Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, and Your Weight
In my practice, I often hear my patients complain about their inability to lose weight. I advise them to focus on losing fat and not to worry about losing the weight. The scale is helpful in measuring weight, but the scale can’t tell us if we are losing fat, or vital water, bone, and muscle.
Fat Loss and Weight Loss
I see the conflation of weight loss and fat loss time and time again in my practice. One day, during a consultation with one of my patients (a gentleman that happens to be both a physician and a big gym rat), he turned to me and said, “George, this is fantastic! I weigh the most I have ever weighed but my body fat percentage is the lowest it has ever been!” The guy was pure muscle. I was proud as a friend and as a doctor. My patient looked better than ever. He was less concerned with the scale’s determinations and more so with his body fat percentage and overall health. Here was a man that was not confused by the difference between weight loss and fat loss. This is the mentality I foster with my patients.
Muscle and Fat
Muscle and fat are two different substances and work for or against our bodies in vastly different ways. A pound of muscle is far smaller in volume than a pound of fat. They weigh the same but look incredibly different. For this reason, I encourage my patients to increase muscle density through proper exercise and a wholesome diet. It is far more dangerous for your health to weigh less and be all fat.
Think about it, a blob of fat will float while a smidgen of muscle will sink. I could make you weigh less, by encouraging you not to exercise and to eat moderately. This may lead to muscle deterioration, which will lead to a reduction in weight. It will simultaneously increase your body’s volume, by increasing your fat percentage. On the other hand, I could encourage you to weigh more by building muscle, which would result in your body becoming skinnier and leaner.
Many trainers have signs in their studios which read, “If you aren’t gaining weight before you start losing fat, you aren’t working hard enough”! What does that mean? It means to lose the fat, you need to add the muscle, which then burns fat 24 hours a day, every day!
With proper diet, exercise, and the addition of necessary hormones, everybody is capable of losing the unwanted fat, adding the muscle, and to heck with the scale!
Do something today that your tomorrow self will thank you for.