Welcome back to the newest episode of Easy Keto with Tasha! In today’s podcast, we will be comparing weight loss and fat loss, as well as breaking down the differences between the two.
Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
As you may have heard, Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook has officially launched! If you preordered, you will most likely be receiving your copy this week. It might already be waiting on your doorstep! If you didn’t preorder in time, no worries! You can still order your copy through most online retailers and have your book in no time!
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALL. None of this would be possible without your continued support. Whether you are just starting out with keto or using this guide to fine-tune your progress, I would love to hear how Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook has helped your journey! Send me an email, tag me on Instagram or Facebook (@ketogasm), or make a whole YouTube video if you want! And don’t forget to review the book on Amazon; this is major for showing retailers the level of interest when a new title is launched and will help even more people see the book!
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
For many people, weight loss and fat loss are synonymous. While neither of these things is inherently bad, they definitely are not created equally! In fact, I will go so far as to say that you absolutely need to be prioritizing fat loss over weight loss!
What weight is ACTUALLY made up of:
Stepping on the scale is going to give you a number to measure your weight. But this number measures EVERYTHING; it fails to break down each section. A scale can’t tell you how much of that number is water or muscle or fat.
When your only goal is to see the number on the scale decline, then you’re focusing on the wrong thing. You aren’t focusing on WHY the number is dropping. The scale will only give you a tiny glimpse of all that is happening in your body. Sometimes, this weight change is from hard work and diligent fat burning. Other times, it might be that you’re losing the wrong kind of weight.
Losing Muscle From Weight Loss
A lot of times, people who have the “I just have to be skinny” mindset fail to understand the importance of lean body mass. They don’t realize that by focusing only on weight loss instead of fat loss, they are setting themselves up to lose the wrong kind of weight. As crazy as it sounds, there is a wrong kind of weight to lose!
Lean body mass: Bones, muscles, organs, and skin
Out of everything that makes up your body weight, your muscle burns the most calories. It is also the metabolically active tissue that keeps your body burning energy. Losing muscle results in your metabolism dropping as well.
By focusing on the scale’s number decreasing with an at-all-costs weight loss, you are putting yourself in a position to lose muscle and slow your metabolism. In reality, your goals should strive for fat loss, which isn’t always visible with just a scale!
Realistic Expectations For Weight Loss
The idea of weight loss is heavily ingrained into our society, as is the idea that a declining number on the scale means you are doing things right. Just look at The Biggest Loser. The winner is chosen based on the highest weight loss percentage; body composition is completely disregarded.
The truth of the matter is that if you aren’t keeping active and eating an adequate amount of protein, your body will lose muscle. Biggest Loser challenges, weekly weigh-ins, and scale victories celebrate muscle loss. It’s time to prioritize fat loss over weight loss!
Importance of Protein
In a perfect world, your body would always burn fat first. We all have adipose tissue, which is our stored energy (in the form of body fat). We also have glycogen stores in our muscles and liver. These get depleted with carb restriction. In a way, our macros provide our energy; our fat is our adipose tissue and our carbs are our glycogen stores. However, we don’t really have protein stores, and protein isn’t the best source of energy.
Instead of having stored protein, we have lean body mass. The primary purpose of protein is to resupply this lean body mass. Our lean body mass is built with amino acids; these amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and they are constantly broken down and built back up.
In order to rebuild amino acids, we need protein from our food intake. When we don’t consume an adequate amount of protein in our diets, our bodies will tap into our muscle stores. When doing things like extended fasting or intentionally limiting protein intake, your body is forced to use your muscle to obtain protein. As you recall, when you lose your muscle, you’re also losing your metabolism.
Adequate Protein Intake
When it comes to protein intake, it’s not about consuming as much protein as possible or drinking all the protein shakes you can get your hands on. It is important that people understand their protein needs, rather than neglect it for faster weight loss or other misguided notions.
