Weight Loss vs. Fat LossPosted: Feb 22 in Weight loss by Dr. Lazarus
Most people I work with have a single focus – to lose as much weight as possible. However, sometimes people forget that weight loss and fat loss are not always the same thing.
Exercise – Cardio vs. Resistance
Like many people, when the pandemic started, I stopped going to the gym. And I haven’t gone back. Instead, we set up a gym in our basement – I exercise hard an hour every day, alternating between biking, elliptical machine and running. Back when I went to the gym, I also did full-body weights about twice a week, usually for about 30 minutes each time.
Weight Loss – good or bad?
I’ve been proud of myself that through the pandemic, I’ve actually lost a little bit of weight – about 5 pounds. But, even though I own a very fancy body composition scale, I hadn’t stood on it in about a year.
Well, last week, I found the courage to face the SECA scale. And I was astonished at the results. Let me walk you through them below.
Weight Loss lowers Body Mass Index (BMI)
The first section shows my body mass index – you can see that this has improved, dropping about a point from March of 2021 (6.03.21) to now (February 2022 – dot before 18.05.22):
Does Weight Loss = Fat Loss?
However, the news isn’t actually that great. If you look at the next section, you can see there was no fat loss, and the loss was in fat-free mass:
Visceral Fat and Skeletal Muscle
It goes downhill from here. Looking at the next section, you can see there is an increase in visceral fat (organ fat) and a decrease in skeletal muscle:
Even though weight was lost, body composition got worse!
Finally, in the body composition chart, I’ve labeled where I started, how my composition improved with resistance training, and how it got worse without it. It starts off in the bottom left quadrant (low muscle / low fat), then with resistance training moves to the right (showing pure muscle gained), then through covid, moves back to the left (muscle lost). If this were a change in fat weight, the dot would be moving up and down:
Now as it turns out, I did injure both shoulders doing weights, and needed each injected right before Covid started. So I need to be careful with how I do my resistance training.
So, take home message?
Lighter is not always healthier! Be sure to keep an eye on your SECA body composition to help guide your progress. You can request a report that looks like this one any time – just ask for your Cumulative report (called a Comp report).
Oh yeah, and it’s time for me to start doing resistance again – just bought a weight bench and a set of hand weights 🙂