Can It Be Possible to Lose Body Fat but Not Change in Weight?

Losing fat while maintaining your weight will require cardio and strength training.
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To look at things in a simple manner, if you have something on or in your body and you lose it, you lose weight. Then logically, a loss of fat leads to a loss of weight. But it is possible to lose fat and stay the same weight, provided you are replacing that fat with something else: muscle. For example, an ounce of lost fat replaced with an ounce of new muscle will keep the body at the same weight, although now there is less fat. The muscle gained during an exercise program that also leads to fat loss can help an exerciser stay roughly the same weight throughout the process.

Fat vs. Muscle

Your body stores fat and muscle in different manners. It expands muscles through the when undergoing strength training. It stores fat when your caloric intake exceeds your caloric expenditure. Also, muscle is three times as dense as fat. All of these factors lead to a complicated process of fat and muscle storage and loss. If you can gain some control over this process, you can control your weight while manipulating the levels of both fat and muscle.

Losing Fat

Fat loss takes place when your body recruits fat stored in your body. This happens when your body requires energy that cannot be supplied by the glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. Cardio exercises force this situation by first expending your body’s storage of glycogen through long-term, low-intensity exercise. When your body gets low on glycogen, it begins to “burn” the fat stored in other areas of your body. This is why cardio exercises lead to efficient fat loss.

Gaining Muscle

Gaining muscle takes place though strength training. During strength training, you put your muscles under resistance in an anaerobic method. High amounts of resistance cause your muscles to strain, which leads to microtears. After the strength training session, your body restores these microtears via rest and protein intake, making your muscles larger in the process. This leads to an increase in your muscle mass.

Overall Process

To maintain your weight during fat loss, you will be adding muscle. But as muscle is denser than fat, your speed of fat loss must exceed your speed of muscle growth. Thus your workout should focus on cardio exercises that emphasize fat burning while still allowing for some strength training sessions. As you progress, you will burn fat more quickly, as more muscles leads to faster calorie expenditure. This implies that to maintain your weight throughout your workout program, your workout at the beginning will consist of several cardio sessions per week with a couple strength training sessions, but as you reach your target body you will phase out extra the strength training sessions, leaving perhaps one per week.

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