I can imagine your inner feeling when…
The weight scale tells you are losing inches but not weight as the weight has not decreased from the previous week you got started with your favorite keto diet as you had checked your weight at that point too.
Suddenly many questions start to haunt you and you are like…
Why I am not losing weight on keto although I think I am in ketosis? Or Am I eating something wrong? Or Is my training routine problematic? Or even is this weight scale working properly?
If that has happened to you for the first time, then you are not alone; A lot of people set out an ambitious goal to lose inches off their waist before ending up in a situation after a few weeks when their weight scale tells that indeed you are losing inches but not weight. Very frustrating indeed.
So, do you want answers to this puzzle?
Then don’t missout to read below and discover why you might be losing inches but not weight.
Step 1: understand your misleading weight scale
As discussed earlier, if you are following your weight scale for fitness improvement, then keep it in mind that it is bound to disappoint you because of the following reasons.
1. Your weight scale measures everything in your body as a weight
- weight of your muscles
- Weight of your fat of the body
- Weight of your bones
- Weight of food in your system
- Weight of water content in your body
2. Your weight scale does not account for muscular changes in your body
Your weight scale does not express the changes which are occurring in your body like increasing body fat levels or increasing muscle mass levels.
For instance, the muscle mass you have built by doing strength training and heavy lifting does not show up in your weight scale. Also, the fat you have lost simultaneously does not represent in your weight digit while you are getting leaner and slimmer due to fat loss
3. Your weight scale doesn’t reflect your fat levels/weight levels and health
Since your weight scale can’t differentiate between your muscle mass and body fat, so your weight might not be an appropriate indicator of your bodily health and fitness levels.
Similarly, it will not be able to tell if a person is unhealthy as he might have high levels of body fat but a low level of weight overall. The scale can’t tell the difference between fat and muscle. That means a person can have a low body weight but still have unhealthy levels of body fat.
4. Your weight scale can be a source of de-motivation
Since your weight scale can’t express your actual health statuses like less body fat and more muscles or otherwise, you may get disappointed and dejected by finding out, the weight scale is not up ticking.
It could make you question your training, diet and even your commitment and it could make you overshadow the positive results you’re getting such as fat loss, more endurance, and higher energy levels.
5. Your weight scale does not give reliable number even for a day
It varies through the twenty-four hours. Why? Because it counts everything in your body as weight which can make its needle vary i.e depending upon what are you eating and how many times you are eating, it can change its weight scale
It can change given the amount of water your body has which can vary throughout the day like when you go to the bathroom and it could be different when you come out of it.
Benefits/uses of your weight scale:
Your weight scale is not entirely useless rather it does an important job for you in your weight loss journey like…
- Regularly weighing yourself can give you body weight changes
For people who have lost weight, studies have shown that regularly weighing themselves helps them maintain that weight loss. It’s very common for weight to slowly build up and your scale can reflect this.
Now when you have understood what does your weight actually means on the scale , now it’s time to understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss.
Understanding the difference between fat loss and weight loss is the second step in achieving your goal of losing fat without muscle.
Step 2: Focusing on fat loss, not weight loss
The first step to understand why you are losing inches but not weight is to understand the fact that you can’t be thinner yet you can no change in your weight
This happens when you lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time. This is also a sign that you are moving in the right direction in terms of your fitness goals. i.e you are losing unhealthy fat and getting muscle mass.
But because you have left everything up to weight scale, you are unable to understand what good things are happening to your body.
So, being a fitness enthusiast, knowing the difference between fat loss and weight loss is very crucial to your progress.
Understanding the difference between weight loss and fat loss
Focusing on fat loss is much more important than focusing on your weight. To estimate your fitness progress correctly, first, you need to fully understand what are the exact differences between fat loss and weight loss.
Differences between weight loss and fat loss
The following are the things you require to understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss to make better fitness decisions.
1. Chemistry of fat loss and weight loss is different
When you lose fat, you make permanent body composition changes in your body i.e your body loses fat but gained muscle. While, on the other hand, when you lose weight it could be just lost of water, hormonal change effect on your body or even loss of muscles sometimes.
2. Fat loss and weight loss are different in size
A pound of muscle is very compact and consumes less space as compared to a pound of fat( a pound of fat is bigger but less dense. Also, the weight loss can be due to loss of water, whose weight is itself different than fat.
That’s why you when you lose inches on the scale but not weight, it is because of the “melting of fat stored in your belly while when you lose weight it because of loss in water content or other hormonal changes in your body.
3. Fat loss is visible but weight loss is not visible
When you lose fat, it is clearly visible in your body in the form of the reduced waistline, reduced-fat on hips, thighs, belly, etc. and more lose/bigger clothes. But when you lose weight, it does not show up on your body. It is only visible on the weight scale.
4. Fat loss is a sign of good fitness & health while weight loss may not be
As explained above, losing fat means you are on the right track of fitness but when you lose weight, it means something may not good happening in your body i.e your body might be suffering from a fresh physiological problem that needs attention.
5. Fat loss can be a sign healthy aging and weight loss can be a sign of early aging
Since the loss of fat is a sign of good fitness and overall health, it means you will lose fat and build muscle. And an increase of muscle mass has been linked to good factors of healthy and prolonged aging.
On the other hand, sudden loss of weight can be indicative of serious health concern brewing up that needs your immediate attention.
