When it comes to any weight loss journey, motivation plays a significant role. Both men and women need some hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Such hope keeps them pressing on, no matter how challenging the journey becomes. Knowing the first signs of losing weight may help in giving them such hope. The problem is that most people do not know any of these signs beyond a drop in their weight.
There are so many signs you can look out for and determine if you are on the right path or not. They do not only consist of physical signs. This perhaps might explain why most people miss them since they are looking for the first physical signs of weight loss. The signs are well-rounded and can be mental as well as emotional.
In this article, we will discuss some vital first signs to look out for, indicating that you are losing weight. Surprisingly, they are all hidden in plain sight. Take a look!
The Healthy Weight Loss Concept
Before we even discuss the signs, let us first evaluate what weight loss entails. When it comes to shedding pounds, most of us want to do so in a jiffy. You perhaps might have heard or also wanted to lose weight in two weeks or less just before an important event. It could have been your prom, birthday, or wedding.
Unhealthy Weight Loss Risks
The reality is that rapid weight loss is very dangerous to your health. Besides involving in extreme exercise and diet efforts, it also raises various health risks. According to WebMD, rapid weight loss is associated with the following (8):
These are most likely to occur in 12 to 25% of individuals who have shed tremendous weight in a short duration.
It is also likely to occur if you limit certain nutrients’ intake. In most cases, it occurs due to low protein intake for various weeks.
It is also likely to occur but is also easily preventable through frequent consumption of water.
They may also occur and can be life-threatening.
Such as headaches, muscle loss, hair loss, water and lean tissue loss, fatigue, irritability, dizziness, constipation, and menstrual irregularities.
Such concerns make experts want to advocate healthy weight loss. Healthy weight loss tends to be slow and sustainable. It does not involve unrealistic goals such as losing 10 pounds in 10 days. It is more long-term and advocates for long-term changes in your diet, movement, and thinking.
Healthy weight loss targets losing 5 to 10% of your body weight with a 6-month duration (1). It means that if you weigh 160 pounds, then your goal should be losing 8 pounds. Similarly, if you weigh 200 pounds, then target shedding 10 pounds, which is roughly 4.5 kgs (9).
Although the pace may appear to be quite slow, it is, however, safe. You will not experience any of the other health risks from the pace of such a program. Additionally, such a pace can help you maintain your weight loss program over the long run.
The changes you notice with such a weight loss program are deemed sustainable. However, in a rapid weight loss journey, such changes tend to be short-term. You may end up gaining all the weight back after breaking your back to lose it, and in a very short time frame.
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First Signs Of Losing Weight Healthily
As mentioned earlier, the key is losing weight safely and in a healthy manner and not just quickly. So, if you take up a reasonable weight loss program, you should notice any one of the following signs:
A Drop In The Scale
Of course, most people turn to the scale to determine if they have dropped some pounds. It is a popular way to determine if your weight loss journey is progressing or if it is at a plateau. However, it is not something you need to do every other day.
Using the healthy weight loss concept, Mayo Clinic acknowledges that you may lose either one or two pounds in a week (13). So, if you weigh yourself after two weeks, you might notice a drop in either two or four pounds. This may seem like little in results but it is not.
Do not beat yourself if this is not what you expected. Remember that one pound of fat (roughly 0.45 kgs) has 3, 500 calories. To lose it one week, you will need to burn at least 500 extra calories daily. By the end of the week, you will be able to burn 3, 500 calories (500 calories x 7 days) (13).
You can hit such a target in various ways. They include:
Maintaining a Calorie Deficit
The first practical method to help in attaining such a goal is maintaining a calorie deficit. This means consuming fewer calories than your body burns. You will have to determine your daily or weekly calorie intake before you can create a calorie deficit.
According to Medical News Today, you are not supposed to create a calorie deficit that exceeds 7, 000 calories weekly (1,000 calories per day) (6). So, seek professional advice and help when you start working on a calorie deficit.
Eating Healthy Meals
You will also manage to lose either one or two pounds a week by eating healthier meals. Focus on healthful meals and snacks that range within your daily calorie intake. They should consist of 50% fruit and vegetables, 25% protein, and 25% whole grains (1).
Changes In Your Body Measurements
One of the first physical signs you will notice, indicating weight loss, is a change in your body measurements. This tends to be more telling compared to the scale. Due to this, most people prefer using body measurements instead of the scale to track their weight loss.
Before starting your weight loss journey, you will be required to take various body measurements. For example, measure your waist-to-hip ratio. Your waistline tends to be quite telling on how close or far you are to a healthy weight.
According to WebMD, your waist sheds light on the fat around your belly, which is associated with numerous health conditions. For instance, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure (12).
For men, your waistline should not be more than 40 inches. On the other hand, a woman’s waistline should not exceed 35 inches if you are not pregnant (12). Therefore, if you notice that your waist size is shrinking, then it means you are on the right path.
You do not have to go to a professional to determine such measurements such as your waist size. You can simply buy a measuring tape and then follow these steps to record your waist size (12):
- Stand upright and wrap the measuring tape around your waist. Target the area just above your hip bones.
- Do not press the tape on your skin such that it is tight. Instead, let it be snug.
- Take the measurements just after you exhale.
Again, like the scale, you do not need to take such body measurements daily. You can limit the measurements to monthly or after every two weeks.
