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Fat Loss or Weight Loss: Which Should You Target?

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Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

The short answer is that both fat loss and weight loss are important. You should be trying to burn fat and lose weight. Ready for the long answer? Read the rest of this article.

The advertising giants give us the easy answers we want to hear when it comes to weight loss. The most popular advertising line by far goes something like “lose 20 pounds in 10 days.” Advertisers know its human nature to seek the easiest path to success. So, they feed it to us like hungry puppies and they keep getting richer. Meanwhile, our nation gets fatter as a whole.

Here’s my question for you: do you really want to improve your health and transform your body? It will take longer than you think and you will have to work harder than ever to accomplish your goals.

But, I don’t know anyone who regrets working hard and overcoming obstacles to look and feel better. I know plenty of people wasting money on weight loss pills, fad diets and fitness gadgets.

Burn body fat, burn body fat, burn body fat ... get the idea? Body fat, especially belly fat, is the real danger to your health.

In a WebMD article excerpt, “Belly Fat Doubles Death Risk,” it states:

"Researchers followed about 360,000 Europeans enrolled in one of the largest, longest health studies in the world."

"They found that people with the most belly fat had about double the risk of dying prematurely as people with the least amount of belly fat."

"Death risk increased with waist circumference, whether the participants were overweight or not."

The study provides some of the strongest evidence yet linking belly fat to early death, says lead author Tobias Pischon, MD, MPH. It appears in the Nov. 12 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"Our study shows that accumulating excess fat around your middle can put your health at risk even if your weight is normal," Pischon said. "There aren't many simple individual characteristics that can increase a person's risk of premature death to this extent, independent of smoking and drinking."

How many times have you heard me say fat loss is more important than weight loss?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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