So, you want to lose fat! But how much should you lose, and how fast should you do it?
While it might be tempting to cut fat fast, it isn’t the most sustainable strategy. This post will help you decide how much fat to lose to meet your goals, and how quickly you should do it.
But first, let’s talk about why you need to focus on fat loss, not weight loss.
Weight loss vs. Fat loss
When you lose weight you lose more than just fat. You lose muscle, bone density and internal organs may be impacted. The more extreme the diet, the more muscle is lost, and the more potential there is for health to be compromised.
Once the diet is over, many regain the weight they’ve shed. Lost muscle is often replaced by yet more fat. Ultimately, weight loss dieters can find themselves in a worse position than when they started.
However, fat loss is the biological process by which your body burns fat for fuel. It’s losing the fat and nothing else. By adopting a scientific approach to fat loss, you can reduce your overall body fat percentage, while maintaining lean muscle mass. With a healthy diet and workout plan, you will shed fat to achieve optimal health, fitness and wellbeing.
How much body fat do I have?
Before you calculate how much fat you need to lose, you must know how much you have. There are several ways you can calculate this including BMI, bioelectric scales, skinfold callipers and the measurement method.
For more information on these methods read our post on How to Measure Body Fat.
How much fat do I need to lose?
To calculate this you need to know your current body fat percentage, and your goal body fat percentage.
You can then calculate the amount of fat you need to lose by working through this formula:
Desired body weight in lbs = Lean body weight in lbs ÷ (1 – desired body fat percentage written as a decimal)
Angela weighs 120 lbs. Her body fat makes up 25% of that weight. This means 90 lbs is pure lean tissue. If she wishes to reduce her body fat to 20%, how much actual fat does that mean she’ll have to lose?
Desired weight = 90 lbs ÷ (1 – 0.20)
Angela’s desired weight is 112.5 lbs.
As she currently weighs 120 lbs, she needs to lose 7.5 lbs of body fat.
How fast should I lose the fat?
Rapid weight loss is often associated with fad diets which we know are bad for our health. Instead, aim to cut your body fat by around one to two pounds per week. Monitor your body fat level on a weekly rather than daily basis, you’re less likely to become fat loss obsessed that way!
In order to lose fat, you need to eat and train with fat loss in mind. We’ll be covering both of these topics along with tips on fat burners and other weight supplements in the near future – so keep your eyes peeled!