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Does Weight Loss Always Mean a Change in Clothing Size?
One of the most common goals of weight loss, especially for women, is to be able to wear a smaller clothing size. It is easy to understand why; our culture places a great deal of value on size, and most of us would prefer to shop in the “misses” department than in the plus-size section. But does losing weight always mean that your clothing size will shrink, and is this really a good way to gauge your fitness progress?
Typically, when someone says they are trying to lose weight, what they actually mean is that they are trying to get rid of body fat. Fat distribution varies greatly from one person to another; while you and your sister may be approximately the same height and weigh about the same, you may have problems with belly fat, while she can’t seem to get the better of her thighs. So while you may wear an XL top and size 8 jeans, she may be able to wear a Medium t-shirt, but end up stuck shopping for pants in the size 14+ section. While it would be nice to be able to point to the problem areas and see the fat disappear from that part of the body first, it’s not that simple.
Where does fat disappear from first?
In spite of all the advertisements for “super-foods” or other products that can help you lose fat from a specific part of your body, this is simply not possible. Fat tends to disappear at a more-or-less even rate all over your body – when you cut back on calories and begin losing weight, you will tend to see an overall loss, not a reduction in one targeted area. To be clear, you may notice that your breasts have gotten smaller one week, and that your jeans are beginning to get baggy the week after that, but in general, your fat loss will be fairly even.
Is it possible to lose weight and not see a change in clothing size?
You may notice that although the numbers on your scale are dropping, you aren’t able to fit into a smaller jeans size just yet. There could be a number of reasons for this. When you first start to lose weight, much of this will come from fluid loss, as your body adjusts to the changes you are going through – while your weight will drop, you may not see much difference in your clothing size. No need to be discouraged – eventually, as your fat percentage drops and you build lean muscle mass, you will see the results you want.
Is clothing size a good way to judge my weight loss progress?
Realizing that your clothes are too big can give you a huge emotional boost – a smaller clothing size is definitely an indicator that your weight loss program is working. However, you should not rely on this indicator alone to keep track of your progress; if your size doesn’t change quickly enough, you may become discouraged, even though you are still on the right track. Another thing to keep in mind is that clothing sizes are not uniform; a size 6 from Banana Republic can be quite different from a Gap size 6. Your best bet is to use two or more different methods for tracking your progress, such as weighing yourself periodically or checking your size with a measuring tape.
As you advance toward your weight loss goals, you will find your self-confidence building. You will feel better, have more energy, and look better – no matter what clothing size you wear.
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