Improving your lifestyle habits in an effort to lose weight can involve many different factors. These factors may include incorporating the following into your daily routine:
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet containing whole foods;
- Avoid processed foods and sugar-laden drinks;
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water every day;
- Get an adequate amount of daily exercise;
- Manage stress;
- Get plenty of sleep.
It is normal to want to see some results after making all these changes. We all want to see those numbers on the scale decline; there is nothing as motivating as seeing all that hard work pay off.
But what if you are putting in all the work and the scale has moved but your favorite jeans are still snug? It can be discouraging to notice you have lost weight but not inches.
Today we are going to discuss the reasons why you may be losing pounds but not inches. You may think you are doing something wrong, but if you are making all the changes listed above, you are doing things right! Keep reading to find out what culprits could be contributing to this dilemma.
Why Am I Losing Weight But Not Inches?
This is a common question and a good one! After exercising, dieting, and working hard for several weeks, we not only want our clothes to be looser but we also want others to be able to see a difference in the way we look.
We may ask ourselves, “What should I be doing differently?” The answer is probably nothing, except for the way we are looking at our weight loss results. Instead of becoming frustrated and disappointed, we need to look at things from a different perspective.
Changing Your Mindset
We live in such an “instant-minded” culture that we have become accustomed to things happening NOW. We can transfer money from our bank account to a friend 3 states away in seconds. We can order a movie on a streaming service and start watching it before the microwave popcorn is even ready. We are so conditioned to receive instant results that when they are not delivered, we become frustrated.
When it comes to weight loss, we are dealing with some complex variables, and we should not base our beliefs about our progress on things we can and cannot visualize. It is important to look at the big picture and consider other improvements that may have manifested, such as the quality of our sleep. Do we have more energy? Do we notice any changes in our skin?
Even though we know that we need to have a little patience, it would be nice to know what is going on, right? There are many reasons why we may not see all our hard work paying off right away. This happens to almost everyone, especially during the initial stages of a weight-loss journey. Some of the reasons are listed below.
Reasons You May Be Losing Weight But Not Inches
- 1. The Fat You Are Burning Is Visceral Fat
- The body produces two kinds of fat: the type you can “pinch” (subcutaneous fat) and the dangerous type, called visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat that is the most visible and sits just under the skin. A certain amount of this fat is vital to our health and is responsible for making hormones and providing insulation and protection. The loss of subcutaneous fat has the most influence on the tape measure when we lose weight.
Visceral fat wraps itself around your internal organs and increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. You normally cannot see visceral fat as it accumulates on our insides, but one indication of visceral fat is an enlarged waist.
If you measure your waist and it is above 35″ for women and 40″ for men, it is a sign of visceral fat. This is not an exact science and does not account for the size of your frame or your ethnicity (individuals of Asian descent tend to have smaller frames, and their benchmark for visceral fat is lowered to 31.5″ for women and 35.5″ for men).
So losing pounds but not inches in the early stages of your new, healthier lifestyle is actually a good thing. There are changes taking place on the inside, and eventually, you and everyone else will see the external changes.
- 2. You Are Losing Water Weight
- Cutting out carbohydrates can often yield a quick initial loss of weight. Normally, this is what we call “water weight,” and it will come back just as fast as it left the minute you start eating carbs again. Losing water weight can cause the scale to show that you are losing weight, but you don’t lose inches.
- 3. You May Be Losing Muscle
- Another reason you may lose pounds but not inches is that you are experiencing some muscle loss.
Muscle weighs more than fat, and when people experience rapid weight loss, they can lose muscle mass. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that losing more than one or two pounds a week can lead to the loss of muscle, water, and bone density.
- 4. Your Genetics/Fat Distribution
- Your genetic makeup determines where and when you will lose pounds and inches when you diet. Two people of the same build and starting weight can go on the same diet and lose the same amount of weight, but the areas in which they slim down can be completely different.
