When you have a weight loss goal, you probably break out the scale first. After all, it’s one of the easiest ways to measure your progress. But, there are limitations to what that number can tell you, and in many instances, it can take you down the wrong path. Namely: Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing. We turned to an expert to break it all down.
What does weight loss mean generally? So, the number on the scale is lower than the week before. When you see that number go down, you can’t automatically assume that it’s all fat. “Weight loss is a reduction of total body mass. When you see the number on the scale go down it could be from one or a combination of fat, muscle, and water loss,” says Chicago-based registered dietitian, Maggie Michalczyk.
Your body is mostly just water. “As much as 60 percent of the adult body weight is made up of water weight. The term ‘losing water weight’ just means a fluid loss in the body,” says Michalczyk. Lots of things can cause fluid retention, like your hormones or eating a lot of salt (we see you, chips and salsa!) or a higher carb meal. For each gram of carbohydrate stored in the body as glycogen, the body also stores three grams of water.
Excerpted from Women’s Health