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5 Easy Ways to Know if You're Losing Fat

Many of us have celebrated those moments when the scale tips in our favor as we chase the dream of losing weight. But let's get real for a moment: that number dip might not tell the whole success story.

Seeing the scale go down could mean you're shedding fat, but it could also just be water weight or, worse, precious muscle you're losing (1). If torching fat is your mission (and it's a great one to have!), it’s essential to recognize the difference between fat loss and weight loss. 

You might have tried searching online for ways to measure fat loss, only to discover that most methods are complicated, pricey, and only sometimes on the mark (2). Fortunately, there are simple and clear signs that can tell you if you're actually losing fat. Stick around because we're about to dive into how you can confidently know your weight loss is the right kind. 

Focus on Fat Loss

The human body comprises fat and lean mass, including muscles, bones, water, and organs. Shedding fat benefits health, as its accumulation is linked to obesity and a higher likelihood of chronic diseases. Conversely, research highlights the detrimental effects of muscle loss on health (3). It reduces overall energy expenditure and decelerates metabolism, potentially leading to weight gain. Moreover, muscle loss can leave you feeling fatigued more quickly and increase your susceptibility to injuries. Maintaining adequate hydration — muscles store more water than fat — is crucial for various bodily functions, emphasizing preserving water content.

5 Ways to Determine Fat Loss 

The body engages in fat burning through a process known as ketogenesis. During this state, your body exhibits certain behaviors that can indicate fat loss. Monitoring these signs can confirm that you're effectively shedding fat. Below are key indicators you might observe.

Sharper Cognitive Function

Burning fat results in fat loss and generates energy molecules known as ketones, which serve as excellent fuel for the brain. Therefore, observing enhancements in your memory, focus, and concentration could indicate fat loss.

Your Mood Gets a Boost

Losing fat can stabilize your blood sugar levels, leading to mood improvements. Therefore, observing yourself in better spirits and smiling more often could indicate successful fat loss.

You Stop Craving Junk

When your body enters ketosis and utilizes fat for energy, the need for quick energy boosts diminishes. Consequently, your cravings for sweets and junk food vanish. Additionally, as your body efficiently converts fat into energy, you'll likely experience reduced hunger.

Stable Energy

Fat loss contributes to stabilized energy levels. As you shed fat, those overwhelming bouts of fatigue will diminish. Moreover, your blood glucose levels will stabilize, ensuring your energy remains consistent.

You Look Leaner

Recognizing fat loss can be as straightforward as observing changes in the mirror. The emergence of muscle definition in your abdomen and thighs is a clear indicator. A noticeable fat reduction around your legs and shoulders will also become apparent.

 Article by Terry Ramos


  1. Bosy-Westphal, A., Kossel, E., Goele, K., Later, W., Hitze, B., Settler, U., Heller, M., Glüer, C. C., Heymsfield, S. B., & Müller, M. J. (2009). Contribution of individual organ mass loss to weight loss-associated decline in resting energy expenditure. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(4), 993–1001.
  2. Piqueras, P., Ballester, A., Durá-Gil, J. V., Martinez-Hervas, S., Redón, J., & Real, J. T. (2021). Anthropometric Indicators as a Tool for Diagnosis of Obesity and Other Health Risk Factors: A Literature Review. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 631179. 
  3. Jhee, J. H., Joo, Y. S., Han, S. H., Yoo, T. H., Kang, S. W., & Park, J. T. (2020). High muscle-to-fat ratio is associated with lower risk of chronic kidney disease development. Journal of cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle, 11(3), 726–734.
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