Weight Loss vs Fat Loss: Why This Matters

Baggy Pants on Woman for Fat Loss

When we want to lose weight, we simply focus on weight loss. What many don’t understand is that there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss.

Now you might be thinking, at this point you don’t care what you are losing as long as you are losing something.

And that is okay, but the difference should be noted so you can determine if you want to focus on just weight loss, or on fat loss.

At the moment, it might seem like there is not much of a difference, but as we go you will see that the difference is actually pretty significant.

Weight Loss Defined

Standing on a Scale for Weight Loss

Weight loss refers to the decrease in body mass. This can be for several different reasons such as a loss in fluids, body fat, or even lean mass, which includes your muscle.

This is where many people are at because they are just aiming to see a lower weight on the scale.

For many it doesn’t matter where the loss is coming from, as long as it gets their weight down.

Fat Loss Defined

Body Fat Caliper

Fat loss is weight loss, but it is only the fat content in your body that you are losing.

When you focus on fat loss you will not be losing that lean mass, or your muscle mass.

I think if more people understood the difference between weight loss and fat loss, they would choose to work on the fat loss.

Who wouldn’t want to lose that stubborn fat and keep their muscle?

Plus, you get that feeling of looking good and feeling strong!

What’s the Difference

Different Colored Egg- Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

Once you have both of the definitions laid out, it is pretty easy to see what the difference is between weight loss and fat loss.

As I stated, when you focus on fat loss, you are will not be losing weight from just anywhere. It will be fat rather than fluids and lean mass.

Think back to the last time you were on a diet or think about the diet you are on now. Were you working on weight loss or fat loss?

What do you want to work on now that you know this?

If you answered fat loss, then you are going to want to keep reading. I am going to walk you through the most important parts of fat loss.

And by the end you will feel confident enough to switch up your weight loss strategy and work on your fat loss.

How to Help with Fat Loss

Super Helpful Tips for Fat Loss

There are several different things you can do to aid in fat loss. Some of these you might already do and if not, they are pretty easy where you can start using them today.

I want to make this clear, as with any other diet, these things should be done routinely.

If you only use them once in a while or when you feel like it, you are not going to see the results you are hoping for.

Please keep that in mind! If you want to reach your ideal weight, think of it as a marathon, not a sprint.

More Sleep

Alarm Clock -Get Sleep for Fat Loss

Sleep is vital for your mind and body. The recommended amount of sleep you should be getting is 7-8 hours each night.

In an article from Science Daily recent studies have shown, “when dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat”.

Those that do not get enough sleep also tend to be hungrier and are more likely to choose unhealthy foods.


Vinegar for Fat Loss in Someone's Hand

I’m sure you have heard the craze of drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss. You can actually drink normal vinegar if you want.

It has been shown that consuming 1-2 tablespoons a day can burn more fat.

If you can stand doing it, it is a very easy way to burn extra fat.

My husband gave this a shot for about a week or two before he gave up. He told me it just tasted to terrible and started to gag at the smell of it.

Little did I know he was just drinking it straight.

Some people can do that. Most dilute it or mix it with something else because it has such a strong taste. I would suggest drinking it in some water or even with juice.

Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats for Fat Loss

There are several healthy fats that have beneficial effects on fat burning.

A few examples are Olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.

The great thing about these healthy fats are that they can easily be used routinely. You can replace your vegetable oil with olive or coconut oil.

Avocados are great as a snack, in guacamole, or even sliced and put on a burger. Nuts and seeds also make a great snack and are easy to munch on at work.


Soda Crossed Out

We all know that sugar is bad for us and we should cut back on it. If you are working on fat loss, get rid of sugary drinks.

This can be a real challenge for people. I know people that have several cans of soda a day.

I find it crazy when people can drink that much soda in a day. And that that is something normal for them.

But for a lot of people that is the reality.

And I should note that it isn’t just soda either. It’s any drink that contains a lot of sugar.

Look at the juice you drink, or the sports beverages.

All that sugar is hindering your fat loss.

Cut it out and see how much fat you cut out as well.


Beans High in for Fat Loss

I feel that many people associate fiber with old people.

That it is something older people focus on, so they shy away from it.

But on top of all the other health benefits of fiber, it helps you reduce fat.

Soluble fiber reduces your appetite by reducing the level of hunger hormones in your body and can make you feel fuller longer.

