Losing Weight Does Not Mean Less Body Fat

Many think that weight loss is a sign that body fat has been lost or reduced, but in reality this is not the case. In addition to organ and bone mass, body weight can also be affected by muscle mass and the amount of body fat tissue. The decrease or increase in both greatly affects a person’s weight.

Why does body weight not equal the amount of body fat

Body weight is the amount of mass of all body components which is usually measured in kilograms. One of the drawbacks of measuring body weight is that it cannot differentiate between muscle and fat weight. Whereas muscle in general has a much heavier mass than fat, this is because muscle tends to be denser and does not have a surface area like fat. So, with the same amount of weight a person can have greater muscle mass, or even more accumulation of fat.

Fat is a tissue found in various areas of the body such as under the skin, around internal organs (visceral fat) and around muscles. The amount of body fat in a person is measured by the circumference of the surface of certain body parts such as waist or stomach circumference, chest circumference, hip circumference, hand circumference, upper arm and wrist.

What happens when body fat decreases?

There are two possible results of weight loss: decreased muscle mass and reduced body fat.

Decreased muscle mass – is the result of weight loss efforts both in terms of diet and how to exercise. Losing muscle mass is usually characterized by losing too much weight over a short period of time. Loss of muscle mass due to muscle does not get enough calorie intake for daily activities.

This calorie deficiency can be triggered by a slowdown in the body’s metabolism, in which the body cannot produce enough energy when a person does extreme diets and excessive exercise without prior adaptation. As a result, the body tends to produce less energy and instead uses up food reserves in muscles (glycogen) but tends not to reduce body fat.

Loss of body fat – is the result of a proper diet and exercise and is a sign that a person is successfully maintaining muscle mass in their efforts to lose weight. This is characterized by weight loss that is not too drastic because basically fat has a smaller mass. Decrease in fat can be known from the body surface circumference which is smaller than before or can be felt when using clothing to become more loose.

How to lose weight safely

Safe weight loss is to maintain muscle mass and reduce fat so that it reaches safe limits such as abdominal circumference <90 cm for men and <80 cm for women. Maintaining muscle mass is necessary to maintain muscle ability to store food reserves and perform various activities.

Here are some things that must be considered in reducing fat and maintaining muscle mass:

Strengthen muscles 

This can be done with a variety of weight lifting exercises either using tools or lifting your own body weight such as pull-ups and push-ups. Weightlifting is also useful in balancing muscle strength when you do cardio exercises that burn a lot of fat and calories.

Healthy diet

Fat tissue is very easy to form as a result of simple carbohydrates and excessive fat from processed foods. Instead, increase your consumption of the following types of foods:

  • Protein foods such as red meat, chicken, milk, and whey protein. Protein is an essential nutrient in maintaining muscle when you are trying to lose fat so that it doesn’t cause the body to become lean with excess fat.
  • Vegetables and fruits such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, apples and oranges are good food sources to meet daily fiber, water, vitamins and mineral needs.
  • Good fats that come from oily fish, olive oil and nuts. Unlike other fats, this type of fat is more filling and tends to last longer when digested.

Consumption of carbohydrates should only be after exercise 

Rice and pasta are examples of carbohydrate foods that are calorie dense. Consumption after exercise serves to limit the intake and storage of calories in fat. However, you can still consume various sources of complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat bread and oats.

Do it consistently

Both strengthen muscles and reduce body fat requires a long time so that regular exercise and a consistent diet is needed. Beware if you experience a drastic weight loss or about 2 kg / week. A safe reduction of body fat tends to be characterized by a permanent weight but gradually decreases body surface circumference.

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