Some people measure their weight loss by how many pounds it takes to drop a jean size. And your rate of weight loss can potentially help gauge how long it will take to lose a pants size, too.
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Here's what you need to know about weight loss and its effects on body size to help you estimate a timeline for swapping out your clothing.
How Many Pounds Is a Pant Size?
Unfortunately, no weight loss pant-size calculator is perfectly accurate, which is why there's no clear-cut answer for how much weight to lose to drop a pant size. That's because where you carry weight can depend on your genetics, body type and age, according to Penn Medicine.
What's more, shedding pounds doesn't always immediately translate to a smaller pants size depending on what ratio of body weight you lose. For instance, if someone who weighs 350 pounds loses 10 pounds, they may still wear the same clothing. On the other hand, a 100-pound person who loses 10 pounds may have to get smaller pants.
Similarly, the type of weight you lose can also determine how shedding pounds affects your body size.
For instance, muscle is denser than fat, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Losing fat may thus have a more significant effect on your overall body size than burning muscle (and besides, you want to preserve muscle to support strength and additional calorie burn, per the Cleveland Clinic).
So if you're wondering what weight is a size small or what's a size 10 jeans weight, it can vary from person to person.
Instead, it appears that waist circumference is a more effective correlate to pants size than weight. According to a December 2020 study in Preventive Medicine Reports, the bigger someone's waist circumference, the larger their pant size.
How Many Pounds to Drop a Shirt Size?
Just like there's no one number for how many pounds it takes to lose a pant size, there's no straightforward answer for how much weight loss is needed to lose a size in shirts.
That's because dropping a shirt size also depends on factors like your starting weight and body type.
How Long Does It Take to Drop a Pants Size?
Because clothing sizes don't always correlate to specific weights, there's no straightforward timeframe for how long it will take you to downsize pants.
But in general, experts recommend losing weight at the safe and sustainable pace of 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to the Mayo Clinic. For some, this may translate to dropping a pant size in a matter of weeks; for others, it may take months.
That's because how much weight is required to drop a pant size — and, as a result, how long it takes — depends on factors like your starting weight, how much body fat you lose, waist circumference and body type.
- Penn Medicine: "What Your Body Type Reveals About Your Health"
- Mayo Clinic: "Why do doctors recommend a slow rate of weight loss? What's wrong with fast weight loss?"
- Preventive Medicine Reports: "Body shape and pants size as surrogate measures of obesity among males in epidemiologic studies"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Body Mass Index and Body Fat"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Weight Loss: The Lowdown on Losing Weight"