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Signs of Weight Loss

By Lori Rice ; Updated July 18, 2017

Sometimes weight loss occurs quickly and the physical changes are noticed simply by looking at a person. Other times you are likely making weight loss progress, but it takes longer to show. Rest assured that your hard work is paying off and avoid letting yourself get discouraged. There are several signs which indicate that you have experienced some amount of weight loss.

Declining Numbers on the Scale

The scale is the most popular form for estimating weight loss. It allows you to determine your weight in pounds and see changes throughout your weight loss journey. As the numbers decrease you are losing weight. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, a reduction of 3,500 calories is necessary for a 1 lb. weight loss; so while the scale is a good indicator of weight loss it often takes time to see significant changes in the numbers. Be sure to monitor how your clothes fit and how easily you move to gauge weight loss that may not be immediately evident on the scale.

Smaller Distance Around Your Waist

According to the National Institutes of Health waist circumference is a method of measuring body size that can be used to indicate health risk. Measuring your waist circumference is also another way to tell if you have lost weight. Wrap a measuring tape gently around your bare stomach and adjust it so that it is just above your hip bones. Allow it to rest gently against the skin and do not pull it so tight that it compresses the skin. Take the measurement and if the number has decreased you have likely lost weight. Aim for a waist circumference of less than 35 inches if you are female and less than 40 inches if you are male.

More Comfortable Clothing

One of the first signs of weight loss is feeling a difference in how your clothing fits. Weight loss changes the physical characteristics of your body by reducing fat mass and increasing muscle mass giving it a lean, toned appearance. These changes will make your pants, shirts and dresses fit differently. Your pants may feel lose around the hip area or perhaps you have to squeeze your belt one notch tighter to keep them from falling off your waistline. A blouse that once gapped between the buttons in the front may now lay smooth and flat. Shirts are often tight in the upper arms and back. If you find you have more room to move and reach in your clothing this is a sign that you have lost weight in the area.

Improved Mobility

Excess weight can keep you from performing regular activities of daily living. For example, a large stomach prevents you from seeing your feet, tying your own shoes or bending over to pick up an item off the floor. When you become capable of performing these kinds of movements and no longer find them as difficult as they once were, this is a sign of weight loss.

Similarly, there are lots of spaces and spots you have to fit into on a daily basis--the seat of your car, the seat on the metro, through a turnstile at sporting event or even the door of a shower stall. If you find that your bottom fits into a seat you were once too big for, this is a sign of weight loss. If you can squeeze through spaces you once could not or bump the walls less when moving around in this space weight loss has likely occurred.

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