Fat Loss vs Weight Loss- Is There A Difference and Which Is Best?

Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

By Annie Berryhill

Have you ever weighed yourself to find that you lost maybe 5 pounds but nothing feels different in your body?

Are you working hard but you still wear your fat clothes?

Ever do one of the "cleanse diets" and watch the scale plummet only to watch it zoom back up daily once you quit the diet?

These are tell tale signs of weight loss for sure,

but perhaps not fat loss!

It sounds confusing, doesn't it!

Isn't weight loss, fat loss and why does it matter??


It matters a ton as it turns out!

Though the topic of weight loss is a huge one no matter where you look, losing pounds may not be giving you the health and muscle definition you are looking for.

Weight Loss is about reducing the amount the your body weighs. This includes the weight  of the body's organs, bones, and muscles. When you limit carbs, you will also release water which looks like weight loss. It is simply water weight and is easily regained upon completing the carb restriction program.

Fat Loss is when the percentage of the body's fat is reduced. Men are considered healthy at a Body Fat under 25% (even lower to be considered lean or athletic … maybe at 8%) and a healthy body fat for a woman is 30% but to be lean and athletic looking, aim for under 20%! Being in the recommended Body fat range is a better indicator of health than any scale reading.

Fat is an amazing source of energy, and by teaching our body how to use it as the primary energy source, it will reduce it and make the body healthier. It will result in a loss of INCHES also!

Get off the scale! The worst thing you can do is to weigh yourself frequently!

Water weight fluctuates, making you think you are losing or gaining weight

Attaching a goal to a weight is skewed as different people of varying heights will be healthy at different weights

When you are increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat, your actual weight may not even change.

How To Determine Body Fat:

Online body fat calculators: A good place to get an estimated body fat determination.

Benefits: Easiest

Drawbacks: least accurate

Calipers: This is also called the "Pinch" method and it involves pinching the skin in specific places using  specific formula.

Benefits: Can be done anywhere and only requires 1 other person and a set of calipers

Drawbacks: Accuracy will depend on the testers ability to pinch and measure correctly. There is a margin of error because of this.

Bio- Impedence Machines: These machines work by measuring the resistance to a weak charge sent through the body. Fat will resist the charge more, so the machine records the resistance and estimates the body fat based on that response.

Benefits: Portable, computer based, quick, user-friendly, fairly accurate

Drawbacks: When dehydrated, the result will be skewed upward. When under- hydrated, it registers as additional resistance and is interpreted at body fat.

HydroStatic Testing:
This is referred to as "the dunk" and it is performed by getting into a tub of water, exhaling all air in the lungs, hold onto the metal bar for a few seconds.

Benefits: Most accurate

Drawbacks: Most expensive, and least convenient

But, if you don't have access to any of these methods, there are a few things you can do to gauge fat loss:

Measure Body parts and record (every 2 weeks)

Take Photos every day, every week or every 2 weeks

Keep a Workout and Food Log

Simple Ways to Reduce Body Fat and Get Lean Strong and Healthy

  • Lift weights: Move heavy stuff around. Do 5×5 Sets of deadlifts, presses, squats and put some sprint work into  your regular workouts. Do functional movements that use the entire body.
  • Clean up your food: No processed foods, shop on the outside perimeter of the grocery store. Stay as close as possible to the natural state of the food. Limit sugar, additives, artificial colors and sweeteners. Eat lots of veggies, fruit, low fat meat and fish, and healthy fats.



You are DESIGNED to live


Today is a good day to get started

Anne (Annie) Berryhill is a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer, athlete and competitor who owns and operates OC Fitness Revival in Orange County, CA.  

Her services include:

personal and group training,

online nutrition classes and counseling,

as well as providing incredible

health-improving supplements to help people  to make the most out of what they've got. For more information, contact her via email anne@anneberryhill.com



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