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How come some people lose inches so fast?

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #1
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Question How come some people lose inches so fast?

I have been doing zumba since the last week in January and for the past few months I have been doing 1-hour classes 4 days a week for the most part. I took measurements February 1st and I just checked tonight to see the difference. I haven't checked in awhile because it was depressing. I never lose inches! I admit I didn't start dieting until June 14th, but you would think going from being a couch potato to sweating my butt off doing intense workouts that I would have noticed a difference without dieting. I have definitely seen results. I know my legs are somewhat smaller and more muscular and I can tell I am stronger even in my arms. Mainly I can tell a big difference in my stamina and that I take the stairs a lot more at work and walk my son to the bus stop every chance I get. I'm a lot more active and I like the instant mood boost I get after zumba class.

My complaint is that I read all these comments on different weight loss websites where people say things like I lost "18 pounds and 8 inches," "15 pounds and 4 pant sizes in two months," "24 pounds and 20.5 inches," etc. Those are just a few I seen tonight in one thread. What I want to know is how I've lost 85 pounds and only like 3 pant sizes???!!! I don't have my measurements from back in July 2011 when I first started dieting. I went totally off my diet over the holidays of 2012 and by June 2013 I had gained like 25 pounds back, so I just recently lost all that I had gained back. I just measured today and I've lost a couple of inches here and there, but nothing like these other people are saying. I'm sure part of the difference is the fact that I have excess skin and others that never have been over 300 pounds don't have that problem. Even though my arm muscles are much better than before and I feel stronger and more toned, when I measure it doesn't show but maybe a half inch difference because of all the skin hanging down underneath. My waist is a few inches smaller and I lost a couple up under my bust, not much difference around the hips. I did lose some in my legs, but not as big of a difference as I thought there might be. And how do you know if you are measuring in the same places each time?

I don't mean to go on and on, but it's so frustrating because I don't understand why it's so hard for me to see visible results when someone else can lose just 15 pounds and go down 4 whole pant sizes! Am I the only one with this problem?
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I was on the Atkins diet from July 2011 to October 2012 and I lost 73 pounds. October 15, 2012 started WW's and got down to 255. Gained 25 pounds through the holidays, but got back on track June 2013. Got off track through the holidays again and gained back 10+ pounds

I will continue my journey to the end, no matter how long that takes.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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I've lost 100 lbs and only one pant size.

How many inches and sizes you lose depends down to how big you are when you start and where the fat lost comes from.

The bigger you are, the more pounds it takes to go down a size, or lose an inch. Also, some folks lose weight fairly evenly (which translates into fewer inches lost in any one spot). Others lose from certain areas faster than others.

I'm losing in the reverse order than I'd like. I've lost 10" and 3 sizes in my bust, 5" and 2 sizes in my waist, and (barely) 3" and 1 size in my hips.

As you get smaller, it will take fewer pounds per size (or inch).

Some folks call this the "paper towel" principle (As a roll of paper towels gets smaller, each sheet you take away becomes more noticeable as the roll gets smaller).
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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I feel your frustration. It took about 75 lbs for me to notice a difference and actually need new pants. Due to my build and height. I carry all me weight around my hips and lower belly but no leg, arm, back or upper belly areas. Sure, I lost a few inches from those places, but couldn't really go down in smaller sizes because the fabric wouldn't go over my lower belly. It was...heart breaking, "why did I bother losing weight and making healthier choices if I STIlL look like a fat slob", was a mental thing for me. Eventually and finally it's catching up. From 300+ to below 200, size 14 Calvin Klein hip huggers. Finally.

Remember a lot of the other websites are going to try an sell you a product or convince you their diet is the one for you. Everybody is going to lose lbs and inches differently. My lower tummy area still has a lot of work to do an I've already accepted the fact that if I ever want it to be semi flat, that area at least will need skin removal surgery. Check out the maintainers forum, they'll be best able to guide you on when you can expect skin to start to bounce back, although 109% elasticity is highly unlikely
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:05 AM   #4
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I know this may come off as a little harsh....I don't mean it too but how many of us have squeezed into clothes that are really 3 sizes too small but we claimed that as our size. Maybe it feels like a small loss because we weren't honest with ourselves in the upfront.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:42 AM   #5
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The converse of sweetcakes point, I wore my clothes pretty loose always. After losing 20 pounds I was swimming in my already loose clothes and needed clothes sooner than people that wear more fitted clothes. After losing almost 40 pounds I'm down a couple of sizes.

