process

On the other hand, fat loss is an entirely different story. Fat is what we really want to lose when we're trying to slim down, but it's also the hardest thing to get rid of. When you lose weight, your body will first burn through all of its glycogen stores (which are basically just stored sugar) before it starts breaking down fat cells for energy.

That's why it's so important to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet when you're trying to lose fat since your body needs to be in a calorie deficit in order for it to start breaking down those pesky fat cells.

Fat loss has a number of benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and reduced inflammation. Plus, it just feels good to know that you're shedding those excess pounds for good!

How to Identify Fat Loss?

Most people want to lose fat, not muscle. That's because muscle is active tissue that burns calories even when you're at rest, while fat is inert. So how do you make sure you're losing fat and not muscle? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer.

You can't just look in the mirror and tell; body weight alone isn't a reliable indicator either since muscle is denser than fat and weighs more. The best way to assess whether you're losing fat or muscle is to measure your body fat percentage. This can be done using calipers or special devices that use electrical impedance.

Once you know your starting body fat percentage, you can re-measure every few weeks to see if it's going up, down, or staying the same. If it's going up, even if your weight is staying the same or going down, that means you're losing muscle and gaining fat, which is obviously not what you want.

On the other hand, if your body fat percentage is decreasing, but your weight isn't changing much, you're probably losing mostly fat with a little bit of muscle. And if both your body fat percentage and weight are going down, then that's ideal – you're mainly losing fat with a little bit of muscle.

Of course, these are just general guidelines – everyone is different, and there are many factors that can affect body composition. But measuring your percentage regularly is the best way to track whether you're losing fat or muscle.

You can escalate the fat loss process by combining your diet with a fat burner supplement by DMoose. The unique formula is specifically designed to help you lose some inches off of your waist in a healthy manner.

How to Lose Weight While Maintaining Muscles?

Losing weight while maintaining muscle mass can be a challenge, but it's an important goal to set for yourself if you want to be healthy and fit. There are a couple of guidelines that can help you lose weight while maintaining muscle mass:

Protein Rich Diet

Everyone knows that protein is a crucial nutrient for building and maintaining muscle mass. But did you know that eating plenty of protein can also help you lose weight?

That's right - protein can actually help you burn more calories and lose weight while preserving your muscle mass. So, if you're looking to slim down, be sure to include plenty of protein in your diet.

Protein requires more energy to digest than other nutrients, so it helps you burn more calories. Protein also helps preserve lean muscle mass, which is essential for burning calories and maintaining a healthy weight.

And because protein makes you feel fuller, it can help control your appetite and prevent overeating.

A recent review of 20 studies found that a high-protein diet can help preserve muscle mass and promote fat loss in people over 50. Protein is essential for maintaining a healthy body, and the recommended intake for people in this age group is 0.68 grams per pound (1 gram per kg) of body weight per day.

The protein needs differ depending on your age, health, sex, and physical activity level, but consuming protein in the range of 0.45–0.73 grams per pound (1–1.6 grams per kg) of body weight per day can support muscle mass retention and fat loss with dieting, according to the study authors

So, if you're looking to lose weight, be sure to eat plenty of protein. Your muscles will thank you - and so will your waistline!


If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise. It's as simple as that. But what kind of exercise should you do? And how much? Well, that depends on a few factors, including your goals and current fitness level.

However, some general guidelines can help you get started. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you should focus on cardiovascular activities such as running or biking for 150-300 minutes per week. These exercises help to burn calories and speed up your metabolism.

If you're over 40, you might think it's too late to start working out. But a new review of 6 studies has found that it's never too late to reap the benefits of exercise - especially if you're carrying a few extra pounds.

The review found that older adults with obesity who engaged in cardio and weight training at least 3 times per week while following a calorie-restricted diet retained 93% more of their muscle than those who did not exercise.

Strength training is also important, as it helps maintain muscle mass while losing weight. And finally, be sure to add a healthy diet into the mix! Exercise is essential for weight loss, but it's not the only piece of the puzzle.

Eating healthy foods will help to boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. So, what are you waiting for? Get moving and start losing those unwanted pounds!

Calorie Restricted Diet

When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of different options out there. But if you want to lose weight without losing muscle mass, a reduced-calorie diet is the way to go.

This type of diet involves eating fewer calories than you burn, which forces your body to burn fat for energy. And because muscle mass is denser than fat, you'll actually end up losing more weight while following a reduced-calorie diet.