In keto, people frequently hear that the formula is low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. Too many people think this is a rule, assume that it can’t be modified to fit their personal needs, or worst of all, take it to the extreme. Low carb becomes absolutely no carbs; high fat becomes eating fat bombs and chugging butter regardless of their goals; moderate protein becomes “in moderation” in which they end up limiting or cutting back on their protein intake.
Instead of moderate protein, change your wording to adequate protein. You need to consume an adequate amount of protein to meet your body’s needs. It is necessary that you eat enough protein.
Increased Protein Needs During Keto
When you diet, follow keto, restrict calories, or exercise, your body’s natural protein needs will increase. It’s common knowledge that athletes need to consume more protein. The same goes for anyone doing regular physical activity, not just sports superstars. Increased physical activity requires an increase in protein intake. The same goes for eating at a calorie deficit.
Following a keto diet will also increase the body’s protein needs. Keto relies on protein to keep blood sugar stable and fuel glucose-dependent cells. Gluconeogenesis is a process that produces glucose in the absence of carbs. This process allows your body to produce glucose to stabilize blood sugar; this fuels the cells that depend on glucose for energy that can’t rely on ketones for fuel. Gluconeogenesis is fueled by amino acids. And what are amino acids the building blocks of? That’s right. Protein.
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss: Which is easier?
Muscle is a lot easier to burn than fat. Fat is more calorically dense than protein or carbohydrates. Remember, one gram of fat is 9 calories; one gram of protein or carbs is only 4 calories. If fat is more calorically dense than protein or carbs in our food, then the same can be said for the energy in our bodies. It takes more energy to burn through one gram of fat than it would take to burn through one gram of carbs or protein. This means that it would be easier to burn through muscle or glycogen than it would be to burn through body fat.
If you don’t take precautions to prevent loss in lean body mass, you will lose muscle; from there, you’ll lose your metabolism. A loss in muscle will make your body less shapely. A loss in metabolism will make it a lot easier to gain back any weight you’ve lost. You might meet short-term weight loss goals, but this will ultimately make things harder in the long run.
Sustainable Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
No one wants to make things harder for themselves, especially when it comes to their diet. In a quick comparison of weight loss vs. fat loss, weight loss DOES seem easier. You just have to worry about the number on the scale! In reality, the scale isn’t even reliable within the same day.
So how do you make fat loss easy and sustainable? You start with your lean body mass. Preserve your lean body mass through exercise--resistance training, cardio, and endurance training are all viable choices. This will prevent your body from going after muscle and keep your metabolism running efficiently. It will also allow your body to get more toned and shapely.
Next, make sure you’re eating adequate protein. If you’re not sure what your needs are, then go for more protein rather than less. This will support all of your body’s increased protein requirements whether they are from the diet, carb restriction, or physical activity. Plus, protein is the most satiating macronutrient; you’ll feel fuller for longer.
Finally, stop focusing on the scale. Take the time to learn about your body composition. Shift your mindset from focusing on your weight to thinking about your body fat percentage. Monitor your progress with meaningful information; you could get a DEXA scan or bod pod reading. Whatever you do, stop basing your progress off the scale!
For some of you, you’re more interested in getting lean rather than losing weight. Body recomposition is a great way to change your body without weight loss! Your weight will generally stay the same, but your body fat will be decreasing and your muscles increasing. Even with the scale not changing, you’ll look completely different! You’ll be smaller, leaner, and fitter. Your health will improve, as will your metabolism.
A calorie deficit isn’t necessary for body recomposition. Instead, focus on eating at maintenance. This means you eat in a way to maintain your weight. This will allow you to focus on gaining muscle mass while losing body fat. Prioritize your fat loss and body composition; ditch the scale!
0:00 - Keto: A Woman’s Guide & Cookbook
2:23 - Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
3:52 - Body Composition
5:51 - Losing Muscle From Weight Loss
7:27 - Realistic Expectations
9:07 - Importance of Protein
11:22 - Adequate Protein Intake
14:47 - Increased Protein During Keto
15.54 - Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss: Which is easier?
17:49 - Sustainable Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss
20:53 - Body Recomposition
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Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.