Why Am I Thinner But Not Losing Weight?

Measuring waist
A man measuring his waist (Image: oonal/iStock/Getty Images)

The scale is not the best determinant of a healthy body weight. You may long to see the number go down, but it doesn't tell you if your body composition -- or ratio of lean mass to fat mass -- is healthy. If you've been exercising as part of your weight-loss efforts, you may notice that your body looks and feels thinner, but that the number on the scale doesn't budge. This is because you are likely building muscle while losing some fat. Muscle tissue is denser than fat, so a pound of it takes up less space. You'll look leaner and have a healthier body makeup without seeing a change on the scale.

Lean is Healthy

Losing weight doesn't guarantee you'll improve your health. You can still have a disproportionate amount of fat, which means your metabolism crawls along at a slow pace and, if much of this fat is concentrated in your middle, it puts you at a greater risk of many chronic diseases. A lean body, even one that exceeds the "ideal" weights listed on height-weight tables, tends to be healthier and slimmer appearing.

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