There’s an increased awareness about health, and as a result, many people are trying to stay healthy and look their best at the same time. If losing weight is your goal, then that’s a good goal.
Typically, people measure their fitness goals by the scales. They believe that the more weight you lose, the better your fitness plan is. While that is true to an extent, it is possible to work out really hard and only lose inches but not weight.
So, is losing inches but not weight a good thing? Definitely! While it may sound bizarre to work out for months without little or no change in body weight, it could be an indication that while you are losing fat, you are also gaining muscle.
In fact, many fitness experts discourage the obsessive use of scales in the measurement of fitness goals and sometimes encourage their clients to celebrate losing inches as opposed to weight because of the following reasons:
Muscle Is Denser Than Fat
What this simply means is that it takes up less space than fat, so if you’re actively exercising and replacing muscle with fat, while your body size may shrink, your weight may not.
Lost Inches = Beneficial
Research has shown people with a wider waist to be at risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. So, losing inches off your waist without dropping weight can be beneficial.
Building muscles can help speed up your basal metabolic rate; which is the amount of calories you burn when you are at rest.
Minimal Risk of Diabetes
When it’s full-blown, diabetes can be debilitating. Studies have even shown that a wider waistline can be linked to an increased risk for the disease. Therefore, losing inches around the waistline is not just aesthetically pleasing but great for your metabolic health.
Improved Quality of Sleep
There’s more to losing inches than a looser pair of jeans. Did you know that losing inches of significant areas in your body can improve the quality of your sleep? Studies have shown that obesity is linked with the sleep apnea condition, which makes breathing difficult during sleep. Losing fat can also prevent snoring!
Is Losing Inches Better Than Losing Weight?
Your body weight, as measured by the scale, gives you a sum total of everything your body is made up of; water, fat, muscle, bones, etc. When you lose weight, you could be losing any of the aforementioned components of your body, which is not necessarily a good thing.
Losing weight, especially without trying to build muscles, can result in the loss of lean muscle, which is responsible for strength and endurance. Fat loss, on the other hand, can be extremely beneficial, especially if one is overweight or obese.
So, yes, losing inches is preferable to losing weight.
True, seeing a decrease in body weight on the scale can be a great source of motivation. It can be a sign that your journey to fitness and workout plans are effective; nevertheless, physical fitness shouldn’t be entirely tied to how heavy or light the scale says you are.
Think about bodybuilders: they usually have little to no fat on their body, but many of them would send the measuring scale’s pointer to the far right if they ever stepped on it despite the fact that they’re fit. The goal should always be physical fitness and health.
Why You Aren’t Losing Fat or Inches
It can be very discouraging to exercise and not see any difference in your appearance. Certain factors play a role in this unwanted phenomenon. They include:
A Low Protein Diet
Studies have shown that a high protein breakfast can result in fewer food cravings. This, in turn, reduces the caloric intake per day. Which is a good thing, because eating more calories than you’re burning is a sure way to retain fat.
Several studies have linked sleep deprivation to obesity.
Most organisms adapt to their environment and stress levels, and you are no different. If your body adapts to your workout routine, you’ll find it hard to shed the fat, so switch things up.
Burn Fat, Build Muscle
Forget about fad diets that promise overnight transformation, burning fat while building muscle is a sure way to have an attractive build and healthy body. While it doesn’t happen overnight, the following would help you burn fat and build muscle.
Cardio and aerobic exercises such as jumping rope, jogging, and jumping jacks can help with burning fat and consequently losing inches around specific body. In addition to cardio, weight training can be incorporated into workouts to help with muscle building.
You might have heard the phrase, “abs are made in the kitchen,” and while you can’t literally bake yourself a six-pack, you can tweak your diet to enable you to get a body that you can be proud of.
If you want to build muscles, you shouldn’t shy away from protein. But not all proteins are created equal. Choose proteins lower in saturated fats such as chicken, salmon, and lentils.
Other Exercises That Can Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
You don’t have to be Mike Tyson to enjoy the benefits of spending some time in the ring. Adding boxing to your workout regimen can be incredibly beneficial. It engages the whole body, helps one burn fat as well as build lean muscle.
A really interesting sport. Very tough and demanding, though. Playing tennis gets you running around, jumping, and doing a lot of stretches. It builds strength, endurance, and definitely helps you lose a lot of inches and weight.
Yes, you read that right. Dancing can be an effective way to lose fat. Because it is fun, and not as challenging as some other types of exercises, people are more likely to stick to it. Not everyone is a great dancer, but the great thing about dancing is that you don’t need to be a professional to enjoy its benefits. The Irish step dance is a great way to work on your torso and feet.
Can you burn fat from playing basketball? Yes! And not just that, basketball is a sure way to keep your upper body lean. It does wonders to the legs and thighs too. Also, it keeps your muscles toned. Because of how fast paced it can get, it can be useful in shedding fat.
This is a sure fire way to lose weight and build muscle. Incorporating weights into your workout can completely change the way you look.
What if you don’t have access to weights? Pushups, squats, tricep dips, pull-ups are bodyweight exercises that can help you build a nice, toned body.
Things to Keep in Mind
Now we know that losing inches without weight loss is not a bad thing, especially when you’ve been working out. But, getting there can prove challenging, especially for beginners. While it is tempting to use shortcuts, it is not advisable.
Trying to cheat your way to a slimmer waistline can be likened to using a get rich quick scheme; it is unreliable, and more often than not, the weight comes back. The best way to a healthy body is through proper nutrition and exercise.