Do you make this obvious mistake when measuring your fat loss progress?


Comparing your rate of fat loss change to another is like comparing apples to oranges.

Comparing your rate of fat loss change to another is like
comparing apples to oranges.


Do you compare your rate of change to another person?

It is like comparing apples to oranges.  All of us come into the process with a different genetics, age, height, body fat percentage, health, physical conditioning, history of dieting, and the list goes on.

Fat loss does not happen linearly, it happens in random chunks.  We all have some periods of time where it appears that nothing is happening.  People call it a plateau but it is not really a plateau.  It’s just that the body weight scale can’t tell you what is happening. Water alone can fluctuate several pounds within any given day!

There are far to many factors that the scale can’t show:

  • allergies
  • muscle soreness
  • inflamation
  • muscle building
  • water retenion
  • food allergies
  • sodium
  • water loss
  • hormone fluctuations
  • food digestion
  • food allergies

And many more…


Water in the body can fluctuate several pounds on any given day

The body weight scale is really only good as a trend over time, sometimes months.  It took me two years to lose 60 pounds; think about that, it’s not very fast (probably because I’m very tiny and short;  it included large chunks of times where it appeared no change was taking place.  But I stuck with the process and didn’t worry about it and finally something kicked loose.  It happened in random chunks like that the whole time.  It’s a good thing I didn’t get discouraged and give up or I would never have achieved my goal and I wouldn’t have the new life I have right now.

Sometimes people give up and if they would have waited just a week longer they might have gotten their random “whoosh”.  That whoosh is sometimes just what you need to keep you going again through the next apparent plateau (which really is not a plateau).

New people come in all the time and complain that nothing has happened for 3 weeks!  

Three weeks is not very long at all.

Most of us do see results in 3 weeks but it really depends on the randomness that your body decides to drop it.  Usually those that have their big “losses” in the beginning will eventually also have some slow down and chunkiness in progress.

This is exactly why Jake protected his wife from seeing the scale when she was in the last contest.  Michelle talked about how that worked for her and then John explained why that was such a clever idea!  It’s probably a big reason she stayed motivated and came in first place.  It is also exactly what I did in VT4 where I got first place.


Be encouraged by users in the community who sometimes had to wait 6 weeks to see results!

Here’s a list of ladies in the forum who had to be very patient and some of them waited 6 weeks before they saw a change. These ladies are always encouraging others and have great stories and words of wisdom.

Read their blogs and be encouraged and inspired.


Valerie in MT

Living vintageously in a modern world







Lou Ann Tigergal








Here’s some words of wisdom from John Barban on the subject:

The terms ‘fat loss’ and ‘weight loss’ often get used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t.

 If you lose a pound of fat, then technically you should weigh a pound less. This however is hard to detect if your daily water fluctuation and the amount of food and drinks you have in your body can be as much as 5-7lbs in any given day. If you just drink a few glasses of water you will easily be a pound heavier due to the extra water weight added to your body. Eating a big meal can easily add 3-5 pounds of weight to your body while you’re digesting and assimilating the food. These are temporary gains in body weight and do not necessarily mean you’ve gained body mass be it fat or muscle. It’s really just food in your gut.

 Understanding that your daily body ‘weight’ can fluctuate 3-5 pounds just from the weight of the food you have eaten it’s not surprising that you may not really be able to detect a 1 pound decrease in fat mass. At least not detectably on a scale.

 Also when you have a significant amount of fat to lose (in excess of 40lbs) you’re body will be carrying excess water along with the excess fat. This means that if and when you decide to start cutting fat you will experience a ‘weight’ loss that exceeds your actual ‘fat’ loss. As you lose body fat you will also lose a certain amount of excess water retention. This is a good thing as excess water makes you look smooth and bloated and it takes away from your muscular definition.

 It’s typical for someone to lose twice as much ‘weight’ as ‘fat’ in the initial stages of a fat loss cut down. Someone who needs to drop 40lbs will likely see a big weight loss at the beginning. It’s a good bet that in the first 2-4 weeks at least 50% of the ‘weight’ that is coming off is water, the rest is actual fat. This higher ratio of weight loss to fat loss starts to drop as you get to lower body fat percentages.

 It seems that as you drop below approx 25% body fat you can assume that most of the actual weight you lose is due purely to fat loss.

 Finally when you’re close to or below 20% body fat or lower you may notice that you get visibly leaner and can lose fat without seeing your bodyweight change much at all. At this final stage you will be lean enough that even minor changes in fat levels will make a difference on your visible definition. These changes will be proportionally small when it comes to measurable weight, however the changes they make to your visible definition will be big.

