Why am I losing weight but not body fat percentage?
January 21, 2010 10:12 AM Subscribe
I'm losing weight but my body fat percentage isn't changing much. Should I change something or just be more patient?
After being thin most my life, I put on about 100 pounds over the past five years and became almost completely sedentary (bad reaction to stress, lots of comfort and boredom eating and drinking). In September I started doing Weight Watchers and going to the gym, with the goal of losing 100 pounds.
I've lost 50 pounds at a pretty steady rate of two pounds a week (sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more). My BMI has gone from 36.8 to 30.1 (so I am still fat). I have a scale that measures body fat percentage, but I haven't been tracking body fat percentage the way I have the weight. However, I have recently realized that it's stayed around 44% for the past month. I honestly don't remember what it was when I started but I know it was in the 40's. So, at most, my body fat percentage has gone down maybe 5%.
So, my question is WTF body fat, basically. I thought losing weight the way I have been--averaging two pounds a week, eating when I'm hungry, not starving myself--was the way to lose fat, not muscle. And yet, I am just about as fat, as a percentage of my body weight, as I was when I started.
Possibly relevant info--I've been eating within my WW points range, although not eating fruits or veggies at all until very recently. (There was a question here recently about green smoothies, which are awesome! And I've had more fruits and veggies in the past week and a half than in the past year, probably. Seriously, I have had a hell of time making myself eat veggies. Bu I lost more weight this week than usual.) I don't really want to eat more to slow down my weight loss because I am trying to only eat when I'm hungry. Eating more would require eating when I'm not hungry.
I have been working out with a personal trainer twice a week doing mostly body-weight circuit type stuff--lots of lunges and squats combined with presses and curls with dumbbells and lots of core. I also do 30-45 minutes on the elliptical 3-5 times a week. I've been focusing on getting my sedentary butt moving again, hence all the cardio. I can definitely see a big difference in my strength and fitness level, which is another thing that makes me feel very frustrated about the body fat percentage. I just don't feel like I'm still carrying as much fat as I was. And if I'm stronger, shouldn't that equate to me gaining muscle mass, not losing it?
So, I guess I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion about this. Am I still just so fat that I won't start seeing real changes in the percentage until I lose more? Is the scale wrong? Should I be doing something different? Should I stop worrying about the number and just focus on how I feel?