Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

Dec 3, 2019

 by Chris Brown

If you've ever been one to get on the scale every single day after starting a new nutrition plan, you're not alone. Building yourself up to get on that scale to check on that number. Did it go down? Did it budge at all? Or, worse yet, did it go up?!

First off, stop.

Stop weighing in every day and stop worrying so much about a number.

If you're a CrossFit athlete, then it's nothing new to hear that muscle weighs more than fat. What's more, if you're truly looking to improve your nutrition and overall health, it's important to take note of the differences between fat loss and weight loss.

Those trying to simply "lose weight" often resort to cutting calories or fad diets. The problem here is that if you're not targeting the fat correctly, you can instead lose muscle, bone mass or simple water weight.

"If you lose intermuscular water, at first it’s not a big deal—it’s like letting a little air out of a balloon,” Joel Seedman, Ph.D, explains via Mens Health. "But after a few weeks, because muscle is 70 percent water, the tissue adapts to the dehydration and your muscles shrink and start to atrophy. You’re not only compromising the structural integrity of your muscles, but as you lose bulk thanks to the lack of water, you’re also triggering the whole metabolic dysfunction of BMR [basal metabolic rate] and insulin sensitivity that comes with losing muscle."


Our CFA client Lauren changed her body by focusing on fat loss versus weight loss.

Your ultimate goal should be to preserve as much muscle mass as possible while losing fat. The scale is not an accurate way to measure this; rather, it is a tool that helps us notate long-term trends. That's why it's important to avoid daily weigh-ins and focus more on how our body feels and looks through the fat loss process. It's also a good idea is to take progress photos during your journey, so you can look back and see your changes. We've often seen athletes who see little to no change in the "number" on the scale, but their bodies look amazing after a few months of dialing in their nutrition and fitness habits.

Once you wrap your head around the concept that it's not about a number, it's easier to focus on losing fat versus weight. And you may need some help as you jumpstart the process.

CrossFit Awaken's staff is here to help you out. If you want to make sure your nutrition on point and you're eating to lose fat, be sure to reach out to Coach Danielle. She offers proven nutrition counseling services in which she will customize your nutrition plan to specifically fit your lifestyle and schedule. If you are looking for that guidance and accountability, reach out to her at danielle@crossfitawaken.com .