 It’s true that losing 1 pound of fat when you’re body fat is 30% will not even be noticeable, however losing a full pound of fat when your body fat is 20% will make a dramatic difference in your look even if the scale doesn’t budge.

 Finally your muscle hydration and weight training status will also change how full and heavy your muscles are on a day to day basis. Having fully hydrated and glycogen loaded muscles can dramatically increase your bodyweight, even if it only lasts for a day or two. This ability of your muscles to swell with water, nutrients and glycogen can also throw off your measurement of fat loss vs weight loss. When you’re very lean you can actually lose fat, and even gain weight at the same time. These likely won’t be huge swings but it’s definitely possible.

 In summary:

 You can you lose fat without losing weight.

 You can even gain weight while losing fat.

 If you have lots of fat to lose, you’ll start out by losing significantly more weight than is accounted for by fat due to a reduction in water retention…this is a good thing.

 When you’re approaching 20% body fat and attempting to cut even lower you will likely get leaner without seeing much of a change in body weight. (this odd effect is partly why people think the last 10 pounds are harder to lose.)

 In reality they’re still losing fat but the total amount of weight that is coming off starts to slow down.



User quotes show how wildly the rate of change varies for each person

I went through the blogs today for a couple of hours and collected various progress report quotes from the top of blogs (you might see some of your own words here).  They are in chronological order from the last couple of weeks.  I was actually happy to see that most were happy posts, but some were frustration.

Besides the fact that the rate of change varies quite wildly from one person to the next, so does the mindset.  Some people were happy with just a few pounds where others had lost more than that and were unhappy and frustrated.  Mindset is EVERYTHING!



It was my weigh-in day this morning, and no movement, same as last week. BUT, I lost an inch off my bust, from 37″ to 36″, which I am hoping is my back bacon, and not my boobs! HA! Hey, a loss is a loss, am I right?


Week 10 and I lost another pound. My official weigh in days are Thursdays, but I couldn’t wait this morning. I had to see. Last week 158.6, this week 157.6. WHOA! This is weird to me because I lost close to 5 pounds the first 2 weeks on this program, then is slowed to about a half pound/week after that. It was slow going. I was starting to get frustrated, but I promised myself I wouldn’t quit.


Week 6 almost finished. The inches are coming off, but extremely slow!! I’ve only lost one inch in the waist, one inch in the shoulders, and 1/2 inch in the hips in the last three weeks!!! I guess it’s better than nothing.


It’s a lifetime of habit; but it was worth it. I am down 9 lbs. in 11 days.


The first week on this I only lose 2 pounds…..I hoped that by the end of week 2 I would have lost alot more, because I really tried hard this week. I didn’t lose any pounds…I’m very discouraged. I have 105 pounds to lose and I am tired of trying. I always hope but it seems like those dreams are always dashed….not sure what to do right now..any help?


I have lost 7 1/2 lbs to date and I have lost a total of 4.5 inches off my body. Things are changing, at a pace I can manage 🙂


I’m feeling so good about myself I’m down 5lbs in the first week. I’ve done a ton of reading and making sure that I’m active everyday.


Well I completed my first two weeks.
I am only down 4 pds overall….just yesterday I was down 5pds…lol
Trying not to get discouraged after listening to some people who have lost 9 pds in first week…….everyone’s different


I’ve determined that even though the scale as not even budged a 1/10 since March 7th, that I still must be doing something right. I lose anywhere from a 1/4″ to 1/2″ varying from every spot I measure (upper arm, shoulders, waist, hips, upper thigh). My muscle is getting better; I see some serious arm muscle when I flex. I REALLY wish the scale would keep going down, though. I’m going into my 10th week and I’ve only lost 13 pounds or so I dunno…. I’m sort of frustrated. It’d be great if I at least went down a size… what gives?


Well, i officially ended week 1 and could NOT be happier with my results! I am down 8.2 pounds in 7 days, which is more than I lost in 2.5 months on Weight Watchers this year!


Well I’m slowing down. The first 2 weeks that I was on the program (2 weigh in but only 11 days) I lost 3.5 lbs each time. The following 2 weigh in were 1.5 lbs each and now today’s was only half a pound!


Can I just say how excited I am? I started out at 188 pounds, and weighed in this am at 176. I am down 9.3 inches, too.


