Out, Out, Damn Scale! Losing Inches But Not Weight Is Still Fat Loss

Losing Inches But Not Weight Is Still Fat Loss

Losing Inches But Not Weight? Here we go again…It’s still fat loss

How the hell does your body hold onto weight and still manage to get smaller while you are on your chosen low carb diet?!? Losing inches but not weight? You know the scenario: You are on Induction for two weeks, and you haven’t cheated even once. You notice that your clothes fit better, that you are stepping a little livelier, and as far as you’re concerned, all’s right with the world.

But then you step on that evil construction of the Devil himself, the bathroom scale, and you instantly feel betrayed. The stupid thing insists that you have done nothing! Sometimes, it even states you have done less than nothing; it accuses you of cheating because it tells that you haven’t lost any weight! Well, there area couple of simple explanations to help you get through this trying time.

First of all, if it is at all possible for you to do so, since you are losing inches but not weight, throw that insipid Monster Scale in the trash. Or at least put it up somewhere that it is really, REALLY inconvenient to get to so that you won’t be tempted to ask it’s opinion every single day of your life. Face it. If you are feeling better and your clothes are looser, do you really need the scale to tell you that you’re on the right track with fat loss? No! You don’t! Why do you think you do it, then? I’ll tell you why. The low fat diet demons have a tenacious hold on your brain. That’s right, you’ve been brainwashed. All your life they have told you through doctors, dietitians, newspaper and magazine articles, surgeon generals and the like, that you give up X calories per day your fat loss will be a pound of fat. They even go on to tell you how much fat you should lose each week. In the process, they’ve made you dependent on the Monster Scale to gauge your progress! It doesn’t help when you’re losing inches but not weight on your low carb diet.

What a big lie about fat loss!

Even on the diets that “they” advocate, the Monster Scale does not often cooperate. You go back to the Diet Demons and demand to know why the scale does not reflect the torture you have put yourself through for a month. They immediately start backpedaling on the “give up X calories and lose a pound of fat” story, and start talking to you about water retention and muscle buildup. It’s always water retention and muscle buildup. Sometimes, they even blame it on you with questions like, “Are you sure you counted the calories in everything you ate?” (This is delivered with a knowing little smile that makes you want to rip their knowing little face off.) Being the type that is given to blaming things on yourself, anyway, you cooperate with an answer like, “Well…..” They pounce on this with “Ahhhh, well..” Then, they launch into one of their scoldings/lash/encouragement speeches about you and not your fat loss.

So, get off their bandwagon, already! Losing inches but not weight is still a good thing!

Then, there’s the competitive spirit. You hear about what other people have done on your chosen diet. Yes, Brian went on an Atkins low carb diet a year ago and lost over a hundred pounds. Yes, a hundred pounds in a year is over eight pounds a month, or 2 pounds a week, or .0119 pounds per hour…but, “Hello? You ain’t Brian!” And, did Brian ever say that he lost .0119 pounds per hour? No! He said a hundred pounds in a year on his low carb diet. This only proves he got on the scale twice; a year ago, and yesterday. Take a hint from Brian. Stay off the scale!

The second solution is to understand what is going on in your body in light of the current state of human affairs. Today, all a person has to have to eat every day is money and transportation to a grocery store or, better yet, a nice restaurant. However, your body’s survival instincts have not matured in a million years. Your body still thinks you are a hunter-gatherer. Yes, in spite of a million years of evolution, your body still thinks you are going to have to go out and kill a mammoth to eat. The survival instincts with which you are going to have to come to terms are read-only memory. You can’t overwrite them. Deal with it.

That said, let me tell you what happens when you lose a pound of fat. Your body has been saving this fat for that long hunting expedition you’re going to have to go on to track, kill, dress and retrieve that huge animal. It keeps the fat in little pillows distributed throughout your body. When you start losing fat, it doesn’t trust you to continue whatever insane path you have chosen that is causing the fat to dissipate. So, when the fat comes out of the pillow, it injects water as a “place holder.” Sometimes that water actually replaces the weight of the fat it lost. Sometimes it replaces the volume.

Water weighs more than fat just like lead sinkers weigh more than feathers. If you stuff a pillow with a pound of feathers, you’ll have a nice big pillow. If you stuff a pillow with a pound of lead sinkers, you’ll have a nice (but rather hard and uncomfortable), small pillow. Now, let’s say your body removes a pound of fat and replaces the weight with a pound of water. Your weight will stay the same, but you will be smaller. But, if your body decides to replace the lost fat by volume, that is a quite different story. Remember the great big feather pillow as compared to the tiny lead sinker pillow? Well, now think of a gallon of feathers and a gallon of lead sinkers. Try to pick up the gallon of feathers. Piece of (you’ll pardon the expression) cake. Now, try to pick up the gallon of lead sinkers. Sucker’s heavy, ain’t it? So, you will be smaller, but you will have gained weight.

