Weight Loss Support - Losing weight, but no change in fat %. What's going on?

01-29-2012, 08:45 PM
I've been eating clean, most of the time, since the second week of this month. So far I've lost 6.5 pounds and happy with my progress. However, one thing I cannot figure out is the fact that my body fat % remains the same as I slowly lose the weight.

I don't think I'm getting fatter because my body fat % is not increasing. I've only been walking roughly 10 miles per week...and that's just me walking to and from work 5 days a week. I plan to start gym workouts in a couple of days.

Any idea what's going on here? Shouldn't I be losing at least 1% body fat along with the pounds?

01-29-2012, 09:57 PM
Weight loss isn't just fat loss--people also lose lean body mass when dieting. Also, body fat percent just doesn't change as quickly as pounds do.

Don't worry about it at this point. You don't say how much you weigh, but if you drop 20 pounds and there is still no change in body fat percent, then you can do two things: (1) increase the amount of protein you are eating, and (2) add some training with weights or on weight machines to help keep your muscle.

Good luck!

01-29-2012, 10:23 PM
How are you determining your body fat %? If you are using a scale or one of those handheld things, they are notoriously inconsistent anyway. You want to look for a long term trend, not daily/weekly numbers. Keep doing what you are doing!

01-29-2012, 10:31 PM
I'm determining body fat % by my scale. My scale gives me weight in pounds and body fat %. I've also noticed that when check my weight immediately after taking a shower, my body fat % goes down 1 to 2 percentages. It's a bit strange.

01-30-2012, 09:29 AM
The scale measures body fat by measuring electrical resistance. This isn't electricity you can feel--it's the same kind of device as the hand held ones.

If you weigh right after a shower, the dampness of your skin will change the electrical resistance and give a different reading. Better to weigh always under the same conditions, e.g., first thing in the morning, before a shower, after peeing, before eating or drinking anything. That's the only way to get a consistent reading from one measurement to the next.

If your scale also tells you water percent, you'll notice that that varies, too. Usually fat percent is lower when water percent is higher.

Watch the trends over time, not the differences from one day to the next.


01-30-2012, 09:36 AM
I've heard body fat calculators on scales are notoriously inaccurate.

It's pretty impossible to avoid losing some muscle mass when you're losing weight. You don't need all of it when you're smaller after all!

Are you strength training to keep the most amount of muscle mass you can?

01-30-2012, 09:49 AM
Like other said:

- the scales are notoriously inaccurate. That being said you're going to get the best results when you're hydrated and underneath the exact same conditions every day.

- take measurements!!! Unless you can get a more accurate body fat percentage (like through callipers) then look at the changes in your measurements.

- It is natural to lose muscle mass when you lose weight. The absolutely best way to preserve that is through weigh bearing exercises. Heavy lifting is my #1 recommendation but if you aren't a memeber of a gym you can also do body weight exercises at home (squats, lunges, push-ups etc).

- Cardio is great for your lungs and heart but it's not going to build muscles (or maintain them) like lifting will. Cardio builds up your endurance, but doesn't actually increase the muscle mass itself.

Also, congrats on the weight loss so far!

01-30-2012, 10:47 AM
Congrats on your weight loss!!! And I wouldn't worry about the fat percentage showing on your scale - like everyone else said, those measurements are notoriously inaccurate. Just keep moving forward!