Where Do You Lose Weight First?

Where Do You Lose Weight First?

Have you ever thought about any of these questions or wondered about the answers?

“How can I lose fat from my thighs?” "Can I spot reduce?” “How can I spot reduce?” “How can I reduce belly fat?” “How can I reduce _____ (insert that body part that’s giving you trouble) fat?”

“Why can’t I lose weight from where I want to?” “Why am I losing fat from here instead of there?" “Where do you lose weight first?”

If you’ve ever wondered about these questions—and the answers, you’re not alone. We get these questions a LOT in social media and customer service.

So, let’s dive into weight loss, in general, and get you some answers and some tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

First though, let’s talk about the difference between weight loss and fat loss, because there definitely is a difference.

Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss

Can you spot reduce fat loss

Weight loss (and weight gain, for that matter) is shown by that number on the scale, and it can be a combination of fat, water loss/gain, and/or muscle loss/gain.

And while that number on the scale can be one indicator of progress or a lack of progress, it’s not the only indicator. More about that later.

Fat loss, on the other hand, can be tracked by a scale that analyzes your body fat percentage, through skin fold measurements, by a DEXA scan, or by other tests that measure body fat.

And it’s just fat that’s lost or gained—no water weight is included.

For health reasons, and to show real progress towards your goals, your body fat percentage is a truer indicator of progress since it isn’t influenced by anything you’ve recently consumed food-wise (water weight loss/water weight gain, carbs, and sodium—both of which can cause temporary water retention, etc.) and other factors like stress, health issues, sleep, and so on.

The lower your body fat percentage, the better for both optimal health and your transformation goals. Your body fat percentage can get too low, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

How Can I Spot Reduce? 

The idea behind “spot reducing” is all about getting rid of fat from a specific area of your body.

  • You might work your lower body, hoping to get rid of hip fat.
  • You might do tons of abductors, hoping to get rid of thigh fat.
  • You might do thousands of crunches, hoping to get rid of belly fat and get those six-pack abs.

But here’s the truth: You can’t spot reduce. It’s just not possible.

We know...that’s totally not what you wanted to hear. Spot reducing is a myth that infomercials and marketers have latched on to with all their spot reducing products and marketing might.

And they’ve made millions and millions selling their contraptions that promise to reduce fat from that body area that’s giving you problems. They just don’t work.You can’t spot reduce.

Studies and experts have proven that you CANNOT spot reduce. Any extra fat will leave your body in its own unique way. (There is one exception that we have to mention: If you’re already lean body fat-wise, you can work specific muscle groups to add more definition, as in body sculpting!)

So, if you can’t spot reduce for fat loss, how do you lose the extra fat from that area? Where do you lose weight first? Or second? Or last? Why do you lose fat from some areas and not from others? Great questions!

So, Where DO You Lose Weight First?

A girl drinking pre-workout

How your body gets rid of and stores weight (fat) is unique to you, and it depends on several factors:

  • Genetics
  • Environment + Lifestyle
  • Gender

Let’s break these factors down further and talk about the effect they might have on how you lose weight, keeping in mind that this information is not one-size-fits all. Your body is still unique!

Genetics & Weight Loss

Some people genetically inherit an apple shape (you carry more weight above the waist), while others have a pear shape (you carry more weight below the waist).

Some people are naturally leaner, like a long-distance runner, while others have more of a football player physique.

Genetics are genetics, so learn to embrace your unique body type!As far as where you’ll lose weight first, genetics can play a large part in how your body will lose weight since genetics determine how you both store and lose fat.

Environment + Lifestyle & Weight Loss

We’re talking about your environment at home, at work, and anywhere else and your lifestyle, in general. Things like...

  • Do you keep tempting foods around your house and/or workspace?
  • Do you eat out a lot?
  • Do you have a place to work out regularly?
  • Do you work out regularly?
  • Is your workplace stressful?
  • Do you drink enough water, eat mostly healthy foods, and so on?
  • Are the people you’re around the most healthy-minded? Or not?
  • Do you eat at the table or in front of the TV or computer?
  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Is your home life stressful?
  • Do you put yourself in situations that are not weight loss-friendly?
  • Do you have access to healthy foods?
  • Are the things around you and the places you go transformation goal-friendly?
  • And many, many others...

Even though some of these things might not seem like a big deal, they can actually affect your ability to lose weight.

Gender & Weight Loss

In general, fat likes to hang around in the stomach area for men and in the thighs, buttocks, and hips for women. Why?

A lot of this is driven by hormones.

For men, these stomach fat stores really don’t have any advantages, but excess fat stores in this area can increase the risk of diabetes, higher triglycerides, cancer, coronary artery disease, and high blood pressure, and effect overall mortality.

For women, these fat deposits are thought to be beneficial for pregnancy, childbearing, and nursing. However, these fat deposits can be some of the toughest for some women to lose (remember those body shapes?).

AND since your body wants to be ready for pregnancy, childbearing, and nursing. This can be so frustrating!Circling back to our original question—“Where do you lose weight first?”, it can be where you gained it last.

It can be in the lower body for women. It can be in the belly region for men. It can be from the top down. They key word here is “can.”Again, it’s a unique-to-you process!

How to Reduce Fat from Your Face, Stomach, Thighs, Hips, Abs...ALL the Body Parts that Are Bugging You.

Remember, while you can tone specific muscle groups when you are lean—you cannot spot reduce fat. No matter what you do.

The only way to lose unwanted fat from any area of your body is to focus on total fat loss.

