It has been 2 years now since I started my gym journey, and today I’ve invited my private gym trainer Danny Jenkins, to help me answer the question “can you lose body fat without losing weight”. Many of us have a wrong idea about it, but in this article, we’ll explain to you more about calories, fat, muscle mass, and how that work.
And yes, you can lose body fat without losing weight, but if you want that to happen you need to replace that body fat with something else, like muscle mass. So exercises would be necessary for that process.
If you want to know more about how to do that, or if there’s any other way, stick with us.
What is the connection between body fat and calories?
So, let’s start with the basics about body fat. Every pound of body fat inside your body was created to store extra energy that you’ve eaten in the past years. Your body does that to help you when you will be out of food supply in the future, to give you energy from that body fat you have stored.
When your daily supply of calories should be around 2000kcal and you will eat for that day 2800kcal, that 800 will be stored somewhere inside your body. There are many ways to count the precise value that you should eat daily in calories, but on average 2500kcal for men and 2000kcal for women, if you want to know what is the exact number you can check it here on mayoclinic.org. It will depend on your height, body mass, age, and many others.
If you tend to do more house duties or exercises, your daily calorie consumption should be higher. That’s the reason why we do a lot of jogging, and cardio workouts, because they force you to put that calories limit, need to be way higher, that way you will be able to eat more.
On the other hand, if you’re an IT person that spends a lot of time in your chair or bed, you will lower that limit below 2000kcal, and you will store more fat inside your body.
What level of body fat is healthy for me?
There is something called body fat percentage, the value in percentage of your body fat compared to your total weight. It will depend on the age and if you’re a woman or man. Here is an overall general table for women:
- under 14% – dangerously low
- 14% – 17% – excellent
- 17% – 20% – good
- 20% – 24% – fair
- 24% – 29% – poor
- over 29% – dangerously high
Those are the values for women between 20-39 years, over that age, the numbers go higher, but the full table was presented on medicalnewstoday.com.
- under 8% – dangerously low
- 8% – 12% – excellent
- 12% – 16% – good
- 16% – 20%- fair
- 20% – 24% – poor
- over 25% – dangerously high
Here is a full table for men in every age range.
As we can see that women tend to have more body fat, than men. It’s a genetic thing, and that’s how it should work. If you’re in the excellent, good, or fair range you don’t need to be worried about your weight, unless you want to lose some unnecessary fat, just to look better or healthier.
Remember that’s just the body fat percentage, and not the total weight, so even if your weight stays the same you can lower your fat percentage, and we’re gonna tell you that below.
Can you lose body fat without losing weight?
Yes, there is an option for that! As we said previously if your daily number of calories eaten will be lower than your daily calories limit then you will burn that fat you’ve stored inside your body, as fuel for it. That way you will lose some pounds of total weight, but remember that you can swap that fat with something else… like muscle mass. If you will get higher your daily calories limit by doing some training, you should also get some muscle mass and in that way, your total weight should stay the same, but you will burn that body fat.
1 pound of muscle is almost 2 times smaller than 1 pound of fat, so even if your weight stays the same you will look totally different. Your body will be more shredded, and attractive.
What are the consequences of losing weight?
With burning calories, there are some consequences, especially for women. When we lose fat, we also make our breasts and buttocks to be smaller. As for the buttocks, we can make them bigger with our muscles, but it’s not how it works for the breasts. We need to face the consequences, but I think overall that it’s worth it.
What are the benefits of losing weight?
At first, we will say that it’s simply healthy to stay on a low body fat percentage like 15% is healthy.
- Lean body mass can protect against diabetes and insulin resistance.
- Lean body mass reduces your risk of falls and bone fractures.
- Your joints won’t need to hold that much weight every day, and that will make them relieved.
- Lean body mass keeps your bones strong.
- Lean body mass helps recovery from illness or disease faster
Except that there are many smaller benefits, like overall happiness or getting attention from people that surround us. That’s for sure gonna make you more attractive.
In summary, Can you lose body fat without losing weight?
Yes, you can! You just need to swap fat with muscles, there is no other way to do that. You can lose fat with any type of diet, but many of them will lead to muscle mass reduction like water fasting described here.
If you struggle to lose fat inside your body, you can try to do this with your friends, and jogging is one of the best for it. It’s a cardio exercise that you can do with your friend and talk to each other. If you want to know more about jogging and places near your house to jog, We recommend our newest article about jogging.