There are ways to track your fat loss will not show on the scale, this is why it is important to not always rely on the scale for your fat loss progress.

When you weigh yourself on a scale you are focusing on the number that is a measure of your weight, but you can actually lose fat and build muscle, which could leave your weight not changing at all.

This can be deceiving and discouraging if you don’t have other methods of measuring your fat loss. The following will be how to track fat loss without a scale.

The Difference Between Weight and Fat Loss

It is important to understand the difference between weight and fat loss, to understand your actual goal that you’re looking to track.

Weight loss is when you lose your overall body weight, this includes muscle, fat and the water in your body. Fat loss is the loss of body fat. Many will think the difference doesn’t matter, but I have heard many people speak of wanting to tone or get ripped and that is where this distinction comes in.

Losing muscle can be harmful if your goal is to get toned or ripped. Your body has mitochondria which produces energy in your cells. The more muscle you have, the more energy produced for those cells, therefore the more energy your body will burn. This is why you will lose more fat, the more muscle you build if you’re in a calorie deficit. If your goal is to lose weight, losing muscle is beneficial to that goal.

Fat loss being the loss of body fat, it focuses on the process of lipolysis, where your body breaks down fats from food that is consumed and the fat that is stored in your body. Everything that you’re looking to do to get lean and toned is related to this process.

Water loss is something which naturally happens when carrying out your daily functions and leads to weight and fat loss. Water can assist with fat loss, due to a process called hydrolysis. Fat is broken down with the use of water into the building blocks of fat and used for energy. This is actually the beginning of the lipolysis process.

Ways to Track Fat Loss Without a Scale

1. Before and After Pictures

Before you start any program, diet or routine, always take pictures to see where you’ve started. Always being able to look back and see how far you’ve come and any progress is important for if you’ll continue with the program or not.

I recommend checking progress this way every 4 weeks, because this generally where you personally will start seeing changes.

2. Mirror Checks

Using the mirror is easy and helps with the small changes that only you will notice. Look out the following for your fat loss progress in the mirror:

  • Veins
  • Stomach decrease
  • Fat around areas where most of your fat is stored.

You should try doing this every day I believe, because it is where you can also build your belief and confidence levels in achieving your fitness goals.

3. Try Fit Into Old Clothes

Look into clothing that you stopped wearing because of size and try fit it again. I’ve got some pants that I have had for about 3 years that I’ve seen myself fluctuate inside of. They were tight and then I noticed how loose they got this year as I got leaner.

These changes will usually occur between 4 and 6 weeks and this is where I’d recommend you’d start to look into this method of tracking fat loss progress.

4. Tape Measure

You can use a tape measure to measure the circumference (thickness) of areas of your body. The common areas that you can measure are your:

  • Neck
  • Wrist/Forearm
  • Waist/Hips
  • Thighs

There are online calculators that you can use to help measure your body fat percentage.

5. Body Fat Calipers

These are fat measuring tools that use the measurements of your skin folds in a formula. You can find the formula or online body fat calculators anywhere on the internet to get your body fat percentage.

These are not easy to calculate alone, that’s why it is recommended to get a partner to help you or get a professional for more accurate results. You can get one on Amazon at a decent price.

The accuracy of this tool is dependent on the person that is measuring and what method of measuring is used. For starters use the three site method to measure your body fat percentage at least every 4 weeks.

Signs that You’re Losing Weight Too Fat

Signs that You're Losing Weight Too Fat
Signs that You’re Losing Weight Too Fat

The desire to lose fat is great, but when all you worried about is the number on the scale, this can cause you to make drastic changes that can lead to weight loss that is unsustainable in the long-term and can be harmful.

Look out for the following to ensure that you’re not losing weight too fast and you’re actually losing fat.

1. You Get Very Hungry

Hunger is normal and there are methods of suppressing your appetite if need be. You should never starve yourself when you’re trying to lose weight or fat. You can cause you metabolism to slow down because you’re eating less and irregularly, which will actually hinder your weight/fat loss journey.

Eat at least 3 nutritious meals with all your carbohydrates, protein and fats. Snack on things like fruits, vegetables and other things that provide you with the vitamins and minerals that you need to live a healthy lifestyle.

2. You Binge Often

Binging is when you eat and drink excessively. There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then. When you find yourself uncontrollably consuming to the point of being uncomfortable, it is a problem.

Be aware of your eating patterns, set days where you decide to have a cheat meal. Do not be hard on yourself when you do indulge and get back on track the following day.

3. You Get Headaches

Headaches can be the result of dehydration and/or hunger. I remember when I was doing intermittent fasting, I’d find myself getting headaches and hunger pains when I started. This was because I was not eating enough at the times when I got to eating, finding myself in a high calorie deficit.

Calories are important to track when you’re looking to lose weight, but are not required. There many ways to lose weight without tracking calories. For example, training at least 10 minutes every day for 5 days can help you lose weight in the long-term if you’re consistent with it.

The Bottom Line

The scale is not the ideal place to measure your weight or fat loss progress, because there many factors that affect the scale:

  • Bone density
  • Water content
  • Muscle mass
  • Fat content

It is important that with all ways of measurement you do not focus on the number, but more on the progress. You must focus on continuous improvement and consistency in your growth, develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.


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