Losing Weight Vs Losing Body Fat

By | June 22, 2016



There seems to be a lot of people confused about the difference between losing weight VS losing body fat, that’s ok it’s a confusing subject, I know you’re probably thinking “but if I’m losing weight surely that’s a good thing right?”

Well no, not exactly! You may be able to relate to this but have you ever weighed yourself and been really pleased that you have lost a couple of lbs just to stand on the scales next day to see you put it back on and maybe a little bit more?

Maybe you have been exercising to lose weight and you have been working damn hard, but the scales have barely moved, it’s discouraging I know, but there is a reason why the dial is hardly moving or in some cases the dial is going in the wrong direction, don’t despair, though, in a few short minutes I will explain why this is happening.

In this post, we are going to find out the different types of fat, why the scales are lying to you, how to lose the fat and not muscle, some high protein snacks and recipes and exercises that will bust your fat.

Losing weight Vs Losing Body Fat

The Difference


Weight loss – Is the sum of everything, bones, muscle, water, blood and organs, as you can see it’s not a reliable option to weigh yourself at any given time you could have contents in your body such as food in your stomach.

Fat loss – A much more reliable way as solely focuses on how much fat your carrying ideally want to be around 15-18%, if you’re looking for abs then 10% for men and 15% for a woman.


Different Types Of Body Fat


I reckon you have certainly heard of the term “body fat” but do you know the different types of fat and the relation they play to your health and wellbeing?

There are two main types of body fat you have brown and white, white fat breaks off into a few different types which we will cover shortly, to survive you actually need some of both types.

However, too much white is bad, in fact, it’s very bad, this is the fat that can cause lots of problems including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The main white fat to be concerned with is visceral fat, visceral fat is found wrapped around your organs and comes mainly from poor diet and lack of exercise, you don’t have to be overweight to have this type of fat, but if you are overweight then there is an extremely good chance you have this type of fat around your organs.

The other type of white fat is the wobbly bits you can grab hold of and give a good shake, also known as subcutaneous, this type isn’t particularly dangerous, sure it can look unsightly but it’s unlikely to cause any real harm, however, like stated there is a good chance you have visceral fat if you’re carrying a lot of weight.

This is subcutaneous fat.

That leaves us with brown fat and I am betting you have never heard of this before have you? This type is good and will help you lose the white type, you don’t have to worry about this type as it is a lot denser so does not make you look overweight.

We are born with lots of brown fat but lose it as we get older, feeling cold increase more brown cells so use the winter months for some outdoor exercise or take a cold shower or bath once a week or so, not exactly pleasant but they do help burn more calories!

Personally changing your food choices and doing the right exercises will do just as good job if not better, so keep reading as I got some awesome recipes and exercise to help with that.

It’s Not Just Fat That’s Making The Scales Dial Go Up!


Hers a couple of reasons why the dial on the scale lies to you on a regular basis firstly when the scales drop one day and then back the next this may be down to water retention.

Water retention is a build up of fluid inside and outside of  your cells, your more likely to have excess water retention if you have a lot of salt in your diet, eat a lot of refined carbs lack in certain vitamins and minerals.

To help reduce water retention try and have less salt in your diet and increase vitamin B6, bananas and walnuts are rich in this vitamin.

Also, magnesium has shown good results in lowering water retention grab some leafy veg and dark chocolate (that’s a bonus)

Also, increase potassium by eating avocado this is super fruit and great for slimming as well as reducing water retention.


If you find yourself suddenly gaining a lot of “swelling” this is water retention and can indicate serious problems such as kidney and heart conditions.

If you are exercising and your not losing as much weight as you thought you would then here is the good news, underneath your wobbly bits your building lean muscle, this is great as more lean muscle the more calories that are being burnt.

That’s the difference between losing weight VS losing body fat, losing too much weight will make you look gaunt and for a woman you will lose your breasts and bum, some men feel unhappy being “skinny” as it’s not “manly” and in extreme cases depression.

So next time you step on the scales don’t be disheartened as you are losing weight you’re losing the right weight, you don’t want to be losing your muscle, by using these techniques will give you a really good shape for men and woman!

How To Lose Body Fat And Not Muscle


Hopefully, you understand the difference between losing weight vs losing body fat, simply put you will feel and look better by just losing the latter.

You’re probably thinking that sounds great Steve….. but how do I lose weight without losing lean muscle?

Firstly if you’re doing long boring cardio, STOP!! this isn’t helping, its boring its long winded and not that effective (unless you’re training for long distance events) and ultimately you will burn fat and muscle in the long run.

What if I was to tell you I can get you better results in a fraction of the time you’re spending doing continuous cardio? sound good?

Okay, what we want to do is HIIT (high-intensity interval training) this is still cardio and we can even add some resistance to keep the muscles lean for an extra benefit which I will show you soon.

The second part of this transformation is diet, you need carbohydrates in your daily food intake but if your overweight then you’re probably eating too many calories in the form of carbohydrates.

Muscles love protein to function, repair and build so it stands to reason by introducing more protein to your diet your muscles will thank you for it.

Also increasing good fats will give you energy, this is important as your going to feel lethargic if you lower your carbohydrates, especially in the first couple of weeks.

The most important thing is to make any diet sustainable.

