Do You Want Weight Loss or Fat Loss??

Weight loss or Fat loss? 

Weight loss is a common goal for many looking to improve their health.


Whether it’s to help manage diabetes, risk of heart disease, increase the success of treatment for atrial fibrillation, or simply to be able to feel better…. Weight loss is one of the primary targets.


When we talk about weight loss however – let’s be clear. The goal is fat loss.


What can happen with many weight management strategies is we end up losing muscle in our attempts to lose weight – the exact opposite effect from what’s ideal for our health.


Why is muscle loss important to watch for?

  • Function – Whether you are 30 or 80 the long term goal is that we want to be able to stay active & independent for as long as possible – to enjoy our best quality of life possible. From the basic tasks of everyday life, to the adventures we look forward to.  You need muscle!


  • Fight Against Metabolic Disorders – the amount of muscle you have is recognized as an independent marker for metabolic health.  Muscle is positively related to higher insulin sensitivity and lower cardiovascular risk!


In fact, muscle accounts for about 70 – 75% of your body’s glucose usage.


Those muscles love to eat up that blood sugar and when you think of how much muscle is in your whole body – you can see how MUSCLE is the primary tissue that keeps your whole body’s blood sugar system stable.


  • Lower morbidity and mortality rates – Lower muscle strength is independently associated with all cause mortality. Plus it’s not just about our strength but the amount of muscle mass we have as well. Muscle mass is also inversely associated with our risk of death. So it’s extremely important we work to maintain and build muscle.


The fact is that as we get older – we lose muscle mass at a relatively dramatic rate compared to our younger years. We lose it quicker and it is harder to build back.


For this reason – it is really important that if we have weight loss goals we take extra care to maintain our muscle mass as much as we can.


How do we do this? 

Strength train!! Strength training should be a key part of any exercise program – ESPECIALLY as we age.


I often hear about how strength training is for young people. I’m too old to do that! WRONG!


Strength training is something we ALL should be doing – but especially as we age.


This helps to maintain that muscle strength & mass as well as  to flatten the curve of muscle loss as we age.


With many weight loss strategies restricted diets and aerobic exercise like walking & jogging tend to be the primary focus. This sets you up to lose muscle too.


Look to fuel your body properly with a wide range of nutrients. Include quality protein intake and look to also focus on an abundance of fiber and good fats too!


Look at your sleep patterns, stress management, and mental health as this plays a phenomenal role as well.


Weight loss is a big topic and an individual one.


My focus today is to bring your attention to your muscles and remind you to make sure they stay a priority!


Have a great day!


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Shawna Cook

Shawna is a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine, who has been working in Cardiac Rehabilitation for over 10 years. Her years in the health and fitness field however have spanned over the past 2+ decades. As an elite level athlete she fell in love with understanding the human body, and how the choices she made, affected how it performed. This led to a degree from the University of Winnipeg in the stream of Athletic Therapy, and the passion towards helping others recover from injury and "be their best selves" grew.