Weight Loss
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How could I be losing INCHES but not POUNDS?


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Has anyone else gone thru this?  I'm working out HARD, 4-5 times per week (a combination of kickboxing, zumba , and extreme calistenics .  I'm down a pants size and a shirt size.  I LOOK thinner, my arms, bust, and middle are all definitely smaller... yet the needle on the scale doesn't move! I'm eating no more than 1500 calories per day (sometimes a little as 1200).

Would you share your story, if this has happened to you, and what you did to turn the corner?  I'm trying hard not to focus on the number, but there's no doubt it's frustrating!

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Remember that the number on the scale is an indication of your total weight, not just the weight of fat. Things like water can have a huge impact on the number you see, and can mask the effects of fat loss.

Just keep doing what you are doing - clearly you are changing your body for the better, and the scale is only one imprecise method of tracking that.

You're gaining muscle which weighs more than fat. To be honest, I'm not weighing myself this time with my diet. Weight fluctuates too much and when it goes up despite my best efforts, I give up and start binging. I'm going with size and how healthy and active I'm getting. I think being able to run five miles, not feeling my fat jiggle when I walk, getting back into a size four, and feeling good about myself means a lot more than weight.

I'm aiming for a dress size rather than a specific weight.  Many years ago Wink....when I started university I started training hard in the gym, hockey and swimming and actually put on 14lbs in a year (as I didn't change my eating habits) but stayed the same size.  I think this was to do with me putting on muscle and losing fat, muscle is denser than fat so it weighs more.

Don't change what you're doing and don't be tempted to lower your calories, it'll have an adverse effect.  Just focus on the numbers going down on your clothes size and not soley the numbers on your scale.

Ditto to all of the replies so far. I'm actually in almost the exact same situation. I've been at a steady 202 lbs for the last TWO MONTHS, which has been EXTREMELY exhausting emotionally. However, a friend pointed out that I've recently really kicked up my weight training, so this could be why I'm holding steady in weight even though I am eating at a 500-800 calorie deficit every day. Try not to get frustrated, and focus on the long term goals rather than a lb down every week.

I do have a question though, I've often heard that muscle weighs more than far. Is this true? Or is it more of a feathers to bricks thing. For example, a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks weigh the same, but the feathers take up more room than the bricks because the bricks are denser (in this example, feathers are fat and bricks are muscle).

I experienced this when I started exercising more intensely back in January. I have continued to eat healthily and exercise 3-6 times a week and have still only lost 5lbs in total. However, I have dropped a dress size and have more definition in my legs and waist. I also have a lot more energy and confidence. As soon as you stop giving any power to the scale you will have more time to appreciate the positive changes that you have made. I personally wanted to make lifestyle changes, lose weight slowly and become healthier in general. Becomming attached to the scale was not going to help me achieve those goals. I still weigh myself once or twice a week but I don't get depressed as I know that if the scales have gone up but I have tried hard then it is probably water. Luckily I can tell when I have had too much salt and am retaining water by the thickness of the tips of my fingers!

Original Post by dragonfly_26:

I do have a question though, I've often heard that muscle weighs more than far. Is this true? Or is it more of a feathers to bricks thing. For example, a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks weigh the same, but the feathers take up more room than the bricks because the bricks are denser (in this example, feathers are fat and bricks are muscle).

Of course a pound of anything weighs a pound, but when people say "muscle weighs more than fat" they are assuming you would understand that they mean all other things constant - so with the equal volumes of fat and muscle, the muscle will weigh more.

Or you can look at it as a pound of muscle will take up less space than a pound of fat (which is the same statement, just takes longer to write). Even better, see a picture of this.

One caveat - beyond a limited amount of "newbie gains" that people experience when they start lifting heavy, muscle gain while eating at a deficit is pretty much not going to happen - gaining muscle requires a surplus of calories to create the new mass. That said, new exercise can make your muscles retain water, which can give the appearance of larger muscles, as well as make the scale go up - but those effects are temporary.

Mbheitman...I know EXACTLY how you feel. I started last February at 228 lbs. I am now down to 185-186, but prior to that I was stuck around 189 pounds. I worked out religiously doing cardio and strength training, and stayed around 1400 calories a day. The scale however, would NOT move! It was the most frustrating thing, until I noticed that all of my clothes were looser. I ended up going shopping, and sure enough, I had dropped a size! Down to a size 10 from a 12!! As annoying as it may seem, I am learning to focus more on my size, than what the number on the scale says. Remember, the scale can't measure how healthy you are becoming, or how much stronger you are becoming. It's just a number.

You are losing body fat, but want to "turn the corner"? I don't get it.

The goal should not be to lose weight. It should be to lower your body fat, increase your muscle mass, and increase cardio-vascular health. You seem to be accomplishing that. Forget about the scale.

 

I too have been seriously holding my daily caloric intake to 1200-1500 and exercising (step) 3 to 4 times a week since January,.  I have only lost 6 lbs but overall 6 inches.  It is frustrating so i stopped weighing.  I only weigh once a month and at the gym. There were even times I was back up to the weight that I was when I started,. I have much more energy and i can tell i look smaller but that scale will not budge. Very discouraging.

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