Eventually, that area that’s bugging you WILL get better! So to get you started, here are some tips to help you reduce your body fat and drop those unwanted lbs:

Eat Healthy Foods

We often say that “abs are made in the kitchen,” and that’s true for any body part you’d like to improve. Nutrition is 80% of any transformation goal, including removing unwanted weight from your body. Try these tips to help you make some headway with your nutrition:

  • Eat slowly.
  • Eat until satisfied, and then stop.
  • Eat mostly healthy foods. We recommend the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy foods, 20% of the maybe not so healthy foods you love.
  • Put your fork down in-between bites.

Get Enough Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep (the ideal is 7-9 hours every night), so many things in your life and in your body can be affected, like your:

  • mood
  • emotions
  • ability to cope with life
  • workouts
  • work
  • relationships
  • and more...

A lack of sleep can really mess with you physically too.

It can affect your...

  • immune system
  • metabolism
  • blood sugar levels
  • blood pressure
  • and even cancer cell growth

Where weight loss is concerned, not getting enough sleep can really wreak havoc with your transformation goals nutrition-wise.

When you don’t get enough sleep, there are two important hormones that are especially affected: Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin tells you when you’re hungry, and Leptin works to suppress your appetite.

So, if you’re not getting enough sleep, Ghrelin can tell you you’re hungry whether you are or not, and Leptin won’t tell you you’re full. See how that could be a huge problem?

Here are some tips to help you get more shut-eye:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get up at the same time every day—even on the weekends!
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool.
  • Turn off all screens, and maybe even leave them out of the bedroom. Pull out that old fashioned alarm clock you’ve got stashed somewhere just in case you need it.
  • Do something calming before bed: take a bath, read a book, listen to music, sip on a mug of herbal tea...whatever will help you relax.
  • If you’re prone to wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts swirling in your head, put a notebook and pen on your nightstand to capture those thoughts so you can go back to sleep and not worry (keeping yourself awake!) about forgetting them.

Workout—Both Cardio + Strength Training

Why both? If you’re wanting to lose unwanted fat, wouldn’t you want to do hours and hours of cardio to burn more calories?

While cardio does burn calories, including strength training in your workout schedule will help you keep your lean muscle while you’re losing lbs, and since muscle also burns calories, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

Balance is the name of the game in life and in your workouts, so do cardio AND strength training throughout the week.

Drink Up!

Water, that is. If you’re dehydrated, besides affecting so many processes in your body, your weight loss results will stall, and maybe come to a grinding halt. Why? When you get enough water, you can reap these pound-dropping benefits:

  • Burn more fat: Adequate hydration can spike your metabolic rate, burning more calories!
  • Eat less: When you think you’re hungry, you’re often actually thirsty.
  • Curb cravings: Water can fill you up, leaving less room for those craving-type foods.
  • Improved workouts: Better workouts = more calories burned and more muscle built, which will burn even more calories!

So, how much water should you drink every day? We recommend aiming for ½ your body weight in ounces every single day + some extra to make up for the water lost during your exercise. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, for example, aim for 75 oz a day. This can sound like a LOT of water, so try our 10-gulp rule:

  • Every time you walk by your water bottle (or set alarms to drink throughout the day), take 10 gulps. You’ll reach your goal in no time!

If you have a hard time drinking water, check out this post for some great tips!

Decrease Your Stress

A certain level of stress is normal in our lives, and it can even help propel us towards our goals. And while stress can negatively affect our lives in so many ways, it can be especially problematic where weight loss is concerned.

When stress starts to get out of control, that fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol, is released, which can cause us to over eat so our bodies have the calories they need to fight the stress.

Often, these calories are extra, unneeded calories that can lead to weight gain or a stall in your weight loss progress.

While “decrease your stress” sounds simple, we all know it’s not. Here are some tips to decrease your stress:

  • Work out regularly
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Put relaxation techniques into place
  • Breathe deeply
  • Take a break
  • Learn a new hobby
  • Take a quick walk wherever you are
  • Do something you love—even for a few minutes
  • Talk with someone you trust
  • Practice self-love
  • Learn to recognize your stress triggers and put a plan in place to help you deal with them better

Focus on Non-Scale Victories

three women out running together

Like we mentioned above, your scale is not the only indicator of progress, and depending on the number on the scale, it can make your day or send you into a frustrating spiral.

It’s so easy to see where we’d like to improve, and we often forget to see all the amazing changes we’ve already made—all the successes—no matter what that number on the scale might be! So, pay attention to those non-scale victories (NSVs).

They’re a quick reminder that you are progressing towards your goals! Here are some NSVs to look for:

  • Your clothes are fitting looser.
  • You can do more reps/sets.
  • You’re using heavier weights.
  • Your measurements are going down. Be sure to take your measurements every week (waist and hips, at least).
  • You can see differences in your photos. Remember to take photos regularly too!
  • You have more energy.
  • Your cardio is getting “easier”—you’ve been able to go longer, faster...it’s just going better!
  • Your bloodwork is improving.
  • You’re sleeping better.
  • You just feel better overall!

Since action leads to success, choose one of the tips above—the one you’re having the hardest time with—and make a power promise to yourself TODAY to help get you closer to your goal!

Remember, make that power promise so small that you can keep it 100% of the time.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, we’ve answered your questions about where you lose weight first and given you some solid information and tips you can use to achieve your transformation goals.

Work towards making the changes you can (slowly...baby steps are key!) and embrace the unique body you’ve been blessed with. There’s no one like YOU!And remember...we’re all in this transformation game together. We WILL do this!

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