5 Signs You’re Burning FAT *NOT* Muscle

... There's more to it than just the scale weight.

Written by: Dr. Marc Morris Ph.D CSCS

Weight loss is the most common fitness goal out there. However, there is a huge overlooked difference between “weight loss” and “fat loss”.

While these may seem indistinguishable, the main difference is that when you only look at your scale weight going down, you’re not taking into account any muscle you've lost. Too much muscle loss can decrease your metabolism, making it harder to lose those last 10 lbs, and get that toned, defined look.

Today I am going to share the 5 signs that you’re actually losing fat and not muscle so that you can reach your body composition goals.

#1 The Ways Your Clothes Fit

One way to tell if you’re losing fat instead of muscle is by noticing differences in how your clothes fit. As you burn fat, you might notice your favorite shirt that usually fits pretty snug now feels a little looser when you put it on. Maybe you no longer have to shimmy into your favorite pair of jeans. Your clothes fitting differently is a great indicator that you’re losing weight- but most importantly that you’re losing fat and retaining, or even building muscle.

Now you may be wondering, “Can’t I just use a scale to measure my progress?”

Of course! The scale is an important metric of progress and I want you to use it. But the scale only measures one number- your total body weight. Your total body weight can change based on different factors including your fat and muscle mass, but also water weight, the food you eat, and everything that else your body is made up of.

So if the scale is moving slowly, but your clothes are fitting looser- this is a clear sign you are on the right track!

#2 Body Measurements

Another way to see if you're losing fat and not muscle is by taking body measurements. 

When you burn fat and gain muscle at the same time, as your muscle builds it will displace the fat mass you are losing. Meaning that while you are losing fat, these changes may not be reflected on the scale right away.

However, you will notice these changes in your overall body composition. And one of the most accurate ways to measure this is with body tape measurements or even body fat percentage scans.

You will know you are burning fat and not muscle mass if your scale weight is maintaining, or slowly decreasing, but you are losing inches in your measurements.

To get the most accurate measurements, make sure to measure the same spot at the same time each day. If you keep it consistent, you will be able to see changes accurately and be able to trust that your hard work has begun to pay off.

Want to Learn More?

Watch the full video to learn about the 5 Clear Signs that You are Losing Fat NOT Muscle.

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#3 Increased Strength

Our next sign you're losing fat and not muscle is increased strength. 

Feeling stronger is another indicator that you are building myuscle. As you improve in the gym, the bigger your muscles will get, replacing the weight of any fat you lose.

If you stay consistent with strength training, you'll notice you can do more in the gym. Getting stronger doesn't happen right away, but you'll start to see signs. Like when you can increase weight in your exercises.

And it's not just about lifting weights. Even when you're running or using the stair stepper, You'll know you're getting stronger by being able to go for longer.

So, feeling stronger is a good sign that you're losing fat, not muscle.

#4 Less Hungry

Another sign of fat loss is feeling less hungry.

If you're trying to lose fat and gain muscle, you're going to be eating a lot of protein. 

Protein is a very satiating macronutrient, so you're not going to need to eat a lot of it to feel full (and stay full for a long time).

Including more protein in your diet will keep you full so that you're less likely to overeat or eat larger portions when you're hungry. Not to mention the more protein you eat, the more muscle you will build or maintain during the fat-loss process.

#5 Muscle Definition

Our last sign of losing fat instead of muscle is that you will notice more muscle definition.

Seeing your muscles become more defined is a great way to tell if you're losing fat. 

You might see more veins in your arms, or your quads and calves seem more defined. You might even start to see your ab muscles poke through. 

Seeing more muscle definition means that you're replacing body fat with lean muscle mass, which is a great indicator that you're losing fat while gaining muscle!

Being able to decipher whether you're losing fat or not goes beyond a body weight scale. The five signs we discussed today are key indicators that you are losing fat, but maintaining or even building muscle. From changes in how your clothes fit to improvements in strength and decreased hunger levels, these indicators show progress in your fat loss goals.

Want to Learn More?

Watch the full video to learn about the 5 Clear Signs that You are Losing Fat NOT Muscle.

Video >>