4 Reasons Why It May Look Like You’re Not Losing Weight

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Some people begin a weight management journey, they feel different, and they may even look different, but the scale doesn’t always seem to agree. Here are reasons why it may look like you’re not losing weight, even though you’re doing everything right.

Why does it look like I’m not losing weight?

1. Body Proportions Don’t Change

The last time I lost significant weight (more than 50 pounds) I couldn’t really see it in the mirror until I was well within the “healthy” weight range, even as the weight came off week after week. My body seemed to take it off in an even layer all over my body, so the proportions didn’t change noticeably, though eventually, as I approached healthy weight, I did see some areas change sizes inexplicably (chest, stomach, “love handles”) for a while, as though my body was trying to decide how to reallocate the remaining body fat in big chunks.

2. Differing Tissue Densities

Furthermore, with increased emphasis on a different mix of macro-nutrients (in particular, more protein and healthy fat, fewer carbs) and exercise (and when eating to sustain a healthy metabolism, instead of starving ourselves and driving our body to “starvation” mode), our body may begin to emphasize muscle development, even as it begins to metabolize your fat stores. The size difference between a pound of fat and a pound of muscle is HUGE, so our weight may not change, even as our body remodels and reallocates tissue mass.

5 pounds of fat compared with 5 pounds of muscle
5 pounds of fat compared with 5 pounds of muscle. Photo by janhrx at Photobucket.


3. Clothes Hide The Results

Nobody else noticed until I’d lost 30 pounds! By this time, my clothes were hanging off me. I finally saw this, and realized I had to go shopping. My shirt size dropped from XL to M. My pants cinched from 42 to 36 inch waist. (This wasn’t the last time during that weight loss that I had to buy a new, smaller pant size — I finally reached 32!)

Clothes may be hiding your progress
Clothes may be hiding your progress

4. In Fact, You May Not Be Losing Weight

Double check your premises:

  1. Have you calculated your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) caloric requirement correctly?
  2. Is your eating plan consistent with caloric deficit?
  3. Are your portion sizes correct?

If everything is in line, you should be fine. Take a look at the story of another person who was “doing everything right”, but the scale wasn’t budging.

Can you think of other reasons why it may look like you’re not losing weight?

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