Written by Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD on February 17, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

If you’re trying to lose weight, you can be utilizing a range to gauge your development.

If so, it have the right to be demotivating and also upsetting to discover that you’re not losing weight, also if you alert non-range indications choose your clothing fitting more loosely or the have to tighten your belt.

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This article looks at why you may be losing inches however not weight and also defines what you can perform about it.

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If you’re shedding inches yet keeping your weight and also you on a regular basis strength train, you may actually be losing fat and obtaining muscle. The process of getting muscle and shedding fat at the exact same time is referred to as body recomplace.

Most scales don’t identify in between the quantities of body fat and muscle you have. For instance, 2 world deserve to weigh 150 pounds (68 kg) yet have actually totally different body fat and muscle proparts.

In this instance, the perchild via a greater proportion of muscle to body fat most likely wears smaller clothes and has actually smaller body dimensions because muscle is denser and takes up less room than body fat.

Strength training combined with a reduced-calorie and high protein diet favors muscle acquire and fat loss, bring about body recomposition (1, 2, 3).

The simultaneous obtain in muscle and loss in fat can cause no weight loss or a lot slower weight loss over time.

This is one factor you shouldn’t count exclusively on the range to measure your progress once trying to lose weight. Besides, your proportion of muscle to fat is a better indicator of health than your body weight is.

While it’s not entirely accurate, you deserve to meacertain your body fat and also muscle mass at home making use of a body fat range (4).

A body fat scale is like a typical bathroom range, but it approximates your body composition by sfinishing a weak electric signal via your body (5).


Your body weight doesn’t tell the whole story. You may be concurrently structure muscle and also losing fat via a process referred to as body recomplace.

Weight loss is not a straight process — it’s full of peaks and also valleys.

Some days you may lose weight, some days you might obtain weight, and also some days your weight might not adjust at all. Part of the factor your weight fluctuates is bereason of fluid shifts or water retention.

You might retain water for a variety of reasons, including:

Water retention in these instances tends to be only momentary and also go amethod on its very own.


High sodium meals, anxiety, menstruation, creatine supplements, or specific medicines can promote temporary liquid retention, which might lead you to believe you’re not losing weight.

Most weight loss has a tendency to happen within the first 4–6 weeks of calorie restriction (11).

This weight loss tends to happen more quickly in civilization that follow a low carbohydrate or keto diet than in those that follow a low fat diet as a result of the loss of stored carbohydrates and also water (12).

In time, weight loss might reason your metabolism to slow, considerably decreasing the rate at which you shed weight (13).

Your weight loss may also concerned a plateau after months of restricting your calories. However before, this decrease in metabolism is mostly not substantial sufficient to reason a plateau in your weight loss (14).

Instead, a weight loss plateau wbelow you suffer bit to no weight loss often tends to happen as soon as you’re consuming more calories than you’re expending on a consistent basis (14).

In various other words, although you might think you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn each day, you could be consuming even more.

Thus, it can aid to track your calories for at least 1 week to identify whether your calorie intake is too high based on your requirements.

Remember that you’ll should repeatedly adjust your calorie intake as you lose weight, based on components prefer your age, sex, and also activity level.

If you find that you’re keeping a calorie deficit, other factors such as stress or a absence of sleep ca rise hormones that deserve to proccasion weight loss and also promote weight obtain (15, 16).


A weight loss plateau frequently occurs after numerous months of restricting your calories. For continuous weight loss, you may have to track your calories to ensure you’re maintaining a calorie deficit.

Weighing yourself is a good way to monitor your progress.

It can additionally reinforce the principle that components choose diet and also exercise relocate you closer to your weight loss goal, while others, like a absence of sleep and excess stress, press you farther ameans.

Undoubtedly, people who weigh themselves and engage in other self-monitoring behaviors, choose tracking diet and exercise, seem to be even more effective at both losing weight and keeping the loss in the long term (17, 18, 19, 20).

In spite of day-to-day weight fluctuations that may take place due to components such as water retention, a lot of study says that everyday weighing is more reliable for weight loss and maintenance than weekly or monthly weighing (21, 22, 23, 24).

This may be because world who weigh themselves even more frequently are even more likely to interact in healthy behaviors like reading nutrition labels, eating entirety grains, drinking less soda, and also exercising vigorously (25).

While weighing yourself has actually not been strongly connected through poor body image, disordered eating, or stress, some civilization may endure these impacts (26, 27).

If you discover that day-to-day or even weekly weighing leads to discouragement or obsessive actions, it might be much better to monitor your progress in various other means.

In either case, remember that your weight is not always a trustworthy indicator of your wellness.

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Daily and also more constant self-weighing has been linked via even more weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Still, your weight is not the finest indicator of your wellness.

There might be numerous reasons you’re losing inches however not weight.

You might be all at once obtaining muscle and also shedding fat through body recomposition or suffering temporary water retention.

You may have hit a weight loss plateau, definition you might must readjust your calories or much better control your stress and also sleep schedule.

Weighing yourself day-to-day or numerous times a week has been connected with raised weight loss and weight loss maintenance compared with less regular weighing, but you shouldn’t depend on the scale alone to meacertain wellness.