Why You Should Chase Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss - StrongLife

Why You Should Chase Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss


I’ve been meaning to write about why you should chase fat loss and not weight loss for a while.

So since the weather is crap today, I’ve put the coffee on, Foo Fighters are blaring so away I go.

When it comes to any diet, we are prone to chasing Weight Loss when in reality, we want to lose Fat.

Today, I’m going to try and explain and clarify which you should focus on more.

Weight Loss Is Valid

First of all, I want to advise that seeing the number on the scales decrease is valid for many.

If you find yourself in a position of being overweight, then yes, a decrease in the scales should be expected.

Maintaining a healthy weight is the number 1 way to improve your health, hormones and feel better about yourself.

It has a direct benefit to cholesterol, blood pressure and many health markers.

So yes, if you are overweight, do pay attention to the scales.

Because bringing that number down will definitely improve your health but also mean you’re losing fat.

So Why Fat Loss Vs Weight Loss?

For the general gym goer, especially those weight training, fat loss is the main goal.

You want a leaner, toned body that you will feel confident and sexy in.

So when looking to build that better body, completely focusing on weight won’t mean much,

Because adding muscle tissue will skew the scales.

I’ve had lots of clients who have dropped only 2-7 lbs on the scales but literally cut themselves in half in terms of fat loss.

Let’s Define Weight Loss

So when it comes to weight loss, there are many factors at play.

For many dieting, especially when starting off, you see a big drop in weight.

This comes from a reduction in food volume in the stomach and intestines, you also drop lots of water with a reduction in muscle glycogen and also you are now in a calorie deficit so you are burning some fat.

But have you ever seen your weight fluctuate on the scales?

Has it affected how you feel?

Has it made you feel like a failure?

Weight fluctuations are completely normal.

Especially on Mondays.


Because over weekends your food choices and meal timings will vary.

You probably consume more salt.

And we generally consume more carbs.

The Role Of Carbs In Weight Fluctuations

Okay, I hope I’m not just about to bore the arse off you.

But I really want to explain why you can see a sudden increase in scale weight after a dinner out with friends or a weekend.

The body can store up to 800g of Glycogen between our Muscles and Liver.

(Think of glycogen as stored fuel).

But for every 1g of glycogen we store, it brings 3g of water with it.

Still with me?

So let’s say we have a heavy carb weekend and fill 800g of glycogen stores. That’s almost 1kg.

Now let’s factor in the water – for that 800g of glycogen, it will bind 2,400g of water. 2.4kg.

So in effect, you could possibly wake up 3.2kg heavier. Almost half a stone.

Now those figures would be the top end of the scale for a well trained person.

Make sense?

So although the scales now suddenly says you put on 3kg, it doesn’t directly mean fat mass.

It just means weight.

A few days of good eating, normal carb intake and the scales suddenly drops back to normal.

Understanding the factors that drive “weight gain” in acute circumstances begins to relieve the stress behind seeing the scales change.

Chase Fat Loss

So for any client who is weight training and focusing on building themselves up, we chase fat loss.

The main areas we focus on is a reduction in abdominal and hip measurements.

For ladies we’ll also look at thighs and those annoying bingo wings.

The lads will also keep check on the man boobs.

Weight still gets checked but we use it as one tool to track progress.

The reason we chase Fat Loss is because our training is focused on retaining/adding vital muscle mass.

And by adding muscle mass it adds weight to your frame.

But if we continue to build strength, add muscle to tone up and see our main measurements decrease, you can be sure it’s coming from fat.

By doing so, people feel great in clothes and even better naked.

They get asked “are you working out” or “feck, you’ve a great arse on you”.

Or the ole “What have you been doing?”.

The Main Reason To Avoid Weight Loss

Okay I’ve ran a bit longer than I’d have like so I’ll finish up with this.

By solely chasing weight loss and running a very calorie restrictive diet, you will lose fat.

However; you will also lose that vital muscle mass.

So many do hard diets only to end up still being unhappy with how they look.

You can diet down hard and lose a tonne of weight, but you can still have that fat hanging around.

Because although you’ve lost weight, you’ve now sacrificed muscle mass to do so.

Which doesn’t really make sense when we all want to have a more toned body.

And an unfortunate side effect then is that because you’ve dieted so hard, you’re now afraid of eating more because you’ll gain weight.

But in order to restore your body, build that sexy muscle and bring you to a level of comfort and happiness in your body, nutrition and life, you will need to revert to eating more in order to nourish your body.

Pick up some weights, eat some protein and start to appreciate and look after your body more.

I can guarantee you in years to come you’ll look back and be so much happier.

I hope this has made some sense.

If you’ve any questions just shoot them through to colm@stronglifegym.ie

And if you’d like a trial of StrongLife Gym, you can get it here: 7 Day Trial




Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: