“I’m losing inches but not losing weight 😭”
I couldn’t believe the first time I had a client send me that with a crying face emoji.
I was like…
What in the actual F$#@!
I didn’t send that back, but I’m pretty sure my face went into spasm because of the numerous conflicting emotions that ran across it.
When I finally responded…and I’m pretty sure she saw text bubbles pop up and disappear for at least 5 minutes…
I said, “Out of curiosity, why do you say that as if it’s a bad thing?”
“Because I need to lose 50lbs and the scale isn’t budging!”
Over the years, my replies to this conversation have evolved.
And yes…I’ve had this conversation often…so if, right now, you’ve basically sent yourself that mental text…
Because I’m going to explain why you’re losing inches while the scale isn’t changing and how this is actually a GOOD thing!
Don’t sabotage yourself by getting discouraged!
I’ll then share 3 essential steps to achieve amazing body recomp and build your leanest strongest body no matter your age.
So why are you losing inches while the scale isn’t budging?
Because your previous dieting practices have sabotaged your body composition and metabolism.
The reason so many of us struggle to achieve our ideal weight and body composition is because we’ve lost muscle over the years and never put an emphasis on building it.
And all those weight loss fad diets only make our body composition worse.
They keep us stuck in that yo-yo dieting cycle…
We starve ourselves, slashing our calories lower to lose faster on the scale as we increase our cardio, turning even our strength workouts into destructive sessions of cardio death.
And while this may have yielded weight loss at one point, and “worked” to see fast results that fade quickly…it killed our muscle and our metabolism.
It’s 100% why we feel like it gets harder as we get older and especially during perimenopause and menopause.
Our body is already changing and on top of that we have to fight our previous diet and exercise practices…
Sorry don’t waste your breath defending them.
I say this after having been guilty of them too. But I’ve now sucked it up and owned it to move forward.
And this is why you’re now seeing inches being lost without the scale changing.
So…Why is this a good thing?
Your body is screaming at you…
“FINALLY! I CAN BUILD MUSCLE!”
And it is doing just that.
It is healing your metabolism.
It is building the lean muscle you need to be fitter and stronger and healthier.
And those inches you are losing is actually fat being lost.
Not just water weight. Not just glycogen depletion.
Not as much muscle as fat disappearing.
But because you’ve put yourself on this horrible yo-yo dieting roller coaster in the past, your body first wants to build this metabolically amazing muscle…
And that is why the scale isn’t changing.
You’re doing things the right way this time.
You’re setting yourself up to be lean and freaking fabulous at every age moving forward.
So don’t sabotage yourself.
Realize your body is thanking you for giving it the ability to gain muscle.
And weight loss will follow if you trust the process.
But don’t let the scale not changing as you LOSE INCHES make you sad in the slightest.
Now the 3 Essential Steps To Keep This Amazing Body Recomp Happening…
You want to do everything you can to promote muscle growth which will help you lose fat and ultimately achieve your weight loss goals….and keep the weight off.
However, this process isn’t fast AND can be frustrating because we aren’t getting the satisfaction of the scale changing.
A huge part of the battle over even what macros to use or what workouts we should be doing is getting ourselves to stick with the habits we need when we aren’t fully seeing results in the way we want….
Often we don’t need more “tactics”…we need more TIME for results to build.
More time creating new systems that lead to results and break those bad habits that are keeping us stuck.
Which is why Step #1 is to Fight The Urge To Do What You’ve Always Done.
It’s going to be hard to change your mindset and approach to weight loss.
You’re going to have to keep reminding yourself not to default back into old habits and patterns.
To not want to cut your calories lower.
To not want to train longer or add in more sessions.
The hardest part often of making changes is often UNLEARNING or breaking those old habits.
Especially when the old habits are comfortable and we “feel” like they used to work to some extent.
This is why it can be helpful to write out the habits we often WANT to fall back into to make them conscious while listing out what we want to do instead.