Foods high in fiber are black beans, lima beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and pears, just to name a few.


Exercise for Fat Loss

This is an obvious one. Obviously, you know that exercise can help you burn fat.

But there are certain exercises that work better for burning fat than others.

We will go more into detail on those in a minute.


Coffee For Fat Loss

Having a cup of black coffee a day can help you to burn fat.

The caffeine stimulates the fat burning cells in your body and boosts the breakdown of fatty acids.

And it can also have somewhat of an effect on curbing your appetite.

I drink a cup of coffee each morning and if I happen to skip a day, I notice that I feel hungry much sooner than when I have my cup of coffee.


Shellfish Dish for Fat Loss

Iron is often overlooked but can have a big impact on your body.

Getting enough iron helps keep your thyroid healthy.

When your thyroid is in poor health it leads to weakness, headaches, weight gain, and shortness of breath.

Some foods that are rich in iron are shellfish, spinach, legumes, red meat, turkey, broccoli, and dark chocolate.

Intermittent Fasting

Clock on a Plate

Intermittent fasting is an easy diet that anyone can do.

It doesn’t require you to change your eating habits, just when you eat.

For example, if you start with 12 hour fasting, you would have a 12 hour period where you would fast and a 12 hour period for eating.

So, you might decide from 7 AM to 7 PM you will have your eating window. And 7 PM to 7 AM will be fasting.

These times can be changed to fit your schedule, but you get the idea.

Obviously, if you make healthier choices while fasting you will see better results, but the diet doesn’t require it.

And many people like that the fasting window is the time or most of the time they are asleep.

To learn more about Intermittent Fasting, read my post.


Chicken High in Protein

If you want to loss fat while gaining muscle, you are going to want to up your protein intake. Protein is vital for building muscle.

There are many protein options out there, many of which you probably have on occasion.

Eating these foods more often will be a big help for your fat loss while you increase your muscles.

Here are several healthy, high protein options:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Lean beef

In addition, if you are focusing on losing fat and gaining muscle, you will have to do exercises that work those muscles.

Fat Loss Exercises

HIIT Workout

Any exercise is great to help you lose weight. But concentrating on fat loss will require you do some exercises that are meant to burn fat.

Many of these exercises are simple enough to throw into your normal workout routine.

Or you might consider adding in more fat burning workouts, such as HIIT workouts.

To learn more about HIIT workouts, read Beginner HIIT Workout to Help Slim You Down.


Crunches for Fat Loss

Any type of crunches will help you lose fat and work your ab muscles.

These can be traditional crunches, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, twist crunches, and vertical crunches, to name a few.

I have stubborn lower belly fat I am trying to lose, so I plan on adding in more abs workouts into the mix to target that lower belly fat. Which will be a great boost in confidence for me.

I think this is an area a lot of people have difficulty with. If this sounds like you, I would highly recommend more abdominal workouts and more fat burning exercises in general.



Burpees, which are also called squat thrusts, are a full body exercise that is often used for strength training.

This is a simple exercise. However, it can be extremely tiring. To do a burpee, you start in a standing position.

Then, you will move into a squat position with your hands on the ground.

You kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended.

Then you immediately return your feet into squat position and stand up from the squat position. Some people will jump up instead of just standing up.

Then you repeat the steps.


Kettlebells For Fat Loss

If you have never worked with kettlebells before, I suggest starting off at a lower weight until you can get used to how they feel and move with certain exercises.

It is basically a dumbbell, but it is shaped like a ball with a single handle.

Any workout you would do with a dumbbell, you can do with a kettlebell.

The real difference between the two is that a dumbbell is balanced, whereas a kettlebell is not. This helps to burn more fat.

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Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climber Exercise for Fat Loss

These are a body weight exercise that can really improve your core.

To preform mountain climbers, you start in the high plank position. Then, you bring one leg up at a time, touching your toes to the ground before returning to plank position.

You alternate legs and do this as quickly as possible.

Much like the name implies, it should be the same movement as it would be for climbing a mountain, expect you remain in place.


Push Ups

Everyone knows what push-ups are. It was probably one of your least favorite things to do in gym class as a kid.

This is a good conditioning exercise that works more muscles than you think.

It not only works your arms (triceps), but your chest (pectorals), shoulders (deltoids), stomach (abs), and the muscles right under your armpits (serratus anterior).

