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How Much Body Fat Can You Actually Lose

March 27, 20234 min read

Let's lose more fat not just weight!!

Losing body fat is a common goal for many people looking to improve their health and appearance. However, there are often misconceptions about how much body fat can actually be lost in a healthy and sustainable manner. In this blog post, we will explore the factors that influence body fat loss and provide guidance on realistic and achievable goals for body fat reduction.

First, it is important to understand that the human body requires a certain amount of body fat for proper function. Essential body fat is the minimum amount of body fat needed for basic physical and physiological health. For men, essential body fat ranges from 2-5% of total body weight, while for women, it ranges from 10-13%. Any lower than these levels can lead to serious health problems, such as hormonal imbalances and organ failure.

Beyond essential body fat, there is storage body fat, which accumulates in adipose tissue and can be used for energy when calorie intake is insufficient. It is this storage body fat that most people aim to reduce when attempting to lose weight.

The amount of body fat that can be lost in a healthy and sustainable manner depends on several factors, including age, gender, starting body fat percentage, diet, exercise, and genetics. Generally, a safe rate of fat loss is 0.5-1% of total body weight per week. So, for someone who weighs 90 kilograms, a healthy rate of fat loss would be 0.5-1kg per week.

It is important to note that not all weight loss is fat loss. When we lose weight, we may also be losing water weight, muscle mass, or even bone density. Rapid weight loss can also lead to nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and other health issues.

To optimise fat loss, a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended. A diet that is rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods and low in processed foods and added sugars can help create a calorie deficit that supports fat loss. Exercise that combines resistance training and cardiovascular exercise can help to preserve muscle mass while burning fat.

When people talk about losing weight or losing body fat, they often focus solely on the number on the scale. However, it's important to remember that losing weight doesn't necessarily mean that you will look better. In fact, losing weight too quickly or without the right approach can actually result in a loss of muscle mass, which can lead to a less toned or flabby appearance. To achieve a leaner, more toned look, it's important to focus not just on losing weight, but on preserving muscle mass as well.

So, how can you preserve muscle mass while losing weight? There are a few key strategies that can help:

  1. Consume enough protein: Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass. When you're trying to lose weight, it's important to make sure you're consuming enough protein to support your muscle mass. Aim for at least 1.5-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and consider increasing this amount if you're engaging in regular strength training.

  2. Engage in strength training: Resistance training is one of the most effective ways to build and preserve muscle mass. By engaging in regular strength training exercises, you can help maintain your muscle mass while losing weight. Aim to do strength training exercises at least two to three times per week, focusing on exercises that target all the major muscle groups.

  3. Don't cut calories too drastically: While you do need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, it's important not to cut your calories too drastically. Cutting your calories too much can lead to muscle loss and a slower metabolism, making it harder to continue losing weight in the long term. Aim to cut your calories by no more than 500-750 calories per day to achieve a healthy rate of weight loss.

  4. Avoid excessive cardio: While cardio can be a great way to burn calories, excessive cardio can actually lead to muscle loss. Aim to do moderate amounts of cardio (around 30-45 minutes per day, a few times per week), and focus on incorporating more resistance training into your routine.

By focusing on these strategies, you can help preserve your muscle mass while losing weight, leading to a leaner, more toned appearance. Remember, weight loss is not just about the number on the scale - it's about achieving a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that supports your goals for a better body composition.

In summary, the amount of body fat that can be lost in a healthy and sustainable manner depends on several factors, including age, gender, starting body fat percentage, diet, exercise, and genetics. A safe rate of fat loss is 0.5-1% of total body weight per week. It is important to prioritise a healthy diet and regular exercise to optimise fat loss while preserving muscle mass and overall health.

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David MacDonald

An ambitious and passionate professional with the experience to make it happen.

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