A Better Fit Of Clothes
Of course, when you lose extra pounds, you tend to fit differently and better into your clothes. Instead of squeezing into your jeans, you will notice that they will slide on smoothly. Similarly, you might notice that the muffin tops that used to form when you wear jeans are either disappearing or reducing.
Such changes can be quite motivating, especially if you were on the verge of giving up. They tend to be more telling about the progression of your weight loss journey, even before you jump on the scale.
Muscle definition is also among the first physical signs of losing weight that you may notice. For some, it may take weeks and for others, it may take months. We all build muscle at different rates due to factors such as genetics, sex, and age.
However, faster results are guaranteed if you take up a challenging, consistent, and long-term exercise regime (4). You are advised to take on a strength training program if your goal is building muscle mass.
That said, Medical News Today acknowledges that the muscle definition observed will be dependent on the existing muscle mass. The more visible muscle present at the start of such a routine, the more changes will be noticed during the exercise (3).
Changes In Your Active Levels
One of the most recommended practices that aid in weight loss is exercise. Regular exercise allows your body to burn more calories, a process that is vital for fat loss. For successful weight loss, you are required to stay consistent in your exercise program.
Likewise, with time, you are required to increase the frequency and intensity of your workout routines. Slowly and gradually increasing the intensity, duration, and amount of exercise helps with sustainable weight loss (2).
As you do this, you will notice some changes in your active levels. You will slowly accomplish things that you could not. For example, if you could not take the stairs to the third floor, you will notice that you now can.
Similarly, if you could not walk for more than 10 minutes, you will notice that you now can even take brisk walks for 30 minutes. Such minor changes indicate that you are on the right path to losing weight and staying fit.
They also promote weight loss. For example, taking brisk walks ranks as a cardiovascular activity that also helps your body burn more calories. Walking for 30 minutes daily helps you burn an extra 150 calories or more (2). If you increase your pace and duration, you might end up losing more calories.
Better And Improved Health
Another sign that you are losing weight safely and effectively is improved health. People who are obese or have an excessive amount of body fat tend to report numerous medical problems. Such problems increase your risk of more fatal health conditions including (7):
- Heart diseases and strokes
- Cancers of the cervix, breast, rectum, colon, uterus, endometrium, ovary, gallbladder, esophagus, pancreas, liver, prostate, and kidney
- Type 2 diabetes
- Digestive problems such as heartburns, liver problems, and gallbladder disease
- Gynecological and sexual problems
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However, risks for all these health issues tend to reduce when you make efforts to lose weight. Because you are eating healthy and exercising regularly, you tend to reap numerous health benefits. Let us evaluate some health benefits you acquire from such practices:
Improved Heart Health
Weight loss involves eating healthy meals. Most of these meals include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, low fat or fat-free dairy products, and fiber. Such food sources have been known to reduce blood pressure or hypertension. This is among the major health concerns in the U.S. associated with heart failure, stroke, and heart attacks (10).
Reduced Cancer Risk
Most healthy meals tend to be rich in antioxidants. Consuming foods with antioxidants protects your cells from damage, thereby reducing your cancer risk. Such foods include dark leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, carrots, pumpkin, and berries.
A healthy diet helps in the maintenance of cognition and brain health (10). Such a diet includes plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamins C, E and D.
Exercising and eating healthy tends to improve your mood. Medical News Today states that eating a diet with a low glycemic load can reduce symptoms of fatigue and depression (10). Likewise, exercising also triggers good hormones that tend to leave you in a better mood.
A Better Sleeping Pattern
According to Mayo Clinic, many obese people tend to experience sleep apnea. It is a detrimental sleeping disorder where breathing tends to repeatedly stop and start during sleep (7). It happens when during sleep, the throat and tongue muscles become more relaxed.
This particular soft tissue may block the airway. This is to mean that sleep apnea increases your mortality risk. However, when you lose weight, you tend to reduce your risk of sleep apnea and its associated mortality and breathing problems (11). Similarly, you tend to get better rest and generally improve your sleeping pattern.
A Better Eating Pattern
Another sign that you are losing weight is an improvement in your eating patterns. In most cases, people who are not trying to lose weight do not have a standard eating pattern. They may eat at any time and whatever is available to them.
However, dieting is imperative for weight loss. With time, you will start noticing that you snack less and eat certain food portions (5). Such food patterns do not contribute to weight gain. Instead, they may help you maintain a calorie deficit and promote weight loss.
The Bottom Line
You do not have to drop weight fast to notice some changes proving you are losing weight. Rapid weight loss has fatal health risks and its results are not sustainable. The key to losing weight in face, waist, and overall body is taking up a healthy and safe weight loss journey.
Such a journey does not entail unrealistic goals or efforts. Instead, it is quite practical and assures long-term results. With such a program, you will notice some first signs of losing weight such as changes in your body measurements.
You may also report a better mood, sleeping pattern, muscle definition, and improved health. If you notice such changes, keep going. This means that your weight loss program is indeed working.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 tips for successful weight loss (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Can I lose weight if my only exercise is walking? (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- How long does it take to build muscle? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to build muscle with exercise (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to follow a healthful diet (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to safely and effectively create a calorie deficit for weight loss (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Obesity (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Rapid Weight Loss (2019, webmd.com)
- Unexplained weight loss (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- What are the benefits of eating healthy? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What Happens When You Lose A Lot of Weight (2020, webmd.com)
- What Is a Healthy Weight? (2019, webmd.com)
- Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What’s wrong with fast weight loss? (2020, mayoclinic.org)