When inches lost tell the true story

Hey everyone,

I am currently on a weight loss journey to lose 35-40lbs for my wedding in October. So far I have lost about 17lbs since February. I haven’t necessarily been using MFP to track my calories, but more so a place for advice within the community and I log my weight and measurements sporadically.

So for the past month I have hit a plateau despite working out 4-5x a week (hiit bootcamp, Pilates, and Spin) and I eat pretty healthy during the week (but I know I could be tracking my calories better) While it’s been somewhat frustrating being in a plateau for a month, I am starting to fit better into my old clothes and just overall enjoying the 17lb loss.
So the other day while looking at old data in MFP I found some old body measurements I recorded back in 2014-2015. I decided to take some updated measurements and was shocked to find I currently have the same body measurements I had when I was 10lbs lighter?!

Wt: 161
Waist: 32
Hips: 40

Wt: 171
Waist: 32
Hips: 41.5 (ain’t mad about the extra hips hehe)

All this time I’ve been putting so much faith in the numbers on the scale and stressing about getting back into the 160s again, when I am currently the size I was in the 160s! It’s nice to know all my strength training is really paying off. It really lets me know I can’t always trust the scale to measure my success. However, I will be happy when the scale finally catches up! I also wonder if maybe my goal of 145-150 might be too low now? I am 5’8” btw.

Has anyone else had this experience with inches vs pounds shed?


  • jelleigh
    jelleigh Posts: 743 Member
    Great OP! We tend to use weight to measure progress but its only one piece (and not the most important piece IMO) of the whole picture of health. Body composition and fitness can be completeky different even though the scalr would say the same thing. Thats why its good to have a few ways to measure success - measurements, endurance, meeting fitnesd goals, how clothes fit, pictures etc. Especially since so many factors can contribute to what the scale reads (like water retention, hormones, what youve eaten) on any given day, its nice to have other ways to realize you are getting healthier. If you are feeling better and improving then great job! If you do want to drop more excess fat, then tightening up your logging is the way to so it. :)
  • timeforwork
    timeforwork Posts: 114 Member
    I have lost 6 lb in 3 months but just redid body measurements and assuming I've put the tape measure in exactly the same spot I've lost 40 inches overall. ( even close to that I'm happy with) just goes to show that it's worth taking the time to check in with a tape measure occasionally especially when you have a lot to lose
  • Lillymoo01
    Lillymoo01 Posts: 2,865 Member
    You have lost 17 pounds in 5 months (which is actually fantastic), but think it is realistic to lose 35-40 pounds in only 3 months. Does that actually sound achievable in context? At your current weight 1 pound a week is the highest you should expect while remaining healthy. Remember that gaining all that muscle over the last few years is a brilliant non scale victory.
    Buy some digital kitchen scales. Use them to weight every solid that enters your mouth, including prepackaged food and condiments. Use measuring cups and spoons for all liquids with calories. Log it all but double check against nutrition labels and the USDA database for accuracy as user entry can result in inaccuracy with the database. Plateaus are normally people eating at maintenance as a result of incomplete and inaccurate logging.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,281 Member
    Clothes fitting better without an appreciable scale drop happens to me, too. It's especially hard for me to track scale weight trends when it's hot and I tend to retain fluid. I bet if you tightened up on food tracking as an experiment for a couple of weeks, you'd see the scale start to move again.
  • angelarene626
    angelarene626 Posts: 32 Member
    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I know taking accurate measure of the food I eat is my next step to success. I have intentionally been taking each step slowly and when I know I can handle it because I really want my new weight loss habits to be a life change this time and not a temporary diet that overwhelms me or restricts me too much. For instance it took me months to cut my bread intake down...cause I love bread (especially for breakfast)! But once I figured out healthy breakfast options I actually enjoyed i was able to cut the bread. And recently, I cut all my sugary snacks out as well. Trust me I still indulge here and there but overall I have significantly cut those out of my daily intake in the past 2-3weeks.
    So I am now only 18-23 lbs away from my goal for October, which means at 1lb/week I could actually make my goal.... especially if I start measuring my food. Honestly, if I can only get 15lb off by October, I will still be happy with that! Especially now that I see the inches are telling the true story. Hope this encourages anyone else who might be seeing the scale move slow at times. Get the measuring tape out!
  • elizabethmcopeland
    elizabethmcopeland Posts: 167 Member
    it took me four years to lose 25lb, but I took the slow and steady body recomp route. I personally love the muscle I put on while eating at maintenance and learning what works for me to build consistent habits. I am pretty sure I look a lil smaller than the 175 I'm clocking but who even cares. I like my body.

    This year, I've started being serious about consistently eating in a deficit; I've gone from 183 to 174 so far this year, I think I'll do another five lbs and then maintain a little.

    It's amazing how easy it is when you just be honest about your intake and do what works for you. :)

  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 2,015 Member
    First off, congrats on the progress you've made!

    Yes, measurements and progress photos are a big key when you're trying to lose weight.

    And yes, you may need to adjust your goals, I know I've chosen to give myself a range to hit rather than strictly sticking to my previous weight since I'm now doing a focused lifting program and I'm pretty sure I've got more muscle mass now than I did then.

    As for the meals thing, I'm finding meal prep to be HUGE in my ability to stay in my goals without stressing about everything, all day, every day. I cook meals that fall into a calorie range for that meal (ie 400-550 for lunches, 600-900 for dinners), and then just grab whatever I feel like that day, heat, and enjoy guilt free. Already been measured, weighed, and portioned, so I don't have to think about it!