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Profe Claudio Nieto: The Dilemma of Losing Weight and Losing Fat

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  • Claudio Nieto explains that the concept of losing fat and losing weight is not the same.
  • While they are somewhat related, they are definitely not identical.
  • He notes that measurements can often be inaccurate because certain details are overlooked.

Today, we will talk about a usual mix-up in the health and gym world: the difference between losing weight and losing fat.

Often, we use these words the same way, but really, they are two very different things.

Knowing this difference is important in any fat loss or muscle gain plan to avoid wrong steps that could make you not succeed or feel upset when trying to reach goals.

Main ideas will now be shared to make things clearer.

Concept of Losing Weight and Losing Fat

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First, it’s important to know that our body weight has different parts, like fat, water, muscles, bones, and more.

The scale just shows a number without saying what makes up that number.

This is hard when things like the Body Mass Index (BMI) are used, which only look at height and weight without checking your real body makeup.

That’s why it’s hard to know your full makeup because you can’t check everything.

The Problem with the Body Mass Index (BMI)

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BMI is a formula widely used to assess health, but it has significant limitations.

For instance, two individuals of the same height and weight can have very different body compositions.

A bodybuilder with a low body fat percentage and an overweight individual might get the same BMI result.

This formula doesn’t account for the amount of fat versus muscle in the body.


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There are a few ways to check body fat better, like electrical tests, water weight tests, and anthropometry.

For hydrodensitometry, imagine you’re swimming. When you go underwater, you push the water away.

Some parts of your body, like muscles and bones, push more water because they are heavy. But fat isn’t heavy, so it doesn’t move as much water.

So, if you have a lot of muscles and a bit of fat, you’ll push a lot of water. Experts use this to see how much fat you have.


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Anthropometry involves measuring different parts of your body with a ruler, such as the waist or arms.

They might also grab your skin in places and see how thick it is.

Then, these checks are used to guess how much fat you have. It’s like a guessing game.

Each way has good and bad points, but measuring, looking at skin and around the body, is easy and can give a good guess of body fat if done right.

What’s a Healthy Body Fat Percentage?

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There isn’t an «ideal» body fat percentage that applies to everyone since it depends on individual factors like age, gender, and activity level.

However, general reference levels can be set: Level 6 (Men: >30%, Women: >40%): Health risk. Level 5 (Men: 25-30%, Women: 30-35%): Overweight health risk.

Then there’s Level 4 (Men: 20-25%, Women: 25-30%): Excess fat without being overweight. Level 3 (Men: 15-20%, Women: 20-25%): Normal for non-athletes.

Lastly, Level 2 (Men: 10-15%, Women: 15-20%): Good level, ideal for active individuals. Level 1 (Men: <10%, Women: <15%): Very low, ideal for elite athletes during certain periods.

Beyond Measurements

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It’s important to remember that health and well-being shouldn’t be based solely on body fat measurements.

Physical performance, overall well-being, and quality of life are equally essential.

Listening to your body and paying attention to signs like energy, sleep quality, and motivation are fundamental aspects of a healthy approach on your journey towards your body composition goals.

Profe Claudio Nieto hopes this information has helped you better differentiate these two concepts of fat loss and weight loss to avoid confusion. See you next time!

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