The way fat is distributed to each person is different and is influenced by age, muscle mass, genetics, gender, and nutrition. When we diet and begin to eliminate fat, it does not all disappear from one location; the fat all over the body begins to decrease, and the changes can be slow and subtle for weeks or months.
The type of exercises you do or if you are exercising at all will also play a role in determining if you are losing pounds or inches and where that loss will take place.
- 5. The Type Of Diet You Are Following
- If you are losing pounds and not inches, it may be due to your diet. If you decide to go on a crash diet, you may lose some weight temporarily, which, as we discussed previously, is normally water weight.
To lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner, a decrease in calories needs to be consistent and gradual.
If you are eating healthier, you are probably eating more fiber, which will help you lose weight eventually, but in the meantime, it may explain why you are losing pounds but not inches off your waist.
What Can You Do If You Have Lost Weight But Not Inches?
If you have been on a diet and have lost weight but not inches, and your waistline hasn’t budged, there are cosmetic procedures that can give you a trimmer, more contoured look.
Cosmetic procedure advancements have resulted in a variety of safe and effective minimally invasive and non-invasive treatments that can help with your problem areas.
Cosmetic Treatments for Body Shaping
- The Evolve family is made up of three treatments that work to correct problem areas that everyone experiences. They can be used individually or together for optimal results. These non-surgical procedures are safe for all skin types, customizable, quick, and painless, and require no downtime.
- Evolve Tite is a procedure that uses targeted radio frequency to contour and reshape areas of the body. The radio frequency heats the subdermal layers and stimulates new collagen growth, which tightens and smooths the skin.
- Evolve Trim is a procedure that helps to eliminate excess fat deposits and cellulite. Heat is combined with a negative tissue vacuum that helps eliminate unwanted fat without surgery to provide a more sculpted appearance.
- Evolve Tone uses EMS, which is the stimulation of muscles through electricity. This procedure helps increase the strength of your muscles and the way they look by creating involuntary muscle contractions.
- Bodytite is a minimally invasive skin tightening treatment that uses radiofrequency energy. An external handheld applicator treats the areas under the skin with thermal energy to melt fat and promote collagen production while simultaneously treating the outer layer of the skin to make it smoother and tighter.
Partial results can be seen after about three days, but improvements happen gradually over several weeks. The production of new collagen can take months, so patients will continue to see gradual skin tightening improvements over time.
- Kybella Injections
- Kybella is a drug that is synthetically created to mimic deoxycholic acid, which is naturally produced by our body to aid in fat metabolization. Kybella can be injected into areas where stubborn fat has accumulated and is resistant to diet and exercise. After injection, it begins destroying the unwanted fat cells in the area, and then the natural lymphatic system of the body flushes out the liquified fat.
- BodyFX procedure helps to contour and smooth areas of the body using a special combination of radio-frequency heat and negative pressure suction. Body FX smooths and tones the skin and can even address cellulite.
- PHYSIQ treatments target muscles and stubborn fat deposits at the same time using both heat and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). The heat and EMS work together to increase muscle definition, eliminate unwanted fat deposits, and tighten and tone the skin.
If you have lost weight but not inches and are unhappy with the way your body looks, we can help! At Surgicare Arts & Aesthetics, Dr. Angelina Poestoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and our team of highly skilled professionals can put together a customized program to help you achieve your desired aesthetic goals.
If you have tried to lose weight and have been unsuccessful, we are pleased to offer help with that as well! Surgicare Arts & Aesthetics is a division of IBI Healthcare Institute, where Dr. Chris Ibikunle, MD, FACS, has over 28 years of experience treating obesity through bariatric surgery, non-surgical weight loss procedures, and prescription weight loss medications.
You can get help with not only losing weight but inches in Atlanta, GA, at the IBI Healthcare Institute and Surgicare Arts & Aesthetics. Contact us today to set up a consultation! You will be glad you did!