Unlike kaplod I'm losing on the extremities, shoulders and my hips. My bust and waist is moving slower than the rest. I'm still buying boxy things and will until I have a shape. I kind of think all those inches are the total of several body parts too.
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakes736 View Post
I know this may come off as a little harsh....I don't mean it too but how many of us have squeezed into clothes that are really 3 sizes too small but we claimed that as our size. Maybe it feels like a small loss because we weren't honest with ourselves in the upfront.
There's a major flaw in your logic. Someone who habitually squeezes into the smallest possible size is most likely going to keep that habit when they lose weight. So they're going to change sizes at about the same rate (if not sooner) than someone who wears their clothing looser, because they're going to claim the smaller size as soon as they can squeeze into it.

Besides which, the OP, admits to losing 3 pant sizes, which is pretty damned good for an 85 lb loss. With her starting and current weight, it is quite a lot, actually.

In my own case, I NEVER squeeze into too-tight clothing, because I hate how it looks and feels, especially feels. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis and cannot tolerate the feeling of tight clothing, or eeven well-tailored clothing that is the least bit restrictive.

Even when I was younger and without pain issues, I was more likely to err on the side of comfort and slightly loose, but not baggy clothing (except in the 80's when baggy was "in").

As such, I'm pretty aware for myself of my "true" size, and what I'm experiencing now (and op's description of her experience) and what I've observed in others is all consistent with my previous post.

The amount of weight and size fluctuation, my current experience (and that of op) is pretty typical (except that when I was younger, the weight loss tended to be more evenly distributed. I still lost more off of my boobs than my waist and hips, but the differences weren't nearly as great.

When someone weighs more than 300 lbs, it's not unusual for a size change to require a loss (or gain) of 40-50 lbs.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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I like the paper towel theory. That sounds about right to me. I'm hopeful as I approach the 200 and under mark sizes will drop faster.

Also, how many places are they taking measurements for those inches? I did that Groupon for Curves. Went in yesterday for the before measurements and she took like seven or eight different circumferences. That would add up a lot after than just hips, waist, and bust.

Last edited by Darwin : 09-28-2013 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
There's a major flaw in your logic. Someone who habitually squeezes into the smallest possible size is most likely going to keep that habit when they lose weight. So they're going to change sizes at about the same rate (if not sooner) than someone who wears their clothing looser, because they're going to claim the smaller size as soon as they can squeeze into it.
I think for me squeezing into clothes at my highest weight was because that was the highest size in the store i.e. 16. Easier to squeeze in then try to find stores with bigger sizes. Although in a fairly big city there's not a lot of options. So once there were no options the only option was to lose weight. Now that I've lost some weight I find there are more larger options/sizes in the store and fewer small and even the sizes listed as small or extra small are more of a large. It has me perplexed because now I'm finding it hard to find clothes that fit at a smaller size and have to buy baggier clothes lol.

I think my waist I may have only lost a few inches so far maybe one in the chest but that's ok . Mostly have lost in my hips and bust and then other areas along the torso and in neck and face. Waiting for the day there is some waist movement (without sacrificing the chest) lol.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
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It was just a theory...that could be taken or left at will.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your responses. I take no offense sweetcakes. In my case I don't wear my clothing too tight, but I have a friend who does and as she loses weight she still squeezes into sizes that I would never wear at her size. Different strokes for different folks. Her body shape is a LOT different than mine and she only really has one major problem area where my weight is pretty much equal all over. It's astounding to me when she tells me the size pants she buys but she has to wear really long shirts to cover the top because they don't actually fit in the waist. It doesn't do any good when I try to give my opinion because she's convinced they look good. I know if she were to buy pants that truly fit in the waist they would be HUGE in the legs for her and she has no butt whatsoever. Men's jeans are what fit her best, but unfortunately she's also guilty of wearing the pants under her stomach like some men do. It bugs me so bad and half the time half her butt is showing when her shirt comes up. I've tried to tell her, but I've known her for over 20 years and it does no good.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get so off track. I guess it must be just the fact that I started out at such a large size. The paper towel theory makes sense. So does the theory about people measuring in many places and then adding them all up. I know I've lost a lot in my face, neck and chest/shoulder area and those are places I never would have thought to measure. I hope the next 50 pounds will make more of a difference as far as inches/clothing size goes. I have heard that it takes up to 2 years for your skin to snap back as far as it's going to. I know it's unrealistic to expect skin to snap back when it has been stretched as far and for as long as mine has.

