What To Do When You’re Losing Inches But Not Weight

When you are trying to lose weight, stepping on the scale to measure your progress is entirely normal. It is an excellent way to gauge your progress and measure the success of your hard work.

What To Do When You’re Losing Inches But Not Weight

It is amazing that something so small as a number can hugely impact your day. Stepping on that scale in the morning before anything else can truly decide the mood of the day.

If that number is smaller than the day before you are probably going to feel on top of the work, satisfied that your hard work is paying off.

But, if you step on that scale that that number is larger than the day before you may easily become discouraged. Maybe you are not working out hard enough.

Maybe that piece of cake clung to your hips. Whatever the reason may be, that little number can affect your life quite exponentially. 

But, does that number actually matter? Just how helpful is it as a tool to help you track the progress of your weight loss story?

What should you do when you are losing inches but not weight? The answers to these questions might surprise you and hugely benefit you.

So, let’s learn the truth of weight loss and what you can do when you are losing inches but not weight. So, let’s get started!

The Truth Of Weight Loss

Most often when you do not realize that weight loss does not necessarily mean you want to weigh a smaller number.

More often it means that you want to slim down. You want the appearance of a slimmer person, you want your thighs to be slimmer, your stomach flatter, your arms less flabby.

Strangely this does not always mean that you will be losing weight off the scale. 

But, is it possible to get slimmer without actually seeing a reduction in your weight? The answer may surprise you because when you pack on muscle mass while losing body fat you can often see an increase in weight as opposed to loss.

This is because muscle weighs more than fat. But, you will appear slimmer and reach those body goals you so desire. 

So, even if you lose an inch around your waist your weight may stay the same and this is a sign that you are moving in the right direction.

At the end of the day, when you realize that it is more important to lose body fat and gain muscle you may find that you see the whole process and yourself differently.

When you get on a scale and you see a large number, you immediately find yourself thinking that you are fat. But what the scale does not tell you is how much of that weight is muscle mass, bones, organs, or fat.

For example, someone that is a bodybuilder might be heavier than you, but that does not mean that they are fat. They probably have a very low-fat content and large muscles which will weigh a lot.

This is why it is so important to understand your own body composition, otherwise, you will find yourself chasing something that you will never attain through healthy means. 

Another reason that gauging weight loss through a scale is not a good idea is that it can be really unreliable. Your weight will fluctuate as the day goes on.

It can even change as much as ten pounds and this can depend on how much you eat, what you eat, how much you drink, the water retention of your body, and how often you go to the bathroom. 

With all that being said, it is important to note that using a scale does have its place, it can be very helpful for those of us that are prone to weight gain, have been severely overweight in the past, or are trying to lose weight while obese.

This is because using the scale can have positive mental implications which help to keep you on track. It can be oh so easy for weight gain to slowly sneak up on you and seeing those numbers on the scale can really help you stay on top of your weight. 

What Is The Best Way To Track Weight Loss?

The fact of the matter is that you should not rely on using scales alone to measure your weight loss and progression. You are more than likely to be disappointed and you may even be discouraged and you may even be put off your keto diet for good. 

It is recommended that you use a few different methods to track weight loss. 

Below we are going to explore these options, so let’s get started!


If you are trying to measure fat loss one of the best ways to measure your progress is to take measurements.

While the reading a scale gives you will change depending on a plethora of factors the measurements you take will likely stay the same throughout the day and you will mostly see changes when you make progress.

The downfall of this method is that you may see changes when you are experiencing bloat or inflammation which are obviously not related to your weight loss.

But this will likely only affect your waist or belly area measurements. Your arms, legs, and anywhere else will mostly stay the same regardless of bloating. 

In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, taking measurements is a great way to directly see fat loss. This is because as you lose fat your body composition is changing.

So, when you use a scale and the numbers fluctuate you are not taking into account your body composition. Whereas when you are taking measurements you can definitely see where your body is changing as a result of your weight loss journey.

It measures your troublesome areas and also shows you a record of how your body composition changes over time.

Measure Body Composition

This method is excellent if you are interested in learning whether you are really losing fat. When we are talking about body composition we are talking about the ratio of fat and non-fat tissues or elements that make up your body. 

Those pesky fatty parts of your body will have a high density of fat in one area. With that in mind, it is essential that you know that all fat is not bad.

In fact, you actually need some to function properly. Fat actually helps all your body’s cells run and even protects your organs. But the fat that makes us obese or overweight is known as white fat and it is this stuff that is classified as ‘bad’.

This type of fat usually accumulates in trouble areas like the stomach, hips, thighs, and anywhere else that might be troublesome for you. 

Remember when we said all fat was not bad? Well, did you know that by having more brown fat, and good fat, you are more likely to have a healthier metabolism and this can help you lose weight all on its own. 

Eyeball It

This might sound like a silly method, it does not give you concrete information and is based on differences that you notice and taking note of how your clothes fit.

But, you can actually use this method to really help you measure your progress. One way you can do this is by taking photos every week or every month. Regular photos to compare with past ones will really help you to feel better about yourself. 

On top of that, you should always not only pay attention to weight loss. There are many other factors that the keto diet can affect in your life. In fact, you may start to see improvement in ways you did not expect. 

