In addition to maintaining a healthy body weight, today there is a strong interest in maintaining a healthy body composition. Weight loss also includes the loss of body fat, but it is not the same thing. As nutritionists emphasize, these goals are difficult to distinguish from each other, but the loss of body fat is more important for achieving a healthy body . The key to the case is not the number on the scales, but the composition of the pounds that make up our weight.
In most cases, people who are just losing weight have the number they see on the scale as the only clue to assess their effort, not the variation in fat. Weight loss refers to the overall reduction of body weight, including fluids, minerals, proteins and fats. In contrast, fat loss is all about the elimination of adipose tissue. These two concepts are often confused and difficult to distinguish from each other, since further analysis is required. A successful diet plan has as its main goal the reduction of fat and, consequently, the reduction of body weight.
Why it is important to lose fat and not just reduce body weight
Fat loss is more specific than weight loss. Reducing daily calories can lead to a decrease in body fat, as well as a decrease in overall body weight. However, the quality of the food we eat for fat loss is more important compared to weight loss . We need to be more specific and careful about our intake of macronutrients, i.e. proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
In this way, we are mainly targeting the loss of adipose tissue, while protecting muscle mass and the rest of the nutrients in the body . In addition, the volume that a kilogram of fat occupies in the body is different from a kilogram of muscle, which proves that any fat loss leads to a greater loss of total body weight, as well as to circumferential centimeters around the circumference of the body. In fact, the main indicator of success is the percentage of body fat, not the scale.
Why is it important to maintain muscle mass?
A non-personalized weight loss program will help you lose a few pounds, which are mainly fluids and muscles of the body.
The real success in losing weight, but also in losing pounds in the long term, lies in the preservation of muscle tissue.
How can I lose fat and maintain muscle mass at the same time?
Regular physical activity during the week strengthens muscles and at the same time significantly reduces body fat. Although exercise is a big factor in muscle growth, combining it with a high-protein diet will quickly increase the results in a short time.
Do not skip meals during the day
The main mechanism for building muscle mass and losing body fat, as already mentioned, is adequate protein intake through food. Proper distribution of this protein throughout the day is a key factor for muscle growth. A recent study compared eating 3 and 14 meals a day. The results showed that subjects who ate 3 meals had 17% more protein oxidation than those who ate 14. This means that with fewer meals you will “burn” more protein, which will not help the growth of muscle tissue.
Consume sufficient amounts of protein
Protein is the most important nutrient for muscle growth and the most important for fat loss. It is a necessary component for bone formation, for various metabolic processes, for the immune response, cell repair, as well as the formation of blood cells. A balanced and personalized diet can meet the body’s protein needs. The recommended intake of protein through food for an ordinary person is 0.8-1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day . When we talk about protein, we mean meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.