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Obesity and Weight Management

Why Am I Losing Inches But Not Pounds?

02/14/2008

Question:

I am a 5`0 female and weighs 168. I am ready to lose weight and I have been working out for 6-7 weeks 3 times a day and eating a healthy diet with plenty of water. I am noticing that I fitting in clothes I couldn`t wear before which feels great but the scale says I`ve only lost a few pounds. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

Answer:

Sounds like you are doing a lot of things right, and your speed of weight loss may be normal. You probably won't be able to sustain 3-a-day workouts forever though.

To make sure your healthy diet isn't too many calories overall, check in at www.supertracker.usda.gov. In the upper right of the screen click on "MyPyramid Plan" to get an estimate of what and how much you need to eat to maintain weight or lose weight. If you are eating too much of a good thing that may slow weight loss, though fast weight loss is not good. 1 or 2 pounds per week is all that should be lost (so that means for you about 6-14 pounds). You may be in that range.

Quick weight loss usually means loss of muscle mass and water loss, which isn't good. You want to lose fat mass, and that only happens if the weight comes off slowly - with exercise. You are apparently keeping up your muscle mass through workouts, so weight loss can be slower.

If by chance you have cut your calorie intake too much (probably less than 1000 calories) you may have put your body into starvation mode even though you are exercising. When your body is in starvation mode, it slows your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) so that you don't burn as many calories. Though exercise generally helps keep it up, it may not be keeping it entirely up. This may be an alternate reason for not losing as much weight as you would have expected.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University