For example: 

  • A Reduction in Cravings for Sugar
  • Improved Energy levels and Less Fatigue
  • Your Skin, Hair, and Nails Look Healthier
  • Cognition is Improved and Brain Fog Reduced
  • You Experience Less Severe Mood Swings
  • Your Cholesterol and Blood Pressure are Lower


If you are doing the keto diet and working out alongside it, you could see and feel progress as you do. This might be physical changes or something as simple as noticing that your fitness has improved.

For example, if you start out unable to run for an hour and after hard work, you finally can, you can surmise that your fitness has improved. 

Why Are You Losing Inches But Not Weight?

All of this leads us back to the question, why are you losing inches but not weight? We have covered some of the reasons in passing, but in this section, we are going to go over the most common reasons in a bit more detail. 

So, without further ado, let us get started!

Water Retention

If you have ever paid attention to professional fighters, actors, or bodybuilders you may have noticed that they put themselves through regiments that involve dehydration and sweating.

Both of which help them to lose weight quite fast. But, if you are not careful this kind of technique can be deadly and you should not take it on unless you talk to a professional trainer or even your doctor.

The point here is that water weight can weigh quite a few pounds and this can be one of the big reasons that your scale is reading higher numbers than you anticipated. 

But, it is fine! Drinking lots of water is extremely important and good for you. Drinking enough water helps improve your metabolic functions.

This may include digestion, metabolism, and appetite control. For these reasons, it is essential that you do not dehydrate yourself just for the sake of the scales. 

Did you know that there are many reasons that you may be retaining water? Below is a short list of the most common reasons why this could be happening to you:

  • Healthy Water Consumption – If you drink a normal, healthy amount of water your body will naturally retain it and this is not something you should try to change. 
  • Some Supplements – If you are taking supplements that contain certain substances like creatine for example you may notice that your body also retains more water. This will usually happen in the muscles and it is not something that you should worry too much about as these supplements are designed to help;p you reach a strength or muscle mass goal. 
  • Thyroid Issues – These adrenal glands are very important glands that secrete hormones that will help to control your weight. If you eat healthy food in the right proportions and workout regularly and your weight still does not budge it may be due to t an issue with your thyroid. If you think that you might have an issue like this you should see a medical professional so that they can diagnose you and offer you treatments. 
  • Medication – There are some medications that can cause your body to retain more water than it naturally would. If you think that this is the case it is important that you speak to a medical professional so that they know that this medication may be causing you issues and is hindering your weight loss journey. 
  • Menstrual Cycle – For people with a vagina and female anatomy, there are the added issues of menstruation and the monthly cycle which causes water retention. These people also often see weight fluctuations as a result of their natural hormonal cycle. The good thing about these issues is that the water weight will usually dissipate once the cycle ends. 


Inflammation can be a big thing when it comes to diseases and unwanted issues with your body. It can be largely responsible for affecting food intolerances, gut health, and even digestion. All of these things can hugely affect the weight you see on the scale.

Inflammation often happens when you ingest foods that cause inflammation. These foods can vary from person to person but some of the common ones are sugar, gluten, and refined carbs.

These foods cause the immune system to send out white blood cells that are used to protect, restore and repair the homeostasis within the body. 

When you continually eat these inflammatory foods, no matter what they are for you, your body’s immune system gets kicked into overdrive and your body becomes unable to protect you from so much damage at any one time. 

When this happens free radical toxins take control of healthy cells which mostly gather in the organs that are used for digesting.

At this point, your gut will become inflamed and this means that you are unable to assimilate food as effectively. Some symptoms you may experience could be GI inflammation, bloat, gas, abdominal pain, constipation as well as several other nasty symptoms.

What To Do When You’re Losing Inches But Not Weight (1)

All of these things add more weight to the scale

If you are really unlucky and you have chronic inflammation you may even experience hormonal imbalances and this can have an impact on your blood sugar levels, leptin resistance, and cortisol.

A lack of these things can affect your ability to gauge whether you are full or know which can lead to eating disorders. 

But, what can cause chronic inflammation? Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons: 

  • Sedentary Lifestyle Choices
  • Stress
  • Not Enough Sleep
  • Not Enough Exercise
  • Long Exposure to Pollutants
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Food Allergies
  • Some Medications

You do not have to despair, the keto diet is a great way to reduce the risk of inflammation, and if you practice this lifestyle for an extended period of time or even make it a part of your lifestyle you may even start to see that symptoms of inflammation will subside or at least improve. 

Muscle Growth

If your goal is to build muscle and you are working out a lot, losing inches but not pounds is ideal. It means that you are putting on muscle weight and that your body composition is changing.

Working out replaces bad fat with lean muscle which, as we know, weighs more than fat. Depending on what your goal is you will need to pay attention to how fit you are and how your clothes fit as opposed to looking at a number on a scale. 

Best Way To Achieve Both

If you are set on losing both pounds and inches you will need to stick to a low-carb keto diet. The progress you might see may or may not be slower than average, but if you stick with it, you should achieve the same goals as everyone else.

Remember that the process of losing inches or pounds is not a quick process and it will take time regardless of how you go about it. 

Final Thoughts 

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to losing weight. Whether your goal is to lose inches or pounds does not matter. It will be essential to do what is right for your body and that may differ from the next person. 

A good place to start when it comes to wanting to achieve a certain body goal is to speak to a personal trainer or dietitian so that they can help you to achieve exactly what you want. 

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and we hope to see you in the next one. Goodbye for now.

Anna Kadance