So, if you are someone that doesn’t like to do push-ups, just remind yourself how many muscles you are actually working, which should help motivate you.


Plank Exercise

The plank position is another way you can work your core.

It is important to remember when you hold the plank position, to keep your abs and glutes tight, for the best results.

You should shoot for doing 3 sets and holding plank position for 60 seconds or as long as you can.

The more you do it, the longer you will be able to hold the position, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t hold it for long to start.

Read, Benefits of the Plank Exercise and How to Perform It to learn more.

Lateral Jumps

Lateral Jumps

This is just what it sounds like. You squat down and jump to the side. It is best to keep your abdominal muscles tight when doing this, so you have better control of your body.

Some people will continue jumping to one side several time and then go back the other way.

I like to visualize a line to jump over and go back and forth in place. I find I can speed up my jumping this way, giving me a better workout.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

I might be weird, but I have always liked jumping jacks for some reason.

I think it’s neat how such a simple movement of standing with your feet together and arms at your sides, then jumping to move your feet out and bring your arms over your head, can work so many muscles.

Some of these muscles include your biceps, triceps, glutes, adductors, hamstrings, calves, quads, chest muscles, core, lats, and more.

Fat Burning Zone

Man by Fire-Fat Burning Zone

If you are going to put time into burning fat with exercise, you need to know that the key is going to be getting your heart rate in the fat burning zone.

When finding what your heart rate should be for fat burning, you first must know what your maximum heart rate is.

This is the maximum number of times that your heart should beat during activity.

To find your max heart rate, you take your age minus 220.

Then your fat burning heart rate is about 70% of your maximum heart rate.

For example, if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate is 220 minus 40 which equals 180 beats per minute.

To get into the fat burning zone, you would take 70% of 180, which would be about 126 beats per minute.

Age Estimated Fat Burning Heart Rate
18-20 140
21-25 136-139
26-30 133-136
31-35 129-132
36-40 126-129
41-45 122-125
46-50 119-122
51-55 115-118
56-60 112-115
61-65 108-111
66-70 105-108
71-75 101-104

Fat Loss Supplements/Fat Loss Pills

Fat Loss Pills

Okay, I feel like I would be remiss if I did not mention fat loss pills or supplements.

This will be very brief, so if this is what you are considering, please do more research before diving in.

The main ingredient in many of these supplements is caffeine. Which you could get from simply drinking some black coffee each day.

Many people want the quick fix, so the turn to these supplements. And many of these are advertised as you not needing to do anything other than take their product.

What I don’t like about these products is, not only the fact that they cost a ton, and many don’t see the results they want, but they don’t teach you how make healthier choices.

If you want to make significant changes, a magic supplement is not going to cut it. You need to make lifestyle changes.

If you don’t know what a lifestyle change is or how to go about making one, check out this post.

This might take more effort on your part, but you will be healthier overall and be able to see better results.

Remember Fat Loss

Thought Bubble with a Light Bulb in it

Now that you understand that weight loss involves losing fluids, body fat, and lean muscle. And that fat loss focuses on losing only fat, which do you choose?

I would hope you choose to focus on fat loss. We went over many ways you can help with fat loss, such as getting enough sleep, fiber, iron, and protein.

We also discussed how drinking vinegar can aid your fat loss, as well as drinking coffee. Coffee has caffeine, which is found in many diet supplements.

If you are leaning towards supplements, do your research beforehand.

We also talked about how intermittent fasting can be an easy diet to add to your routine to show you better results.

And exercise will be important. There are also several exercises that are great for fat loss.

All of which are easy to combine with any workout routine you might already be doing.

Keep in mind when working out you want to get your heart rate in the fat burning zone. So, calculate it or check out the chart and get active.

Start applying one, several, or all of these fat burning techniques into your daily routine and watch the fat melt away.

Fat Loss vs Weight Loss
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Published by Amy

I have always had a strong passion for health and fitness, as well as helping others. So much so, that I went on to receive my Level 1 Precision Nutrition Certification. My goal is to help others feel at their best! I know it can be a struggle to reach your fitness goals, whether it is losing weight, getting in shape, or improving your overall health. I want to help you reach your goals and find what works best for you so you can stick to it! Let's work on making you Happy Healthy and Strong!

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