Why am I losing inches, not weight? Avinash Rajapet - Program Director & Head Trainer, Fitbee February 12, 2021

The Golden Rule: Inch loss > Weight loss

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been doing everything that you should be doing to lose weight, but the number on the scale says otherwise? You can see other signs of improvement in terms of inches, but it can be demotivating to weigh the exact same as you did when you started. The simple answer to that is, don’t worry!! If you’re staying on track with your diet and working out regularly, you’re most likely losing fat but gaining muscle and that’s a good thing.

The number on the weighing scale isn’t the best way to measure progress. Here are 2 reasons why: 

Non-Fat Factors: The scale cannot distinguish between fat weight and mass weight. Hydrating yourself well, which is a healthy habit, can sometimes increase the numbers on the weighing scale whereas dehydrating yourself, which is not a healthy habit can decrease weight. The same can be said for hormonal shifts that cause weight-gain or weight-loss, sodium intake, and even the type of workouts you’ve recently done. The scale doesn’t know any of this, and therefore, can’t give you an accurate reading of the real goal at hand: fat-loss.

Reliability: Most of the scales just aren’t that reliable. A disappointing number on the scale might not indicate anything at all. The fact that you’re losing inches, not weight, is actually much better to the opposite result. Losing pounds, but not inches is in fact worrying. It raises questions on the methods being used  to drop that weight. Always remember, clothes don’t lie. If your jeans fit better, you’re on the right track. Don’t oversee that reliable measurement of true progress.​

Building Muscle With Exercise:

When you work out to lose weight, whether it is strength training or aerobic exercises, you not only burn off calories and fat but also build muscle. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. If you’re losing fat and gaining muscle at the same rate, your body size shrinks, but the number on the scale won’t change.

Benefits of Lost Inches:

Even though you are not able to see the number on the scale change, losing inches and fat is good for your health. Substituting pounds of fat with muscle is also good for your metabolism, which is the system in your body that burns calories. Adding pounds of muscle can help you burn extra calories in a day, This may not seem like much in the grand structure of things, but those extra calories can add up as you keep getting closer to your goals.

There are other signs of progress like better sleep, healthier looking skin, more energy, better digestion, improved mood that are meaningful, though often overlooked. If you’re frustrated because you’re losing inches but not any weight, stay calm and look for a more dependable way to measure your progress. Measuring inches is much more honest than the scale.

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