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Losing Inches

by Fiona

I have been a big fan of this site for a long time now. I'm doing my running on a treadmill at home as I can't get out with two small kids but I am enjoying what I do. My question is though, I had to stop the running there for about two months due to illness, and now I'm back again, I have found I am losing inches,

The scales are not going down but that does not bother me. The clothes are a lot looser on me.

Is it possible I am losing inches due to the running (also eating healthy)? Because the scales are not going down is it that I am gaining muscle and the age-old question is this muscle heavier than fat?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Fiona,
Great to hear from you again. Good to see that you are back into running and that it is starting to pay off.

Yes, it is very well possible to not lose weight, but see improvements otherwise. As you run you are burning calories. Burn enough calories and your body will tap into your fat stores. At the same time, you are training your muscles, growing them and making them stronger.

Note that diet plays an important part here too. When you eat healthier foods and don't supply all that fat back to your body, then you are 'attacking the fat' from that angle as well. With a healthy diet + plenty of exercise like you do, you can't go wrong. It would almost be impossible to not get results sooner or later!

Now, if I am not mistaken, I believe that 1 pound of fat takes up about four times as much space as 1 pound of muscle. Put in another way, muscle is heavier than fat. So it is possible to see considerable differences in your clothing, but not so much in your weight.

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If you'd have one of those fancy scales that measures body composition, then I would expect you would have seen some differences in your body fat percentage.

Not that you need them, but it would give you some measurable evidence of the changes you are undergoing.

It's good to keep in mind that weight is only one way to measure your progress. More energy, better fitting clothes, better sleep, etc are all important indicators that your lifestyle changes are working.

So, keep up the good work and looking forward to answering your next question!
Kind regards,

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