Why am I losing inches but not pounds?

  • As a mother, I cannot make special diet foods for myself. I am counting calories with SparkPeople and staying within their suggested limits. I have been using Daily Burn for one month now (my free month) and been with Justin and lately tried Ethan intense abs. The first couple of weeks, I lost 1 pound each week, but now I am not losing, rather staying steady. Is this normal? Will I lose in time if I continue with the program and eating less than 1200 calories a day?

    mmlover718   by: mmlover718
  • 1 vote
    jeepnick  6 months ago by: jeepnick

    Just as willywalter mentioned, you are building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. As you exercise you may either add muscle volume or muscle density. If you are losing inches you are burning fat - YAY! - but you are also building the underlying muscle. High-rep workouts such as those in the Daily Burn catalogue will build muscle density - or tone the muscle - as opposed to building volume.

    Be proud of yourself. Burning fat and losing inches is hard work and you are doing great. The scale is a very poor judge of body composition. Two different people the same height may way exactly the same, but look completely different. One may be chubby and the other toned and lean, but the scale might not know the difference.

    Are you fitting in the clothes you wanted to fit in? Are you looking more like your target? If so, then who cares what the scale says. Eventually, you will level out and likely lose pounds again, but for now your muscle is playing catch up and will offset the weight of the fat you are burning.

    Keep it up. Way to go!

  • 1 vote
    willywalter  6 months ago by: willywalter

    When you exercise you build muscle, which weighs more than fat. It can be normal to not lose, but even gain weight while exercising. This sounds bad, but don't let it discourage you. Bottom line is that the more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body needs on a daily basis. Your body composition can drastically be different (E.g. less inches) even though your weight might not reflect that.

    Every time you weigh yourself, it is several different things: bone, muscle, fluids, fat, organs, etc. If you are holding a lot of water it can be reflected in your weight. If you are building muscle, the same might apply.

    Ask yourself a few questions:
    1.) Do you feel good?
    2.) Do you have more energy throughout the day for you and your kids?
    3.) Do you feel better about yourself?
    4.) Are your clothes fitting better?

    The best thing you can do is stop obsessing about the scale (throw it out the window) and feed your body. If you are exercising, you need more calories per day than 1200. Lack of calories can put your body into starvation mode, this will have the effect biochemically of your body telling itself to store all energy and can also make you ravenously hungry.

    Here's a study from the 50's which might provide some insight; Ancel Keys Minnesota "Starvation Study". Phase II was based on a 1200 calorie diet. From the site below: "...These men were so consumed by how hungry they were that all they thought about was food. They would go to restaurants just so they could smell the food. They lost all desire for anything that didn’t involve food; even their desire for sex was nonexistent. The men also suffered psychological breakdowns, and in most cases would never be the same..."

    Lastly, I suggest you limit all refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

    Take care and good luck.

    • kharmacat
      kharmacat 6 months ago

      I was a little concerned about your 1200 calorie diet comments, since I'm doing the same thing ... Even though I never feel ravenously hungry. Then I remembered that my program (MyFitnessPal) counts NET calories. Meaning if I workout and burn 300 calories, I actually eat 1500 that day. I would guess the same is true for mmlover718.

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