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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Weight Management arrow How Much Weight Loss Is Noticeable?

How Much Weight Loss Is Noticeable?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: April 7, 2023
8 min read 1895 Views 0 Comments
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Are you dieting and wondering when you will begin to notice your weight loss progress? In this article, we take a look at how much weight you’ll need to lose to notice your weight loss.

How much weight loss is noticeable

When you start your weight loss journey, you probably want to see results immediately. But losing weight can be a slow process.

Knowing how much weight you need to lose for it to be noticeable can help you stay on track and give you a goal to aim for.

In this article, we’re going to have a look at how long it takes to lose a noticeable amount of weight, the stages of losing weight, and where you lose body fat from first.

To find out more, keep reading now.

How Long Does It Take to Notice Weight Loss?

It depends on your starting size, current fitness level, and age. However, with the right diet and constant exercise, you can expect to see the first results in about two weeks.

Noticeable weight loss can take a while to reach, but there are a few things you can do to keep track of your progress and help you stay motivated to follow your weight loss diet.

#1 Always take progress photos

Taking progress photos is a great way to see your own weight loss progress.

You can begin by taking a photograph before you start your diet and then continue the practice each week of your journey.

Make sure you take the picture in similar clothes, at the same time of day, and in the same place to ensure you’re getting consistent photographs that show your changes.

These pictures are really useful for when you’re not feeling motivated too. It can help to look back and see how much weight you have already lost.

#2 Measure yourself

Measuring yourself is another good way to see progress. To see weight loss, you will want to measure around your bust, waist, hips, thighs, and arms.

Measuring is an option for tracking weight loss if you find standing on the scales to be unhelpful. 

Some people find setting a weight goal to be difficult and can find it easier to see the inches slip away rather than the pounds.

In addition, your waist measurement may actually be a bigger indicator of many health problems than your body weight since your body weight can encompass muscle mass too.

#3 See how your clothes fit

The way your clothes fit can be one of the best indicators of when you gradually gain weight and when you lose it.

You may have decided to lose weight because your clothes felt tight and uncomfortable, and using their fit as an indicator of how much weight loss you have achieved can help you feel more motivated to continue on your diet.

Stages of Noticing Weight Loss

The stages of weight loss vary depending on many factors, including your starting body weight, body mass index (BMI), age, and gender. This means that there is no strict and fast rule for when you will notice yourself losing weight.

Below, we’ve summarized a general idea of how you will feel and when you may notice weight loss.

Weeks 1 and 3

In the first few weeks of your diet, you are likely to feel better: bloating will decrease, and you may feel like you have more energy. How much depends upon your calorie deficit.

You may start noticing weight loss on the scale, though not in the mirror, at this point.

It is important to remember that everyone will lose weight at different rates, and you should not be put off if you don’t notice yourself losing fat immediately. Indeed, initial weight loss may take longer for some people.

During this initial period, you may find yourself losing weight quite quickly, which is perfectly normal as it will likely slow as your diet continues. This is because this early weight loss is likely to be water weight and not fat yet.

Weeks 4 and more

Once you have been on your diet for around a month, your weight loss is likely to slow down. This doesn’t mean it will stop, but it means you will begin to lose fat.

This is when you will notice how much weight you’re losing. You may drop a dress size, be able to see weight loss in the mirror, or notice that your measurements have dropped.

Once you have begun the fat loss stages of losing weight, weight loss does become noticeable.

In Which Part of the Body Do We Lose Fat First?

Women tend to lose fat on their hips and thighs first, whereas men will lose fat on their abdomen.

This is because men and women store fat on their bodies differently. Where we store fat is dependent upon the levels of the hormone estrogen in the body.

Genetics plays a role in where you lose fat first. If you are genetically predisposed to store fat in a certain area of your body, you may find losing fat in this area takes the longest.

Your age may also be a deciding factor in where you begin to notice weight loss, with most middle-aged people storing weight around their midsection and noticing changes at the waistline first.

Younger people may notice that they lose weight on their faces first, and younger women may lose weight from their breasts in the initial stages of weight loss.

5 Tips to Lose Weight Faster

Whether you need to lose a few pounds or aim to lose a certain percentage of your body weight, you’ll probably want to change the number on the scales as quickly as possible.

