• Lose Weight
    Lose fat while preserving muscles.
  • Get Sculpted
    Go for total body sculpting.
  • Gain Weight
    Build muscle and increase strength.
  • Maintain Weight
    Eat and train for optimal fitness.

What Exactly Is The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fitness?

But first thing’s first: how do we define weight loss versus fitness?

Weight loss is exactly what it sounds like: the loss of extra body weight. Weight loss is no more and no less than that. If you are overweight or obese, often, the first priority to get in better shape is pure weight loss. This is often done through a short-term routine of exercise, diet and scheduled rest.

Fitness, however, is so much more than that. Fitness is a lifestyle – a combination of not only the exercise, diet and scheduled rest found in a weight loss routine, but also an overall focus on healthier, more active living.

Bottom Line: Fitness is a much better goal to have in any workout journey. Luckily, getting fit will help you shed any unwanted pounds, too!

Fitness Is About More Than Being Thin

There are several universally accepted components of fitness and most are encompassed within the following list of ten:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility 
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy

When starting an exercise program solely to lose weight, beginners often focus on only the specific weight loss element – often to the detriment of other healthy goals. Exclusively doing an activity like walking or running or cycling may help you drop fat, but it won’t help you strengthen your body, or build your flexibility, or increase your coordination. For these reasons, fitness should be your goal, not pure weight loss.

Bottom Line: As you can see, fitness is about a lot more than just being thin.

Weight Loss May Inhibit Muscle Strength

When most people think of losing weight, they immediately think of cardio. While cardio can help move the number on the scale, it won’t help you build muscle – an important component of getting and staying fit. In fact, doing too much cardio may even inhibit muscle gain.

Bottom Line: Instead of cardio, aim to get better at all the components of fitness I’ve outlined above.

Aiming For Fitness Helps Balance Your Goals

Being fit helps with functional, every day movements like carrying groceries or going up the stairs. It can also help slow down the aging processand help you sleep better at night! When you’re fit, you have more energy, you enjoy activities more, and you feel better overall.

Bottom Line: Weight loss goals are directed at one element of your life - weight loss, of course – and meeting those goals will only help you lose weight. Fitness goals, however, can benefits all elements of your life!

Fitness Is A Lifestyle Choice

Having a goal of losing weight can often mean ending the dieting and exercise once you’ve reached that goal. Unfortunately, this is a terrible, yo-yo cycle to get in: weight gain, diet and exercise to shed pounds, then stopping once you’ve shed the pounds, then starting to gain weight again and beginning the cycle over.

Aiming for fitness, instead of weight loss, can help you avoid this cycle entirely because fitness isn’t just a diet or short-term exercise: it’s a lifestyle change that will benefit you for years to come!

Bottom Line: As you can see, setting a goal of fitness is a much better approach to creating better overall health than simply shooting for weight loss.

Hold on tiger! I've got something to tell you.

There is an app that I want to recommend to you. StayWow is a social networking app for fitness enthusiasts just like you! It's a free app.
People use StayWow to share photographs, post comments, write blogposts, meet new people, chat live, play videos, view GIFs, read articles, ask questions, recommend products and even buy products.
People can also track steps, calories, distance and see where they rank in real-time as they walk.
Whether you're completely new to fitness or a seasoned pro, this app will help you reach the next level. Give it a try.

Written by Anjali Sareen , AFAA Certified Personal Trainer | Doctor of Law (J.D.) from New York University School of Law | Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Marketing and International Business from NYU Stern School of Business
Anjali Sareen is an AFAA-certified personal trainer, as well as a dedicated runner and CrossFitter. Her undergraduate degree is in marketing and she loves to write and talk about staying fit, as well as help other people get fit!

Inspire, educate and empower the StayWow community. Become a StayWow Contributor!

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