Why losing unwanted body fat is more important than weight loss

Posted by Jennifer Whalland on

Let’s start off by saying that Body Positivity isn’t a movement for Gen Y, it’s for all of us.  It’s 100% OK to love your body but still want to lose fat to improve health and shape.

Let’s look at a pair of weighing scales. Get on them and make a note of the number. Now drink a litre of water and get back on them again. Heavier, right? Now, just hold that thought.

When we say we want to lose weight, it’s a turn of phrase. What we actually mean is we want to lose FAT. Not weight. We’re interested in becoming fitter, stronger, healthier and wearing a size or two smaller in clothes. Weight loss will come with fat loss.


To lose fat (not weight), we need to eat better and challenge our muscles through exercise. After your first week of the program, you will see a large drop on the scales which is only a small bit of body fat, the rest is water and stored carbohydrates (glycogen). You will notice after around 14-21 days on the program that your clothes will fit better and there will be some muscle definition and people will start to notice and ask,  “What’s your secret?”.

Your work pants will slide on easier and the zip goes up without effort.  You may step back on the scales and notice that the number doesn’t reflect the success of having lost the inches or what you see in the mirror before you. What has happened is the fat levels have reduced and bones are heavier and muscles more toned.  So this shows that the two balance each other out and every person will show this differently.

“It’s not so much about being lighter, it’s more about losing fat to become healthier.”


How much you weigh is a total sum of everything. How much undigested food is in your intestines, how much waste is in your bowels, what time of the month it is (water retention), what level of water is in your body and tissues (you should always be hydrated). This has nothing to do with fat loss.

When you feel the difference without relying on the scales with your clothes telling the true story, forget the scales and grab a tape measure where there is far less room for doubt.


1. Decide what you want. Don’t say I want to lose 10 kilos, instead, focus on fitting back into something you love that is tight.

2. For a quick measurement, take just two areas: Waist: the arrowest part of your torso and Hips: the largest part of your bottom. Lay the tape flat across your skin, don’t pull.

3. You can also measure top of arm, thigh, tummy (around belly button). Follow your plan and relax into it and remeasure every week or fortnight.

4. If you are dead set on using the scales as your progress mark (and you are sure it won’t mess with your head), understand it has to be done at exactly the same time of the day ... naked. Create a record - not an obsession.

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