This doesn't mean that you have to starve yourself, but you will need to be careful about the types and amounts of food that you eat. In particular, you should focus on eating lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will help you to feel full without providing too many calories.

Gradually reduce your calories to consume 500-600 calories per day to achieve your weight loss goals.


1. Which is better, weight loss or fat loss?

Weight loss is simply the process of shedding pounds, regardless of where those pounds come from. Fat loss, on the other hand, refers specifically to body fat loss. So, which is better?

Fat loss is probably a better bet if your goal is to improve your health and fitness. After all, losing body fat can help to increase your muscle mass, improve your metabolism, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. On the other hand, if you're trying to fit into a wedding dress or swimsuit, then weight loss may be a more appropriate goal.

2. Can you lose fat and not lose weight?

Weight is a measure of all the tissue in the body, including fat, muscle, bone, and water. So it's possible to lose fat without losing weight if you replace it with muscle. And it's possible to lose weight without losing fat if you lose water weight. In short, don't assume that someone who has lost a lot of weight has also lost a lot of fat.

3. Where does the fat go when you lose weight?

The process of weight loss is a complex one that involves several different processes. First of all, when you eat fewer calories than you burn, your body begins to break down stored fats for energy. This process is known as lipolysis. The fats are broken down into smaller units called fatty acids, which can be used for fuel.

However, not all fatty acids are used for energy. Some of them are excreted in the form of waste products, such as carbon dioxide and water. So, while it's true that some of the fat does simply disappear, much of it is actually expelled from the body through urine and sweat.

4. How much water weight do you lose before losing fat?

Everybody is different and, therefore, will lose water weight at different rates. Some people may see results almost immediately, while others may have to lose a significant amount of water weight before they start seeing any change in their body fat percentage.

We can say that losing even a small amount of water weight can make a big difference in how you look and feel. So if you're trying to lose weight, don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away. Every little bit counts; eventually, those pounds will start dropping off.

5. Why do I look thinner but weigh more?

The answer has to do with two things: body fat percentage and muscle mass. When you lose weight, you inevitably lose some muscle mass along with fat. And since muscle is denser than fat, it weighs more. So even though you may have lost pounds, you may not have lost much in terms of body fat. In fact, you may have even gained some muscle mass, which would explain why you look thinner but weigh more.

Bottom Line

Everyone wants to lose weight, but not everyone knows the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight, whereas fat loss refers to weight loss that occurs specifically from losses in fat mass.

A simple way to track your fat loss progress is to use calipers to identify the changes in your waistline. But while you are on your way to losing weight, it is imperative to ensure you are not losing muscle mass.

For that, ensuring that your diet is rich in protein, restricted in calories, and your lifestyle includes healthy physical activity can help you reach your goals effectively.

So, if you are trying to slim down, ensure you are taking the right approach!

Reading List

Article Sources

  • Cava, Edda, et al. "Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss123." Advances in Nutrition, vol. 8, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 511–19. PubMed Central,
  • McMurray, Robert G., et al. "Examining Variations of Resting Metabolic Rate of Adults: A Public Health Perspective." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, vol. 46, no. 7, July 2014, pp. 1352–58. PubMed,
  • Dhillon, Robinder JS, and Sarfaraz Hasni. "Pathogenesis and Management of Sarcopenia." Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, vol. 33, no. 1, Feb. 2017, pp. 17–26. PubMed Central,
  • Kim, Jung Eun, et al. "Effects of Dietary Protein Intake on Body Composition Changes after Weight Loss in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Nutrition Reviews, vol. 74, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 210–24. PubMed Central,
  • Kim, Jung Eun, et al. "Effects of Dietary Protein Intake on Body Composition Changes after Weight Loss in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Nutrition Reviews, vol. 74, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 210–24. PubMed Central,
  • Sardeli, Amanda V., et al. "Resistance Training Prevents Muscle Loss Induced by Caloric Restriction in Obese Elderly Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Nutrients, vol. 10, no. 4, Mar. 2018, p. 423. PubMed Central,
  • Longland, Thomas M., et al. "Higher Compared with Lower Dietary Protein during an Energy Deficit Combined with Intense Exercise Promotes Greater Lean Mass Gain and Fat Mass Loss: A Randomized Trial." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 103, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 738–46. PubMed,
  • Hernández-Reyes, A., et al. "Changes in Body Composition with a Hypocaloric Diet Combined with Sedentary, Moderate and High-Intense Physical Activity: A Randomized Controlled Trial." BMC Women's Health, vol. 19, Dec. 2019, p. 167. PubMed Central,

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