This can remind us to stay focused on the new habits we want to build while catching us if we do track back toward what we used to do.
We want those conscious reminders.
We also want to set out other ways to celebrate wins with the new habits and remind ourselves they are paying off even while the scale may not be changing.
The more ways we measure progress, the more ways we can see our success.
Take those body measurements. Track those strength gains in the gym.
Heck set a performance goal for yourself to help you have other reasons to want to keep doing the habits you need.
Show yourself how this is paying off in so many other ways so you can get yourself buying into the process to keep doing what you need!
And even list out all of the reasons why what used to “work” didn’t really work!
Too often we just want to do what we’ve always done because it is comfortable.
But if it worked so well, we wouldn’t be trying to reach the same goal again.
Remind yourself of the pattern those old habits lead to.
Remind yourself of the negative outcomes.
Help yourself see why you deserve this change and why it is worth it!
Step #2: Focus On Nutrition By Addition.
Part of what also sabotages our success in reaching our body recomp and weight loss goals is the mindset of restriction.
We always turn to cutting things out.
And cutting things out can not only backfire because we aren’t eating enough to support building lean muscle, but also from a long-term ADHERENCE standpoint.
When we feel like we are deprived or restricted and working SUPER HARD toward a goal, we feel we DESERVE better results faster.
We want the outcome to match the effort.
So the more we feel like we are having to do so much to not see the results we want, the more likely we are to give up when things are working.
This is why you need to approach nutritional changes with the mindset of what you can ADD IN first over what you need to cut out.
This can also help us focus on FUELING our body to feel more energized, train harder and support lean muscle growth.
Instead of focusing on what you need to cut out to make changes, focus on what you can add in that will help things shift.
Even consider how you can still work in things you love by ADDING other things around them that balance out.
Love dessert, but need to increase protein?
Don’t cut out your dessert!
Put that in first then find other ways to add in protein to other meals to still find a balance.
Focus on things you can add to make healthy changes and better fuel your body.
By focusing even on how we can drink more water, add in more fruits, consume more vegetables, we often will make changes that pay off without getting ourselves into a restriction focused cycle!
Step #3: Train To Build.
Stop seeing your workouts as a chance to burn more calories.
This creates that cycle of doing more in our training that ultimately not only leads to injury, but a lot of wasted effort.
Doing more reps, training for longer, can end up in a lot of wasted time and volume just for us to try to burn a few more calories in a day.
The simple fact is, you can’t out exercise your diet.
And the more you try to, the more you don’t truly get the benefits of your training you should.
If you want amazing body recomp, muscle is magic.
While your diet matters to building muscle, your training matters most.
If you don’t train to build, creating progressive overload, you won’t create the stimulus for growth.
And building muscle will not only help you look leaner and lose fat, but it ultimately will help you feel younger and move better.
If you love long bike rides or running marathons, you can still do the training you love.
But by focusing more on strength work as well, you’re ultimately going to be able to do more of what you enjoy AND even achieve new personal records.
So as much as you may not “enjoy” the strength work, you need to remind yourself of the value for both your performance, aesthetic and even LIFE goals.
When you design your workout routine, your goal should be on building muscle.
Especially for amazing body recomp, focus on full body workouts or hemisphere over body part splits to be efficient in your training and work more large muscle groups per session.
This also allows you to hit areas more frequently.
And design for the time you have so you can get consistent with that schedule!
Then make sure to push yourself to maximize the reps you do while not just eliminating rest!
Think quality not quantity when you train!
As much as your goal may be to ultimately lose weight on the scale, if you’re losing inches and not yet seeing the scale budge, do NOT give up.
Remember this is a GOOD thing.
Stop the extreme deficits.
Stop the fanatic cardio sessions done purely to burn more calories.
Start focusing on muscle.
Use these 3 steps to help you dial in your lifestyle to achieve amazing body recomp!
If you’re looking to have all 3 steps combined into a personalized plan, check out my 1:1 Online Coaching!