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Theres a big misconception when it comes to weight loss vs fat loss? I’ve seen so many people over my 25 years in the industry get them mixed up, but seemingly addressing the same concern, many people use the terms fat loss and weight loss interchangeably.

Unfortunately, you can lose weight and still have a high body fat percentage (what we in the industry sometimes refer to as skinny-fat). And, you can go the other direction – you can lose body fat while increasing the number on the scale. This can be due to increasing muscle mass. (Which is a good thing). No matter what, though, you should ditch the number on the scale as your sole way of determining your overall health.

Let’s talk about the difference for a second. Fat is the substance that your body uses to store excess calories found in all the foods you eat. When most people start on a weight loss journey, this is the excess weight they want to shed. But they also need to understand that Muscle weighs more than fat and if we are not focusing on growing our lean mass by lifting weights, eating higher consumption of the Macronutrient protein, and keeping ourselves active by doing cardio based exercises too, we can and often will lose lean mass (muscle) while following weight loss programs.

Typically, when you lose excess fat, you also lose weight. Sometimes, though, you can maintain or even gain weight. The truth is that you build up lean muscle through strength training while also helping you shed excess fat through aerobic exercise. The more muscle that you build, the more fat you can burn. This should be a no-brainer, then, your weight should go down, right? Not necessarily. Muscle is more dense than fat, so my advice to you is not to get fixated on a number on the scale. It is not an accurate measurement of your overall health.

Fat tissue is very loose and not dense. It occupies a lot of space in your body. Whereas muscle is more denser and takes up less space. When you lose fat, this space is freed and you can notice inch loss. If you are following a consistent strength training program then gain in lean muscle tissue will balance out this loss of fat and weight stays the same. Since muscle takes less space than fat, you lose inches and start to look more toned, lean and shapely.

Consistent strength training program then gain in lean muscle tissue will balance out this loss of fat and weight stays the same. Since muscle takes less space than fat, you lose inches and start to look more toned, lean and shapely.

Too many individuals think that just losing weight is good but when you do so at the expense of losing lean muscle mass is not the way you do it.

Your ultimate goal should be to improve your overall body composition, increasing your lean tissue-to-fat ratio which indicates a more positive overall fitness level and optimal general health which is more important than the number on the scale. So, in reality, you don’t want to just lose weight – focus more on nutrition and strength training to eliminate excess fat stores.

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Dimitri Giankoulas

About Dimitri Giankoulas

Fascinated since an early age by the potential of the human body, I have devoted my career and much of my private life to pushing beyond my own limits – and to lead others to personal health achievements greater than they thought possible. My level of commitment to each and every client is unparalleled in the industry. I try to bring energy, optimism, and pure motivational power to every one of his workout sessions. I have been in the fitness industry since 1997, working as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, and ultimately Personal Training Director at various well-known gyms across the GTA. Combined I have over 11,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience.