The difference between bodyweight and body fat

Bodyweight and body fat are two totally different things!

With university finished for this academic year and COVID 19 is still restricting our movement, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get on the fitness bandwagon. I’ve spent my time researching and understanding fitness, in the hope to improve my overall fitness and to help you guys! Even if you’re not interested in losing body weight or body fat I’m a strong believer that fitness is amazing for self-care. This is because when we work-out we release lots of happy chemicals in our brain which helps with our overall mental wellbeing and physical health!

Now, let’s get to the point of this blog-

Many of us find ourselves saying ‘I need to lose weight’ at least once a year, whether that’s before a beach holiday or on new years day.  But is it weight you really want to lose, or is it fat?

From my understanding, losing bodyweight is more of a short term goal.  This is where you want to look slimmer overall and basically lose weight in general.  Using scales is often the preferred method when monitoring weight loss. In terms of food, this is where I would take a diet approach, which focuses on maintaining a calorie deficit (eating under your daily calorie intake). Just remember though, a diet is temporary and not a lifestyle change.  Losing weight for a long period of time is not healthy and thus should be used only in the short term. This is because when we’re dieting we tend to cut out the foods that we love to see results to our body and we’re not eating our standard calorie intake (2,000 for women and 2,500 for men).

If certain foods make you happy, I believe that you shouldn’t have to cut them out and that’s why I say diets are short term. Your happiness should be a priority.

Whereas losing fat, is focusing on retaining the lean muscle mass you have and just decreasing the percentage of fat in your body. This is what I would call a long term goal. When you lose body fat, you tend to see more definition of muscles and build a toned physique. The fitness process required for this is less restricted than the process to lose bodyweight but instead is more complex. Therefore, I will go over this in another blog.  However, losing body fat doesn’t necessarily mean the scales will go down. So try to avoid measuring yourself on the scale and instead take before and after pictures. But make sure you take these photos at the same time of day! For example, taking a before photo in the morning and then taking an after photo the week after on the night, will not give you an accurate representation of your body. This is because on the morning we’ve just woken up from not eating 8 hours so you will look slimmer. Whilst a photo on a night will be less slimming because of the food you have eaten on that day causing you to bloat. So top tip- try to take your progress pictures at the same hour of the day.

I hope this helps! It’s something that is commonly confused and definitely needs to be discussed more publicly. So next time you recall yourself saying I want to lose weight- ask yourself are you wanting a long term goal or a short term goal? Do you want to be toned or do you want to look slimmer overall?


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