We all want lose weight, not only for aesthetic reasons; it is well known that it is a important health measure and in fact it is decisive in the prevention of diseases. However, it is important to understand the difference between losing weight and losing body fat.
Based on this, it is important to clarify, lose weight refers to a decrease in total body weight due to the loss of muscle mass, water and fat. Fat loss refers to the weight loss that occurs from fat loss and has been shown to be a more specific and healthy goal. However, when we start on the path to enjoying a healthier weight, it can be difficult to know if we are losing weight due to fat or muscle. Keep reading to know the aspects that will help you differentiate between these two types of weight loss and know some tips that will be of great help to lose fat and maintain muscle mass.
How to know if we are losing fat?
The most common practice for spot tracking on the weight loss progress, is to use a scale. Although this is a useful measure for most, we cannot forget that it does not help us to distinguish between loss of fat and muscle mass. Conversely, a body fat scale You can provide a more accurate picture of the composition of the body by measuring the percentage of fat and muscle that we have, which of course varies from person to person.
Currently we have available all kinds of programs and diets focused on weight loss, which guarantee the fastest results. However, the most recognized nutritionists agree that you need to focus on fat loss more than losing weight. In fact it has been proven through This studio and other references, which in most cases weight loss it can include water and muscle losses. Based on this, it is important to mention that the loss of muscle mass, can be harmful to health on many levels. Maybe you didn’t know it but muscle mass is a crucial component in good health, therefore maintaining a healthy percentage of muscle is associated with many benefits; among which its properties stand out for regulate blood sugar levels, maintain healthy levels of fats, such as triglycerides and cholesterol, in the blood and control inflammation.
According A study, a higher proportion of fat compared to muscle, is associated with a increased risk of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.
Another of the most relevant aspects focused on weight loss, is this simple formula: The more muscle we have, the more calories we will be able to burn at rest. in fact this is the main reason why men generally have higher caloric needs that the women. In such a way that we can conclude that losing weight in the form of muscle can decrease the number of calories that the body burns at rest. At the same time, it is an aspect that is related to a greater risk of regaining the weight lost in the form of fat.
How lose fat and gain muscle?
Of course this is the million dollar question. The good news is that there are simple ways to lose weight as fat and maintain and even gain muscle mass. Take note, decide to lose weight with health, nutrition and in the long term.
1. Eat lots of protein
It is well known that proteins are one of the most important nutrients and that is why they are involved in a long list of bodily functions. They are necessary for produce enzymes They help with digestion and energy production, regulate fluid balance, and support immune health. Another of the great functions of proteins is their fundamental role in maintain muscle healthin fact support the growth of new muscle and this is especially important when losing weight. It has A study that confirms it, which lasted 4 weeks and in which a group of young men met. The study consisted of randomly assigning them the consumption of a low calorie diet containing 0.55 or 1.1 grams of protein per pound (1.2 or 2.4 grams per kg) of body weight, combined with an intense exercise training program. While both groups lost a significant amount of weight, the men who ate the high-protein diet lost 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) more fat mass and gained 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) more muscle than men who ate the low-protein diet. Importantly, the study found that high-intensity endurance exercise in conjunction with consuming a high-protein recovery snack made the biggest difference. Another fact that we cannot fail to mention is that fat intake was limited with the aim of creating a calorie deficit and thus enhancing the results.
2. Get physically active
It’s simple: exercise and diet are the most effective ways to promote fat loss instead of the loss of muscle mass. According a review of 6 studies, it was found that older adults with obesity who performed cardio and weight training at least 3 times a week while on a calorie-restricted diet retained 93% more of their muscle than those who did not exercise. In such a way that exercise alone is a very effective strategy to maintain muscle mass, however combining it with a higher protein intake can be of great help to optimize results. As the margin data, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults perform at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of cardiovascular activities and muscle strengthening.
3. Follow a low calorie diet
It is nothing new, to lose weight you must create a calorie deficit and this can be achieved in two ways: eating fewer calories or exercising, but preferably both. It is worth mentioning that the adequate consumption of calories is an important measure of health, therefore cutting calories too much it can lead to further loss of muscle rather than fat. The recommendation of doctors and nutritionists is to moderately reduce the amount of calories we consume between 500 and 600 per day to minimize the loss of muscle mass and, at the same time, facilitate the loss of fat. the best way to achieve a healthy calorie reduction, is to consume more fruits, vegetables, grains whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and fewer sugar-sweetened products and beverages, processed meats, and fried foods.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.