It is important to mention that rapid weight loss can be incredibly dangerous for health, so you should always aim to lose only a healthy amount of weight each week – which is usually only 1–2 pounds per week.

Below, we have summarized a few tips for helping you reduce your weight more quickly and achieve up to 2 pounds of weight loss each week.

#1 Increase your fiber intake

Fiber is an integral part of a healthy diet, and increasing your intake can help boost the health of your digestive system and reduce your weight.

Boosting the amount of soluble fiber you consume can help promote the health of gut bacteria as well as reduce your appetite, helping you eat less and consume fewer calories.

#2 Cut refined sugar

Reducing your intake of added and refined sugar can help promote further loss of weight as well as boost other aspects of your health, like blood sugar levels, heart health, and dental health.

Check the labels of your food products to ensure you’re not consuming lots of hidden added sugar, and try to eat more whole foods.

#3 Follow a low-carb diet

Following a low-carb diet is a fantastic way of losing weight. Reducing your carbohydrate intake can force your body to burn more fat rather than using blood sugar for fuel, ensuring fat loss.

The keto diet is an example of a low-carb diet that helps promote weight reduction.

#4 Drink a glass of water before meals

Drinking water is another aspect of a healthy and balanced diet – and it can help you eat less.

Drinking a glass of water before meals can help you feel fuller, which can mean you eat less at your meal, reducing your calorie intake.

Drinking more water can also fight bloat and keep your digestive system in working order, supporting good gut health and nutrient absorption, as well as keeping you energized and boosting your metabolic rate, helping with good weight management.

#5 Exercise at least 3 times a week

Creating a calorie deficit means you burn a greater number of calories than you take in. Eating fewer calories helps create this deficit, and so does exercising more frequently.

A solid fitness routine may help you improve your general health, burn calories, and encourage additional weight reduction. 

How Many Pounds Do You Have to Lose to Drop a Size?

For the average woman, dropping a dress size is a clear sign of their diet working, but to drop down a dress size, you may have to lose as much as 10 pounds.

Though dress sizes differ across brands, with measurements varying drastically in some cases, most people will need to lose at least 10–12 pounds to drop down a dress size.

In terms of inches, you’re looking at losing approximately 2–3 inches from your hips, waist, and bust to be able to move down a dress size. Measuring yourself regularly can help you decide when it might be time to downsize your clothing.

How Long Does It Take for Weight Loss to Show Up on the Scale?

It is likely to take around four weeks for people around you to notice weight loss and about 6–8 weeks before you begin to notice it yourself. Significant changes to body weight and muscle mass can take up to 8 weeks to be noticeable.

Though you may not be able to see weight loss in the mirror, you might be able to see it on the scale sooner. Weighing yourself is a good measure of weight loss but be aware that your weight fluctuates daily, and so it is important that you do it at the same time each week.

Once you have stopped losing water weight, you may begin to notice a difference in your weight on the scale as it starts to decrease more consistently. This means it could take a few weeks before sustained weight loss begins.

Don’t be discouraged if you initially lose lots of weight and then plateau for a while or if you regain some of this initial loss. This is completely natural and part of human nature.

While noticeable weight loss is great, the changes happening inside your body and the overall improvement to your health are still occurring, even if you can’t actually see it.

A Word From a Personal Trainer

When you begin a diet, you’re likely to want to see results fast, but it is important that you remain healthy as you try to lose a bit of weight.

Healthy weight loss is usually defined as being 1–2 pounds per week; this means that anything more than this is considered unhealthy and could be detrimental to your health.

At the beginning of a diet, you are likely to lose lots of weight quite quickly because of the sudden calorie deficit your body is operating at. This weight is most likely water weight.

The longer you diet, the more fat you will lose. Fat takes longer to burn off, which means that sticking to your diet can help you lose more body fat and improve your overall health.

You are likely to notice the weight you have lost after a few weeks of dieting, though it may not be obvious in the mirror. Try taking progress photos or measuring yourself to help keep yourself motivated and track your progress.


Reaching a point where you can see that you have lost weight on your diet may take a few weeks to a few months, depending on a few factors, including your age, gender, and starting weight.

Try measuring your progress by taking weekly measurements or photographs to keep yourself motivated, even when you can’t see the benefits that your diet is providing.

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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