It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who lost a significant amount of weight and only a couple of sizes. I guess I was just feeling jealous because every time I read one of those comments about only losing a small amount of weight and saying they went down like 4 sizes it just irritates the heck out of me and makes me wonder if they are lying. These are on message boards like this one and my fp and not just the advertisements for weight loss products. I guess I need to just be happy with the progress I've made and not let myself get discouraged and quit - again. The lowest weight I remember as an adult (early twenties) was 217 and I was just then getting into "regular" size clothes 16 to 18 I think, so I guess I shouldn't be so shocked. I want to get under 200 pounds so bad! It seems nearly impossible to me, but I know if I keep up with my diet and exercise long enough I will eventually get there. It's just so hard because it takes so long.

Thank you guys again for telling me your experiences and theories
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I was on the Atkins diet from July 2011 to October 2012 and I lost 73 pounds. October 15, 2012 started WW's and got down to 255. Gained 25 pounds through the holidays, but got back on track June 2013. Got off track through the holidays again and gained back 10+ pounds

I will continue my journey to the end, no matter how long that takes.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #11
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Hey sweetcakes736! I totally get what you meant. When I was smaller I tended to wear baggy clothes, and so they still 'fit' when I gained weight. I hate the clothes available to overweight people so I would try to hold off shopping as long as I could. So I have no clue what my size actually is ... I even have some sweaters and coats in my closet from high school when I weighed next to nothing.

So I don't know what my size was, but not because I like wearing tight clothes ... quite the opposite!
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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Another factor is how folks "count" sizes. I've found that many people will say they've lost two sizes, when they've only lost one, because they subtract the new size from the old size to get their count.

So if they wore a size 28 and now wear a size 26, they say they've lost two sizes, even though there is no size 27.

They're not necessarily lying, but it is messed up math.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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kaplods - I never thought of someone counting sizes like that. Very interesting.
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I was on the Atkins diet from July 2011 to October 2012 and I lost 73 pounds. October 15, 2012 started WW's and got down to 255. Gained 25 pounds through the holidays, but got back on track June 2013. Got off track through the holidays again and gained back 10+ pounds

I will continue my journey to the end, no matter how long that takes.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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For what it's worth, I've been well over 300 pounds myself, so I've experienced first-hand that the higher you start out at, the less the individual pounds show. I think it was a good 40 pounds before I managed to get down my first size.

Since I'm an apple, most of my weight is in my belly, and it's also my most stubborn area. In my case, it felt I was losing everywhere other than my stomach, which really prevented me from losing sizes. I went through very long phases of not being able to find jeans that fit properly; if they fit my hips and butt, there was no way I'd be able to fasten them. By the time I found a waist big enough to fit around me, my butt and hips were swimming. So frustrating! It's gotten better as I've gotten smaller, but I imagine it will always be a problem area for me.

Regardless, I spent much of my weight loss journey wearing a 22/24, which was probably when I was in the 250-300 lb. range. Before I got pregnant, I was down to 210-215 and was in a 16.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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elladorine - Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you and I are pretty similar body wise. It took a long time to get out of 24's, but they are finally too baggy to wear. Everyone keeps telling me I need to buy new workout clothes because they are getting too big, especially the t-shirts because I have always liked my shirts big and now they are really big lol. I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and go spend more money. Hopefully I can find a good sale. It took me months to finally talk myself into spending the money for a new, good pair of tennis shoes and I love them.

You have really made a lot of progress in a fairly short amount of time. Do you mind if I ask what kind of diet you were following before pregnancy. Congrats on the pregnancy as well
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I was on the Atkins diet from July 2011 to October 2012 and I lost 73 pounds. October 15, 2012 started WW's and got down to 255. Gained 25 pounds through the holidays, but got back on track June 2013. Got off track through the holidays again and gained back 10+ pounds

I will continue my journey to the end, no matter how long that takes.
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