Eventually, your body makes the executive decision that you are not going to replace the fat you lost, and it lets go of the water. In the words of Danny Skaist: “When your body accepts the fact that they are no longer needed, the water will be expelled and the cells closed. This is known as the “whoosh.”

What makes your body decide to replace by weight or replace by volume? I dunno. But I do know that it does not seem consistent to the casual observer. What makes your body decide that you are seriously not going to replace the fat you lost? I dunno. But now you know why it’s so important to drink your water, huh? Loss of fat is inextricably related to water intake. It’s more than a little foolish to go on a diet that facilitates the removal of fat and then refuse to give your body the tools it needs to do so.


Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a scientific explanation of fat loss when losing inches but not weight. It is simply meant as an easy to relate to and easy to retain workable explanation. In the words of Dan Williams: “Someone else can go into more of the science of it.”


  1. Michelle says

    What an awesome article! I was giving myself some destructive mental talk earlier this morning. I hopped on the scale yet again. I am still the same weight that I have been for the past two weeks. I know that I am losing inches left and right, though. I am so glad that I discovered this article. Thank you for posting this! I really am going to make the effort to lock the scale away in my closet. I may weigh myself on just a monthly basis, but it has been driving me nuts weighing myself weekly. I may even take Brian’s outlook and weigh myself next year 😉 I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration, and I will be sharing your article everywhere!

  2. beth says

    Thank you for this article, i echo the comments posted before mine, i have been doing a low carb diet for about 8 days, and my pants fit better, but my scale has not really moved much..maybe a pound or two..but i just feel…lighter..looking forward to the woooshhhh!

  3. MARLEE says

    Thanks!!!! This is the info I have been looking for. When you reach this stage it can be frustrating and discouraging. Staying the course is the only good option.

  4. Catherine says

    I feel so much better after reading the article. I have lose inches according to my clothes but at the Drs this more his dam scale hurt my feelings and I was about to give up after all no lbs lost so why continue right? Thanks to the article I am going back to what I have always said before- ditch the evil doer known as “THE SCALE”!!!!!!

  5. Deeo says

    Awesome article! I was down a pound yesterday and up 2 pounds today. Strange but my clothes are getting looser. I have lost a total of 7 pounds in about a month and a half. But the past 2 weeks i have been up and down a pound or two. I just don’t get it. More water i will be drinking. I will not give up because i my clothes are getting looser. Not to mention bread makes me bloat and i feel so uncomfortable.

  6. Heather says

    OMG! THIS morning, after knowing I look better, lighter, faster, stronger hahaha 😉 and I had read to measure myself first day – THANK goodness. 17 DAYS and I’ve lost 5 1/2 inches round my waste! but the scale only says 9.5 lbs! My husband and I talked and I said, “how is that possible? I’m doing this to the LETTER, MTC oil, bombs, the whole 9, not one bump, so natural for me”…and YOU ANSWERED MY QUESTION. I’m so damn ready to give up conventions, like weighing myself every day…I mean, I KNOW I’m smaller DUH…cuz those conventional “diets” of the 80s and on, MADE ME overweight AND THAT SCALE? Oh it and I don’t talk much let’s just say. *holds up hand* So having it tell me I’m not looking and feeling as good as I AM?! Oh HECK no.

    So, ta ta scale *holds up finger defiantly* weigh this. 😉 ..OK maaaaaybe once a month. 😉 lol

    Thank you thank you thank you…I’m FREE!! Man, people should talk MORE about what Ketogenics does for one’s general MOOD along with the energy (your first paragraph made me laugh so hard, thanks!)…you know? I have been grieving and sad after I lost my mother for FOUR YEARS too, as well as packing on the lbs. and I have never felt more even, cool, happy and clear *shrug* since day 1 (of course about three days of flu-ish feelings but then BOOM) – they REALLY should prescribe this diet for mood disorders too, I’d bet.

    LOVE TO ALL. Don’t stop – FOR YOU ~ Hez

  7. Rebecca Robinson says

    Great Read!!! Thank you!!!

    I am compelled to tell you tho (I cannot help myself!! ITs one of my pet peeves!) that feathers DO NOT weigh less than lead weights!! A pound of feathers and a pound of lead is STILL A POUND!!

    HOWEVER, a pound of lead TAKES UP LESS SPACE than a pound of feathers. So while overall, this makes sense, it is perpetuating an error in thinking that I see folks post about all the time.

    A pound is a pound is a pound. It just takes up different amount of space depending upon what it is made of :)


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