Additionally, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be, which slightly increases caloric expenditure throughout the day and that means more help fat loss efforts.
6. Fat loss requires proper training and dieting regimen while weight loss need not necessarily
You lose fat only when you put extra effort in the gym and in the kitchen too. While weight loss can occur with all this. For example, when you get sick, your weight scale automatically goes down but you haven’t lost fat.
7. Fat loss can happen with weight loss but weight loss might not happen due to fat loss.
Since your body weight includes the weight of bones, water, and other organs weight and your fat content fat in your fat muscles, so when weight loss happens, it could be loss of any of the following above mentioned things.
While on the other hand, when you lose fat, you only lose fat, not anything like water content of your body or loss of the weight of your organs. So, fat loss can happen with weight loss but weight loss may not imply fat loss.
8. Fat loss is measured by a special fat calculator but Weight loss is measured by a simple weight scale.
Fat loss is only measured by a specially built purpose fat calculator either in your home or gym or even your doctor but weight loss can simply be measured at your home weight scale without much struggle.
The bottom line
Instead of just tracking how much weight you have lost, you should also track fat loss and muscle gain, because this gives you a better indication of how your body is changing.
Making the true judgment of your fitness
I can understand you can’t keep yourself away from your weight scale to make the best judgment of your fitness levels.
But keep in mind the misleading characteristics of the weight scale, you do need to find other ways to assess your body fitness levels and that is especially true for measuring your fat loss and weight loss levels of your body due to reasons cited above.
How to make changes to your weight loss/fat loss success measurement?
Just because you aren’t losing weight in your hips doesn’t mean you’re not losing weight somewhere. It may just be from a place you don’t much care about and to find out that place you need to adopt other means of measuring your fitness success which are:
1. Look out for your clothes fitness
Clothes don’t lie.
This is very simple: pick up one of the pairs of your tight pants and keep checking it by wearing it weekly. If you feel they are loose, you are losing your fat and if tight, you need to make some changes to your diet or training.
2. Make regular measurements of your body
Keep measuring your body at different intervals of the month which will more accurately tell you if you are losing fat or not more aesthetically.
Here are the principal measurements that you could use to track your progress:
- Bust: Measure all the way around your bust and back on the line of your nipples
- Waist: Measure its narrowest point, usually just above the navel
- Hips: Measure all the way around the widest part of the hip bones and glutes
- Upper arm: Measure above your elbows, around the fullest part
- Thighs: While standing, measure around the fullest part of thighs
- Calves: While sitting, measure around the fullest part
Also, if a measurement tells you are on the right track, it can be a source of motivation for next week to put more effort and energy in the same way you have put the previous week.
3. Use a body fat-measuring scale instead of weight
Use a body fat measurement scale like this one which measures body fat through bioelectrical impedance. These are often easily available at your local fitness club or if possible, buy one for your permanent satisfaction and ease.
Or if that is not possible, you can use an online calculator. These are in fact rough estimates but if you are regularly visiting them online, these can give you accurate assessments given that you save the records of measurement.
4. Use fitness improvement standards for real performance goals
A fat loss measuring instrument is not always the best way to keep yourself on the right fitness track rather change your mindset.
Instead of worrying about weight loss or fat loss, focus on how many more pushups you can add to your previous tally or how much your stamina has improved since the last exercise you did.
These are clearly visible and valid achievement assessments that can give you an instant idea of where your fitness is headed.
Other important tips for losing fat easily
1. Resizing and recoloring your eating plates can help in fat loss
According to a study conducted at Cornell University demonstrated that the size of your eating plate is very directly related to how much you will take on a plate and hence how much you will eat indirectly.
Sounds interesting? Of Course, at least for me, it is. This human behavior has everything to do with human psychology.
A small full plate tricks our brain to assume as if we are eating out full while a large plate which is not full by its nature, tricks our brain to add some more to fulfill our desire to eat.
Hence we may eat less or more depending on the plate size.
Additionally, the color of plates matters too. It was found that a food whose color contrast to the colour of the plate may help us to eat up to 30% less
2. More water intake can help you lose fat
Drinking a lot of water has powerful fat loss benefits especially drinking before you eat. The reasoning is simple:
Since water is an appetite suppressant, drinking it before meals can make you feel fuller, therefore reducing the amount of food you crave and eat hence fewer calories and more fat burning hence the easy fat loss.
3. Stop obsessing over fat 24/7
Reaching out to weight loss scale or body fat measurement will not help rather sticking to your training or dieting regiment can.
Because body changes like body fat need appropriate time to express themselves, measuring for 2 or 3 times a day does not look wise because true fat loss results don’t show before a week or 2 when your fitness measures take effect.
Son don’t obsess over your body fat more than it needs and relax and keep doing your homework.
4. Make weight measurements at the same time during the weekdays.
This advice is important because since our food and water have their own mass, our body composition is never the same for 24 hours rather it keeps fluctuating due to these factors.
For example, the bodyweight you measured in the morning will never be the same at the dinner because you have been eating all day long.
So the best option for you is to make it a habit to measure your body weight at the same time of the day, particularly at morning is preferable
The weight scale can make you crazy, so take a break from it and find out other useful measurement options like body fat calculator or how your clothes fit you after a few weeks of your beginning to train and eat for losing fat.