So, this morning when I weighed myself I was 174.2 Yippee!
It seems like so long ago, but last year before getting pregnant I weighed over 200 pounds.


Ok so I’m almost 2 weeks in and have only dropped 3 lbs, but not seeing any significant change. I’m kinda thinking the amount of carbs is a bit high on the meal plans. I see loads of post of women that are dropping weight like crazy. Any suggestions as to what has helped make significant changes in other people?


I’m going to start week 5 and I’m stuck in -4 pounds. I don’t know what happens. I don’t have any problem with the calorie intake and also I’m doing 3-4 times exercise per week I believe in the program but, something is wrong with me.


In that three weeks I lost 2 lbs….. but it was 2lbs of FAT, I am positive there was no water loss this time. I can fit into a size 4 jeans still 7 lbs from my ideal weight range and 21 lbs from my target weight! Soooooo cool! And here I was thinking I was sabotaging myself…. silly me….


I started on week 5. I did finally weigh myself – 11 lbs down since the end of week 1. My work belt and pants are definitely looser. I haven’t done any measuring lately.


Was 78.6kg (2 weeks ago) Now 73.9kg I just wanted to scream it out loud LOL


Yay down 5.6 lbs!!! Started at 196lbs and now 190.4lbs. Love that I can still eat what I want as long as I am still within calories. Workouts are going well too as I have lost inches too.


I lost another two pounds, one inch off my hips and two inches off my waist. This is awesome.
For me I can tell that shoulders and thighs are going to be the slow ones.


Okay week one weigh in. I lost 1 pound and 1 inch. Hopeful to lose more. My son been great. We been doing Zumba together.


I have had a moderate start to Venus. I had a little over 60lbs to lose. So far I am down 14!


I was surprised to see that I am down 9 lbs. woohoo
145 to 136. I’m getting my fit on. I am really liking the results!


I am coming to the end of week 10 and I am happy that I have reached my Venus goals for my hips and shoulders, but my stomach is 3 or 4 inches away. My progress has been slow, but I am almost there. I am 9 lbs and 3 inches always from reaching my Venus goal. I don’t think that I will do it in the next 2 weeks. but I will get there. I hear the last 10 lbs are the hardest to lose.


So here are the results for my first 12 weeks.

Started at 92kg or 202.5lbs now 79.8kg or 175.7lbs with a loss this week of 1.7kg or 3.7lbs, total lost of 12.2kg or 26.8lbs.

Shoulders total loss of 14cm or 5.6 inch
Bust total loss of 14.5cm or 5.8 inch
Arms total loss of 5cm or 2 inch each
Waist total loss of 14cm or 5.6 inch
Hips total loss of 21.5 cm or 8.6 inch
Legs total loss of 8cm or 3.2 inch each

Grant total of 90cm or 36 inch

I have been on the program for one week. I am down one pound.


Definitely feeling smaller all over and clothes looser. Weight is down 16 lbs and waist is 2″ smaller.


Well, finishing up week 3 and enjoying the diet.
Its not as hard as i thought it would be. I didn’t lose any weight again though. That is very frustrating. I saw 169.2 once and then the next day right back up over 170 again.
So very frustrating!!


Down to 145 this morning!! Hello size 10! (Down from 13) can’t wait to buy a pair of size 8 jeans….hopefully soon!


This week I managed to be 1 pound lighter and remove .5 cm from my waist.  Total of 7.6 pounds in 3 weeks.


Well, I am simply AMAZED to find that I am not only loosing weight but also loosing inches everywhere… Down to 9 pounds of weight loss & more than 12 inches here and there after 3 weeks.


I just finished week 12 on the program and I feel fantastic! I lost 3 more pounds this week for a total loss of 22 pounds since the beginning of January!


Start date: 30/12/2013 Waist: 81 cm Shoulder 110cm and weight 63 kilos
Today: Waist 74cm Shoulder 102cm weight 56.3 kilos
Total Lost to date Waist -7.0cm Shoulder-8.0cm weight -6.7cm
So in just over 3 months I am nearly 7 kilos lighter, which is fantastic.


So after my first week I am down 5 lbs.


It’s the end of my fourth week and NOTHING is happening! I waffle between 209 and 208. My measurements are exactly the same….I am soo frustrated!



Wow, that sure is a lot of variety.  So what will you do next time you start to get discouraged?

I hope you come back and look at some of the community blogs for encouragement, read John’s words of wisdom, or just focus on the process.

Have a great weekend!


You can find me in the Venus online community as RobertaSaum.

About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

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