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Lose Weight Or Fat?

December 2nd, 2014 | by Events Staff
Lose Weight Or Fat?
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When a person says she wants to lose a few kilos, it’s understood that she means a few kilos of fat, not a few kilos of muscle, bone mass, or body water. But when the typical dieter loses those few kilos, barely half of that weight is fat. The other half is, in fact, muscle, bone mass, and body water.

Losing weight is not as good as losing fat. If you lose a few kilos of mixed fat mass and lean body mass, your health, appearance, and endurance performance will not improve as much as they will if you lose an equal amount of pure fat.

Here are some tips to ensure that any and all weight you lose in pursuit of your ideal racing weight is body fat.

 

Track Your Body Composition

Ensuring that fat loss accounts for all of your weight loss begins with consistent monitoring of your weight and body composition. This is easily done with a body fat scale such as a Tanita Ironman. Step on the scale once a week to check your weight and body fat percentage. Multiply your weight by your body fat percentage in decimal form to obtain your body fat mass. If changes in your total body weight equal changes in your body fat mass, then 100 percent of your weight loss is fat loss.

For example, suppose your body weight four weeks ago was 160 lbs, and your body fat percentage was 15. This means your body fat mass was (160 lbs x 0.15 =) 24 lbs. Now suppose your body weight today is 156 lbs and your body fat percentage is 12.9. This means your body fat mass is now (156 x 0.129 =) 20.1 lbs. So your total weight loss is 4 lbs and your body fat mass loss is 3.9 pounds. Congratulations! Almost all of your weight loss has been fat loss.

 

Cut Calories Moderately

The surest way to lose lean body mass along with fat is to cut your daily calorie intake drastically. In a study performed at Rockefeller University, one group of subjects cut their energy intake by 700 calories a day, while a second group cut their energy intake by 300 calories a day. The first group lost more total weight, but it was only 48 percent fat—the rest was lean body mass. Meanwhile, the weight lost by the second group was 91 percent fat.

When trying to lose excess body fat, limit your daily energy deficit to roughly 300 calories per day. This is especially important during periods of intensive training, when you need plenty of energy to fuel workouts and recovery.

 

Read more of this article on Triathlete Europe by clicking here

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