Ever wonder what you would look like if you lost weight? Well, thanks to technology, you can use a weight loss simulator to envision your appearance once you shed pounds.
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Here's everything to know about what weight loss really looks like, plus weight loss visualizer apps to try.
How Can You See What You Will Look Like After You’ve Lost Weight?
There's no way to know exactly what you will look like when you lose weight, as what weight loss really looks like (and how you carry weight in general) can depend on factors like your body type, genetics, age and gender, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Still, weight loss visualizers can come in handy if you're curious how you would look if you lost weight. Here's are some of the most popular weight loss picture apps to consider.
Visualize You App
Most people start out on their weight loss journey full of enthusiasm to shed some pounds and get fit. Unfortunately, if things don't progress the way they expected, many will lose the motivation to keep pushing forward, and eventually, throw in the towel. That's when using an app or weight loss simulator may come in handy.
There are several online virtual weight loss programs that allow you to see what you might look like after losing weight. One app, in particular, the Visualize You app, seems to be the leader in weight loss simulator programs.
According to their website, the Visualize You app transforms a current picture of you to a self-defined "goal weight." In other words, you can use your phone to transform a picture of yourself at 175 pounds to see what you might look like at 145 pounds.
While Visualize You uses your current height, weight, and picture, there is never a guarantee that you will look like the after photo. In other words, if you’re going to try a weight loss simulator or app, make sure you understand the limitations.
Other Weight Loss Simulators
In addition to the Visualize You app, there are a number of online simulators that can help you visualize what your body look likes after weight loss.
1. Change in Seconds
Change in Seconds is a virtual weight loss imager that uses your height, weight, body type (apple, hourglass, pear) and your goal weight. While the image is not of you, they have a virtual model that displays a current image of you and what you may look like at your goal weight.
2. Model My Diet
Model My Diet is another virtual body fat simulator program that uses your body type, current weight and goal weight to display a virtual image of you at your desired weight. One of the benefits of this site is they have a program for people assigned male at birth and people assigned female at birth.
Like the Visualize You app, these weight loss simulators have limitations, especially because the image you see is a model, not a photo of you.
That's why it's important to use these programs in moderation: If you feel that you're getting too focused on the "after" image they display, you may want to take a step back and spend your energy focusing on daily habits like moving more and eating nutritious foods that fuel your body.
Weight loss doesn't have to be about your physical appearance. Instead, celebrate non-scale victories like having more energy or accomplishing a fitness goal.
Tips for Losing Weight
The internet is full of quick weight loss tips and tricks that promise to deliver some impressive results in a short amount of time. Quite often, what these claims forget to mention is that any type of rapid weight loss that requires you to drastically change your lifestyle, is likely to be short-lived.
In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends a weight loss of one to two pounds a week, as it is more likely to help you maintain your weight loss for the long term.
With that in mind, a good place to start is with your diet. Take inventory of how you eat, how much you eat and how often. Choose three days to log your meals and see if certain patterns emerge. Try to limit excess processed food and sugar, high-calorie drinks and foods that don't contain enough protein or fiber.
Per the American Academy of Dietetics, the best way to fill your dietary needs is to enjoy nutrient-rich foods from a variety of food groups. Choose from lean protein sources such as fish, whole-grains, low-fat dairy and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The next step is to reduce the number of calories you eat in a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Generally speaking, reducing your total calories by 250 to 500 each day can help you lose up to one pound a week.
Finally, including physical activity in your day can support your health and lead to greater weight loss. Aim to exercise five days a week with a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training. By reducing your caloric intake and burning an extra 250 to 500 calories a day, you can lose up to two pounds a week, per the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to sweating it out on a cardio machine, weight training is also important for weight loss, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The ACE recommends using an integrated approach that includes lifting weights at a moderate to heavy intensity, circuit training, supersets and lifting heavier weights.
FAQs About What You Would Look Like if You Lost Weight
You asked, we answered. Here are responses to common questions about weight loss:
1. How Does Weight Loss Change Your Appearance?
You can't target weight loss to one area of your body, so if you drop pounds, you're losing weight everywhere, according to the ACE. As a result, you'll likely notice your entire body slimming down as you shed fat.
However, exactly how much your size changes depends on how much weight you lose. Losing 5 pounds, for instance, may not have as big an effect on your appearance as losing 15 pounds. Similarly, how long it takes to notice weight loss depends on how much fat you shed relative to your initial weight.
And how does weight loss affect your face? Similarly, your face will slim down as the rest of your body loses fat.
2. How Does Weight Loss Affect Your Skin?
If you lose a significant amount of weight (typically 100 pounds or more), you may have excess skin that is too stretched out to fit your new body size, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And this sagging skin may not have the elasticity to shrink, in which case you may require cosmetic procedures or surgeries to tighten or remove excess skin.
You may also notice some skin changes from more moderate weight loss. For instance, stretch marks that developed as you gained weight may become more visible as you shed fat.
Stretch marks typically appear as pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks on your body, per the Mayo Clinic, so if you notice differences in your skin color as your weight changes, this may be the reason why. Fortunately, they're harmless and may fade with time.
3. Why Doesn't It Look Like I've Lost Weight?
If the number on the scale is dropping but you aren't losing inches around your waist, there are a few potential explanations.
First, you may be losing visceral fat, the more dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs and ups your risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because it's deeper in your core, you may not notice a change in size right away.
Second, you may be losing muscle or water weight instead of fat. This is not ideal, and can happen if you lose weight too quickly, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine. To avoid this issue, stick to the expert-recommended weight-loss pace of 1 to 2 pounds a week.
4. What Does 20 Pounds of Weight Loss Look Like?
Remember, weight loss is relative. For example, 20 pounds of weight lost will look different on someone who's starting weight was 150 pounds versus 300 pounds.
Instead of getting hung up on the numbers, focus on the wins that don't relate to your physical appearance.
- The Mayo Clinic: "Fast Weight Loss: What's Wrong With It?"
- The American Academy of Dietetics: "Back to Basics for Healthy Weight Loss"
- Change in Seconds: "Virtual Weight Loss Simulator and Body Visualizer"
- Model My Diet: "Virtual Weight Loss Simulator and Motivation Tool"
- The American Council on Exercise: "Weight Lifting for Weight Loss"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Factors Affecting Weight & Health"
- The American Council on Exercise: "Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Excess Skin Removal"
- Mayo Clinic: "Stretch marks"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Not Just Your Grandma’s Diabetes"
- Visualize You: "Visualize Your Weight"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Diet for rapid weight loss"