5 High Fat And Protein Snacks


Certain parts of the day we reach for quick snacks usually in the form of crisps, chocolate and other sweet foods, this is where we can make a swap and make a difference.

mixed nuts

  • Boiled egg – has a whopping 6 gram of protein and helps fill you up
  • Nuts – any kind of nuts will do, get mixed if you can these are full of good fats and again will help fill you up
  • Celery and nut butter – low in calories good source of fibre protein and good fats
  • Cottage cheese – massive 14g protein per half cup, I like to put on crisp bread
  • Greek yoghurt – full of good fats

These sort of snacks are not to be overdone as too many fats can be counter productive

3 High Protein Recipes


Turkey Mince Lettuce Boats


Ingredients –

  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 baby gem lettuces (leaves separated)
  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 500g of turkey mince
  • 2 avocados roughly chopped
  • 5 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • Red chilli finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • small bunch of coriander leaves only roughly chopped


Firstly heat the oil over a high heat in a large frying pan, once oil is heated add mince and fry for roughly 2-3 mins  remembering to break it up as you cook, add the garlic and chilli and spring onion and continue to fry for another 2 mins, by now the mince should be cooked through.

Add the fish sauce coriander and lime juice and mix together and remove the pan from the heat, put the avocados in a bowl with the tomatoes, and last but not least lay the lettuce out like boats and spoon in the mixture.

Tuna and Courgette Fritters

new fritter

Ingredients –

  • tin of tuna (drained)
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 80g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • light soy sauce


Flake the tuna into a bowl, add the flour, egg and courgette, mix this together to make a batter, it wants to resemble double cream consistency you can add a bit of water if it’s too thick.

melt the tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, spoon in the batter but make sure you leave space between each fritter, cook the fritters for about 2-3 minutes each side, serve and enjoy.

Mighty Duck Noodles

new duck 2

Ingredients –

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 small cucumber, sliced into thin batons
  • 1 x 240g duck breast fillet
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 250g fresh egg noodles
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
  • 100g of broccoli


Grab a pan and melt the oil over a medium heat, add the duck and let it sizzle for couple of minutes, the duck should be mostly brown after a couple of minutes when it is, raise the heat up to high and chuck in the five-spice powder, garlic, onions and broccoli, add 2 tablespoons of water to create some steam.

keep on this heat for about 3 minutes and then add the noodles and start tossing until warmed, remove from heat and pour hoisin sauce, stir all together and serve.

All three of these recipes are from lean in 15.

5 Exercises to Bust Body Fat


To burn the most amount of calories in a short period of time then we need to target big muscle groups and make it high intensity, try these and see how you get on.

  1. Burpees
  2. Mountain climbers
  3. 30-second sprint
  4. Jump squats
  5. Jumping jacks

These exercises are really powerful now we have the exercises we need to put them together into one circuit, essentially you want to do each for 30 seconds and rest for 45 seconds after all 5 completed, repeat 5 times.

If it’s too easy then increase it by 15 seconds until you find your point of barely being able to complete.

Final Word On Losing Weight vs Losing Body Fat

Hopefully, you’re a bit clearer about the difference between losing weight vs losing body fat, instead of aiming to bring your weight down look at reducing your body fat that’s where a good pair of bathroom scales come in handy.

The best way to get the best shape is increased protein intake and lower your refined carbs whilst doing HIIT, look at it like this what looks better a marathon runner skinny and boney or a sprinter?

If you liked the recipes then click here for my full review of lean in 15 

Please leave a comment below and please share on social media if you enjoyed this post, you can also subscribe to busting my fat belly’s newsletter by entering your email to the right of your screen.

Finally, the best way to lose body fat is through diet. we recommend the 3-week diet system,

13 thoughts on “Losing Weight Vs Losing Body Fat

  1. Bibi Diaz

    Great post. It is very true that many do not realize why the weight scale is showing a certain number. There are so many factors involved. That is why I never just depend on the scale to to tell me what my progress is.

  2. Donna

    I’m glad I came across this article! I currently fall into the boring cardio category…I like to walk. I’ve lost a few pounds but definitely am sitting on a plateau. I will need to try your suggested 5 Exercises to Bust Body Fat to shake things up a bit. Thanks for the information!

  3. Fiq

    Wow this is one long, but very informative article! It covers everything from the food recipe to the workouts! Like a one stop page for everything a beginner who wants to start losing fat needs!

    As someone who does weight lifting, I want to know what are your opinions on lifting weights instead of HIIT to lose fat?


    1. Steven Varley Post author

      I am a big fan of lifting weights as this for weight loss is great and will definitely help bring the body fat down.

      the only reason I didn’t include weights in this post as I wanted to keep it a free exercise zone it will be something I certainly cover in the future.

      You can certainly do weights instead of HIIT for shape but it won’t help conditions the heart as much, but combine them both or do HIIT with weights would give impressive results

  4. Reyner

    Hi it is a really great post out there 😀
    Thanks for letting me know the difference between losing weight and losing fat. It is good that you highlighted various snack food that help us to lose fat. Will try that

    1. Steven Varley Post author

      We can make a real difference when trying lose weight by choosing better options for snacking, but if we want to win the losing weight vs losing body fat battle we need to choice high protein options to stop muscle wastage

  5. Kenzie

    I love the recipes you included! This is a ton of great info, and you’re right – I had never heard of brown fat. Very inspiring and informative post!

    1. Steven Varley Post author

      These are my personal favourite recipes and delicious too, brown fat is never really talked about to be honest as it isnt something you have a great deal of control over

  6. Cynthia

    Hi this is a great post. I really enjoyed reading about the different kinds of fat. I don’t think most people realize this. I liked the recipes also. I really love eating like this. Thanks for the info and recipes.

  7. Jezza

    Hi Steve,

    This topic of losing weight vs losing body is so important in the world of nutrition and fitness. I absolutely agree with you that most of the people will jump into conclusion that they are the same thing and it’s a good thing you have enlighten us about these facts. I also love the recipes especially the tuna fritters. Keep sharing the importance of good nutrition and health through your site.


    1. Steven

      Thank a lot of people get disheartend when they look at the scales and think there not losing any thing and in fact they are.

      Hope you enjoy the tuna fritters


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