Losing Weight vs. Losing Inches

I’ve hit a bit of a snag in my health efforts. I’ve actually gained two pounds in the last month. While I know that healthy living is about more than just my weight, it’s still kind of depressing to see the weight increase.

After all, why am I working out every day (something I hate, unless it’s one of the days I go to the pool), and why have I cut back on the sweets, if it’s not actually going to help me lose weight?

I’ve been eating mostly right, and exercising six days a week. When you’ve been following that routine steadfastly for three or four months, it’s depressing to see that now you’re gaining weight.

Losing Inches Instead of Dropping Pounds

On the plus side, though, I’ve actually been losing inches. In the last month, I’ve lost an inch around my waist. This provides a little encouragement for me. However, it should be far more encouraging than it is.

I’m probably gaining muscle and losing fat. According to Paige Waehner at About.com, the fact that I’m not losing weight as quickly as I was a little earlier on, is probably not a bad thing:

When you talk about losing weight, what you usually mean is slimming down. But slimming down doesn’t always mean losing weight. It may sound odd, but it’s possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle.

Losing Weight vs. Losing InchesMy clothes fit better, and I feel better. I may not be losing weight, but I’m still within seven pounds of my goal weight. I also have more energy, and more focus. I’ve been much more productive, and I’m happier in general. I just need to stop fixating on the number I see when I step on the scale.

The changes I’ve initiated since earlier in the year have been positive ones. I’ve looked for healthier treats, engaged in more physical activity, and lost inches. And really, that’s more important than mere weight. Fat loss is healthier in the long run than just trying to get down to some goal weight.

While weighing yourself can provide you with a way to “keep score” and measure your progress, it’s not the only thing you can do to see how well you are doing with your health and fitness program. Consider taking your measurements. Measure your waist and hips to see whether you are truly slimming down. This provides you with another way to measure progress. If the scale seems stuck, you can use your measurements to see if you losing inches. If it appears that your fat is disappearing, that’s even better than losing weight.

Developing lean muscle is an essential part of maintaining good health throughout your life. You’ll have better bone and muscle health, and a better overall quality of life if you remember your strength training along with cardio. You may be discouraged when you step on the scale, but your body will thank you later.

2 Responses to Losing Weight vs. Losing Inches

  1. Man, I have really been a slacker and I know I have gained weight. A stress fracture while playing tennis in October has set me back and I have become a blob. Your article will inspire me to get back into it. Thanks.

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