Losing Inches but not Weight
Why am I not losing weight BUT losing inches?
When it comes to weight loss, that number on the scale seems to hold a lot of power. If it's not budging, frustration might set in. But sometimes the number on the scale isn't the best way to measure progress. If you're losing inches, but not weight, with your diet and exercise program, you're losing fat and gaining muscle, which is a good thing.
Building Muscle with Exercise
When you're working out to lose weight, whether it's aerobic exercise or strength training, you're not only burning off calories and fat but building muscle too. 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.
While you may be upset about the number on the scale, you shouldn't drop your exercise program. Diet and exercise together have been shown to be the most effective at helping people lose weight and keep it off.
Benefits of Lost Inches Even though you're not seeing the number on the scale change, losing inches and fat is good for your health. People with a higher body fat percentage are at a greater risk of a number of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, issues with sleep, certain types of cancer and an overall lower quality of life.
Replacing pounds of fat with muscle is also good for your metabolism, which is the system in your body that burns calories. Adding 4 pounds of muscle can help you burn an extra 50 calories a day. This may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but those extra 50 calories can help you get over a weight-loss plateau.
So don’t be disheartened. Get out those tape measures and measure yourself.
How do I measure myself correctly? Before you start measuring, remember to:
- Use a non-stretchable tape
- Make sure the tape measure is level around your body and parallel to the floor
- Keep tape close to your skin without depressing it.
- Bust: Measure all the way around your bust and back on the line of your nipples.
- Chest: Measure directly under your breasts, as high up as possible.
- Waist: Measure at its narrowest point width-wise, usually just above the navel.
- Hips: Measure around the widest part of the hipbones.
- Midway: Measure midway between the widest part of your hips and your waist.
- Thighs: Measure around fullest part of upper leg while standing
- Knees: Measure immediately above the knee.
- Calves: Measure around fullest part.
- Upper arm: Measure above your elbows – around fullest part.
- Forearms: Measure below your elbows – around fullest part.
Re-measure yourself every couple of weeks and record you measurements, so that you can chart your progress. This is a great motivator!