Why isn't my body fat percentage dropping?

  • I just finished week 6 and am having great overall results. I'm 5-9', starting weight was 197 and am down to 185 now - so lost 12 lbs so far. I'm not obese by any means, and the weight I've lost is clearly visible. I'm down a pant size, a belt notch and my belly no longer protrudes. So I would think that with this 12 lb loss, I would see a significant drop in body fat percentage, yet according to both my body fat scale and the caliper, I'm only down about 2% body fat. Can that be correct? Could I really still be 27.7% (according to the scale) or 25.6% (according to the caliper) body fat - only a 2% loss?


  • J, the important thing is you've lost 12 lbs in 6 weeks, you're clothes are looser, and you're visibly losing weight. That's GREAT!!! And I'm sure by now you're feeling better physically too. Fat loss happens faster with some people and slower with others, but if you stick with the plan and keep hitting your 10's in your workouts, you'll see significant differences by the end of 6 more weeks. Keep going and don't lose hope!!


  • J - I'm on week 7  5-6" Started at 211 and holding about 202.  My scale still holds me at 32-33% BF but it's slowly happening.  My energy is up, and I've lost a notch or two on my belt buckle.  Like Mike said, things change differently for different people.  You are on the right pace.  Just keep going and measuring, I'm sure somewhere from now until week twelve things will change quickly.

  • I know guys, and I am happy with the results. I'm more curious than anything - I've visibly lost fat and gained muscle - I'm down 12 lbs while adding muscle so I must have lost more than 12 lbs of pure fat. So wouldn't it stand to reason that my bf % would drop? I'm definitely gaining muscle, so what am I losing if not body fat?

  • The body loses fat in different areas first.

    My trainer says the first place fat piles on is typically the last place it will come off, toward the last bit of fat to come off.

    You are on track.

    Some of that last bit of fat is the hardest to get rid of.

    But, it will burn off through persistence, and dedication!

    It seems to me, your almost there!

    Keep up the great work!

    "What you put in, is what you are going to get back."

    - Terry

  • J,

    I have been using the same body fat digital scale for 4 years.  In that 4 years I've lost over thirty pounds and 10% body fat.  My super scale tells me my body fat is exactly the same today as it did four years ago.  I highly recommend you hire a trainer for the sole purpose of your stats via caliper testing nothing more.  Or find a location for the BodPod in your area.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • I agree that scales that measure body fat are very inaccurate. Also calipers are subject to alot of human error when doing it yourself. I got side cramps trying to bend all directions and pinch test myself on the first challenge. Now I use hydrostatic testing where they measure your BF in the water tank. Much more reliable and easy. I spend about $40 at the begining and $40 at the end of the challenge to get this done. During the middle of the challenge I just rely on scale weight, how my clothes are fitting (loosely I hope!) and how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror.

  • This is interesting info because as my weight has fluctuated throughout the past 6 years, three pregnancies, and many cycles of working out/not working out, etc., my body fat % on the digital scale has not budged.  I figured it was a piece of junk!

    I hate the idea of having a trainer do a caliper test....ugh!  I guess that is the only way to be truly honest with myself, huh?