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Are you losing Inches but not weight? You are doing good!

It could happen that you cut your diet to a minimum, eat like a bird, but outwardly nothing changes, and it is generally incomprehensible why the weight does not go away on the scales and the treacherous device shows the same figure.

Let's figure out why this is happening and what to do about it.

Photo by Huha Inc. on Unsplash

1. Monotonous food.

Due to the fact that you are on a certain diet for a long time (even if it is a system of proper nutrition or intuitive nutrition), the weight may simply not respond to the same food, the same influx of calories every day. If you know that the problem is monotonous eating, then take a look at your daily menu and try to change it or add something new. 

There is such a trick for losing weight as cheating. This is a day or two when you do not limit yourself in anything. On the contrary, on the day of "cheating" you can eat a few burgers, a couple of ice cream and drink some margaritas. And the next day, restart your diet. This technique can help get the weight off the ground. 

2. Wrong calorie ratio.

Weight can stop going away if you eat more than you consume. You can eat a pound of almonds and go in for two hours of sports. In this case, the volumes will really go away due to strenuous training, but the weight will remain - after all, the calorie content of almonds (albeit without fat) will be simply huge. 

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

3. Family history.

 If your family history has obesity and your parents are overweight, then there are chances that you would be overweight and your weight loss progress can be slower than usual.

4. Age.

Younger people tend to lose weight way faster than older people. As your age reaches 35-40, you tend to lose weight slowly. And it’s totally fine! This is normal human way of life.


5. You Are Gaining Muscle

This is the most common reason behind your clothes fitting better while the scale remains the same (or shows a much lower number than expected). One upside of working out whether through running, Zumba classes, yoga, Pilates or weight lifting is that we build muscle. However, the muscles do not wait until all the fat is gone for them to grow.

Instead, these muscles grow under the extra layer of fat and as the fat goes away, so will you notice more and more muscle definition. Also, remember that while a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle, muscle is dense, thus takes up much less space than fat does . This is why you will notice that you are losing inches and not fat.

Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

How does weight change when you are trying to lose weight?

Even with well-thought-out weight loss, it does not mean that it is the hated fat reserves that are being lost. If attention is paid to nutrition - in the diet, the emphasis is on protein, there is enough fat, fiber and the proportion of simple carbohydrates is reduced to a minimum, as well as the level of physical activity is increased, then the process of losing weight will inevitably occur. When it comes to weight loss, we mean that excess water is removed, the contents of the intestines are cleansed, partial muscle loss is possible, and some part of fat reserves is consumed, but not just fat alone. 

Have you noticed that in the first days of dieting, the weight goes away more actively? This happens mainly due to the loss of excess fluid, since when switching to a healthier diet, the fluid that is retained in the body with excessive use of empty carbohydrates leaves. But once you return to your usual diet, the weight comes back again.

When people talk about losing weight, they want to get rid of fat stores. All other components of weight loss - water, food inside the gastrointestinal tract - things come and go. But it is quite difficult to determine exactly how much fat reserves were spent on losing weight over a certain period. 

Weighing is one type of weight loss control and does not tell the whole story. Moreover, with strength training, weight can even increase, despite the fact that there is a calorie deficit in the diet. This is due to the fact that muscle mass is growing, and it is less voluminous, but heavier in comparison with the fat mass. 

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Controlling the process of losing weight using a centimetre

Compared with weighing, measuring various parts of the body with a centimetre most clearly allows you to assess the progress of weight loss. The ratio of fat to muscle in the body is called body composition. It is from this ratio that the appearance depends. 

As mentioned above, fat mass is more voluminous than muscle mass. And with a decrease in the number of centimetre in the waist circumference, the kilograms on the scales do not necessarily decrease. Therefore, it is much more effective to assess the loss of fat mass precisely with the help of a centimeter tape. To make the data as accurate as possible, follow a few rules:

  1. Take your measurements in the morning.
  2. Record the measurement results.
  3. Take measurements no more than once every two weeks. 

Monitoring weight loss with weights does not always reflect the weight loss picture. Better to focus on volume changes.

If during the month there are no changes either in kilograms or in centimeters, then the nutrition program, training, as well as the mode of work and rest should be revised. 

Cover photo by Benjamin Klaver on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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