Weight loss vs. Fat loss and why you WANT nice lean muscle- A+A Wellness, East Cobb & Roswell Personal Trainer and Nutrition Experts

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I am really excited about this post! It is time to clear up the misconceptions behind the “fear” of building muscle. This is something  I cover daily with our team and it is an article that I hope helps to shed some light. There is a big difference between weight loss and FAT loss. I will go in-depth on this as well.

One common concern I hear daily is women that tell me they do not want to “bulk” up. Fear not ladies, unless you are incorporating some additional things into your repertoire, this is not going to happen. Weight training is by far one of the best things you can do for your body for multiple reasons.

Lets first start by covering the WEIGHT LOSS vs. FAT LOSS difference.

Weight loss is simply wanting to lower your bodyweight, the sum weight of your body fat, muscles, organs and bones. Many people get caught up in the # on the scale but lose sight of the fact that they can be more FIT, toned and FIRM than ever by focusing on lowering their body fat % and building nice lean muscle.

FAT loss on the other hand is a very different thing. This is lower your body fat itself or the total amount of fat your body carries.  When you focus on FAT loss this mentality helps you to shift from focusing on the scale to focusing on overall HEALTH and body fat percentage.

Whats the difference?

There is a BIG difference. When you focus on weight loss alone this can vary greatly day-to-day depending on many things including water retention, proper elimination, food consumption etc.

Visually, you can have two people with the SAME weight but vastly different looks because one carries less body fat than the other. Let me show you this picture (which is one of my favorite examples) of a girl at two different weights. She had a higher body fat % at her lower weight and a lower body fat % at her higher weight. She looks more defined, fit and toned at a heavier weight and her clothes sizes are SMALLER all because she has nice lean muscle and a lower overall body fat %. You can actually SEE her abs at her higher weight vs. having a smoother pouch at her lower weight.  Check it out:


Let me highlight this, if you have extreme fat loss that is needed or you are well above your “healthy” weight, you will still lose on the scale! It just may take a bit longer while your body goes through the necessary phase of “building muscle” and “burning fat”. This is crucial to understand. The key is to shift your mentality from being scale focused to being “body fat” focused.

There are numerous benefits besides toning up and looking great that muscle offers the body. Check out this great diagram and why FAT LOSS is where it’s at:


The pure benefits of muscle are astounding yet when you are “weight loss” focused alone, you may miss out on them. Losing muscle has many negative effects on the body including decreased strength, poor performance, decreased fitness, MUCH less toned body, early aging, reduced immunity and more.

If you want to be firm and toned then you want to focus on FAT LOSS and building muscle. This will give your body the pleasing aesthetics you desire.

Remember this as well, MUSCLE occupies much less space than fat! Check out this picture below for example:


The point of this article is to promote FAT LOSS plus nice lean muscle. After all, it is about so much more than just losing on the scale, it is about ultimate health and vitality.

Just focusing on the SCALE with no real idea of your body fat % or ratios is like aiming in the dark. Keep a proper perspective by knowing and understanding the many benefits of nice lean muscle as well as the benefits of fat loss. Alex and I strive to teach our team this very concept not just by focusing on the amount of weight they lose but instead by helping them to lower their overall body fat percentage. This is a win win for many reasons including those stated above. We do a 9 site body composition analysis once every 3-4 weeks to give them a real idea of what is happening with their bodies.

I hope this helps you to understand more about why you WANT muscle and helps to get you away from the scale dilemma. Weighing yourself each and every day (multiple times per day) will truly only mess with your head unless you have a real idea of what is going on with your body.

Do not be afraid to hit the gym and pick up those weights, ladies this goes for you too! I started my journey at 208 pounds and lost 80 pounds. Today, I will pick weight training over the treadmill any day. It does not mean there are not benefits to both but with weights you are building, shaping AND increasing your metabolism (thus burning MORE FAT!) for hours after an intense session.

If you are looking for further FAT LOSS, jump on and do some cardio after but do not be afraid of incorporating weight training into your daily routine.

Here is to a fit, strong, toned YOU!

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  1. Debbie  June 9, 2014

    Thanks for the great info. Very helpful!

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