Yes, that’s right. You can take an inch off your waist or your thighs while gaining a couple of pounds overall. And that just might be exactly what you need.
Muscle tissue in our body is dense, but fat tissue is less so. Which means that if I somehow waste away an inch of muscle off my thigh, I could lose 2lbs off the scale. But if that same inch was mostly fat tissue, then my weight loss would be 1.5lbs.
Or think about it the other way around: gaining 5lbs of body fat will take up more space on your body than 5lbs of muscle.
Why does this matter? Because, whenever someone starts to get back on track with diet and exercise, their body experiences some small steady changes. Two changes specifically among others: lean body mass GAIN, and body fat LOSS.
Basically, your body is replacing the fat with the muscle.
This is good! But here’s the rub: the scale might not show you this.
Instead, 4 weeks into your newfound healthy routine, your scale still shows you the same body weight. And you’re thinking: why isn’t this working?
Actually, what you’re doing IS working. You’re losing 1lb of fat and gaining 1lb of muscle. Your body is slowly and gradually slimming down because the muscle gained takes up less volume than the fat did. Actually, you might start fitting a little better in your favorite pants even before you see any significant changes on the weight scale.
Bottom line: weight measurements are somewhat crude and should be used carefully. They are definitely not the only measure of progress. How your body feels or how you fit in your clothes can be just as meaningful. If you ask us, we like to measure progress by how well you’re able to stick to your new health routines, first and foremost. We know the rest of the “good stuff” will come eventually.
Keep at it.