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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow How Many Pounds to Lose an Inch? We Converted for You

How Many Pounds to Lose an Inch? We Converted for You

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
3 min read 1773 Views 0 Comments
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It’s easier to reach your goals if you know how many pounds you have to lose to drop an inch.

how many pounds to lose an inch

Weight loss progress is exciting, especially when you see the results in the mirror.

Planning a weight loss strategy and setting weight-loss goals can be rewarding. However, the road to losing weight is often filled with challenges.

To succeed at weight loss, it’s crucial to understand how the process works and how to measure progress.

How Many Pounds to Lose an Inch?

After losing 8 pounds, people typically see their waist shrink one inch.

The motivation to lose weight grows stronger after you start noticing the first results on the scale and in the mirror. Yet, motivation fades when you lose weight without losing fat in problem areas.

You should keep in mind that every person loses weight differently, so you might experience different results at different times.

Do You Lose Inches Before Pounds?

In some cases, diet and exercise won’t lead to weight loss, and you may even gain weight. However, your size measured in inches will decrease.

The reason for this is that you are taking in muscle and burning fat. Muscles have a smaller volume, so when you replace fat with muscles, your waist size gets smaller too. 

At this point, it’s better to set your body goals in inches. As long as you continue losing inches, you are making progress.

How to Lose Inches Off the Waist?

To lose inches off the waist, you need a proper diet and exercise program that combines cardio with strength training.

Your fat loss meal plan must include high-protein and low-carb food. While a calorie deficit of 500–1,000 calories is a must, you should also remember to supply your body with enough nutrients. These nutrients come from sources such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, and nuts, among others.

A healthy diet is a big part of your weight loss journey. However, if you want to build muscle and tone your body, combine a good diet with physical activity.

Your workout routine must include cardio and high-intensity interval training to burn visceral fat. You should exercise every day or every other day for at least 30 minutes but no less than three times per week.

How Long Does It Take to Lose a Pound of Body Fat?

Considering that a pound of fat has 3,500 calories, you might be able to burn it in a week or two with a regular 500–1,000-calorie deficit.

It’s best to wait two weeks to lose fat noticeably. It is hard to make your body lose an inch in a specific part, though. Your body always stores fat where it needs it, not where it looks better.

Best Ways to Lose Inches Off the Waist: 5 Tips You Can Start Using Now

Get started now with these 5 tips to slim down your waist.

#1 Try pilates or yoga

Pilates is proven to reduce fat percentage and cut inches off your waist. Aside from that, it also helps reduce lower back pain, as well as recover from injuries.

Yoga will certainly help people prone to weight gain to reduce waist size. In addition, with yoga, you start to better control your emotions and be mindful, so you’re less likely to overeat.

#2 Plank every day

Plank every day for 30 days, and you’ll see your waistline and hips getting slimmer. Start by doing 30 seconds a day and gradually increase the time until you reach 5 minutes.

If you take on this 30-day plank challenge, you’ll lose inches from your waist the same way you would if you did sit-ups, crunches, and leg raises every day.

#3 Cardio training at least once a week

Cardio burns calories and creates a calorie deficit, which will help you lose weight and inches. You need to choose a cardio training routine that meets the needs of your body.

 #4 Change your diet

To reduce your belly fat and overall body weight, you need to consume fewer carbs and more protein. 

Combining keto and intermittent fasting is a good weight loss plan for burning abdominal fat. In fact, if you regularly eat a lot of protein-rich, high-fat foods, you won’t even have hunger pangs when you fast.

#5 Manage stress

When you’re stressed, exercise and diet won’t be as effective

To reduce stress, take long walks in nature, listen to relaxing music, meditate, and sleep well. You will achieve sustainable results only when you are at a healthy weight loss pace.

A Word From Personal Trainer

It is essential that you know your body fat percentage and develop a plan on how to reduce it.

You can find out a lot about your fat percentage by measuring waist circumference. A person with a waist measurement under 35 inches or 40 inches has a normal body fat level and doesn’t have to lose weight.

Fat is distributed throughout the body, so you can’t target it specifically, but overall, you can reduce it. It takes about 8 pounds to lose the first inch of your body.

Add lean muscle to your body and eat healthy to burn more calories regularly to achieve long-term results. A ketogenic diet high in protein and fiber from greens can kickstart fat burning and give you a good starting point for building muscle.


At first, you may think it is easier to lose inches, but since you are losing water rather than fat, it will only last for a short time.

Remember that you need to burn 3,500 calories to get rid of a pound of fat. So, it depends on how many calories you consume and how much time you are willing to dedicate to losing a pound of fat. Whether it’s two weeks or four weeks, you should do it wisely.

Healthy eating habits and regular exercises such as pilates, yoga, planks, cardio, and HIIT will reduce the chances of reaching a plateau and halting weight loss. However, do not overwork yourself to achieve rapid weight loss. It all comes down to consistency.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
3 min read 1773 Views 0 Comments

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