Just lost 10 pounds but didn’t see the difference? I hear you. You’re not the only one who lost hope even after losing 10 lbs in weight simply because you couldn’t see it.
But that doesn’t mean you’re not losing weight. Indeed, your eyes can deceive you, but your scale only tells the truth. So, what does 10 pounds of fat look like? And is it a significant amount of fat loss compared to the rest of your body?
In this article, we’ll help you picture what 10 pounds of fat is like and whether you’ve lost any weight at all.
What Does 10 pounds Of Fat Look Like?
To give you an idea of what 10 pounds of fat look like, here are some everyday items that weigh as much as 10 lb of fat
- An average 3-month-old baby.
- A large sack of raw potatoes.
- A 1.25-gallon jug of milk.
- 3 liters of soda.
- Small size microwave oven.
- An adult Maltese dog.
- One decent-sized watermelon.
- A filled garbage bag (large).
- A cat of medium size.
- Bowling ball.
- Full basket for laundry.
What Is Fat and Why You Should Lose It
Fat, also known as lipid or fatty acid, is a substance that can be found within the body. It’s our main source of stored energy that keeps our hunger at bay.
Despite this, too much fat can interfere with the healthy functioning of the heart, pancreas, and many other organs. Obesity has been identified as a national epidemic by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). And it’s considered the leading cause of mortality in the US.
Obesity can lead to various health issues such as:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Sleep apnea and other breathing-related issues
- Clinical depression
- Difficulty in movement
- High cholesterol
David Ludwig puts it in better words. He explains that excess refined sugar leads to an excess in blood glucose levels. As such, this triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin. And that’s what causes fat cells to accumulate surplus amounts of glucose, leading to various diseases. These substances can circulate in the blood vessels and cause more harm than good.
How Much Fat Should You Ideally Have?
There is no set fat percentage that is ideal for anyone. How much fat you should have depends on your fitness level, weight loss goals, and of course, your age. Gender also plays a huge role in this. However, there are certain estimates as to how much certain fat groups of people need.
For women between the ages of 20 and 40, the ideal body fat percentage is around 21% to 32%. And for women who are aged 40 and above, the ideal body fat percentage lies in the 23% to 33% range. The ideal body fat percentage for women aged 60 to 80 should be around 24% to 35%.
But age isn’t the only factor that comes into play here. Your lifestyle and goals also matter. For most women, 25% to 31% of body fat is acceptable. And anything above that is considered obesity. The absolute minimum fat that you can have is 10% to 13%.
For men, the body fat percentage is relatively lower. For men aged 20 to 40, the ideal body fat percentage is 8% to 19%. For men aged 40 to 60, that’s around 11% to 21%. And for men aged between 60 and 70 years, the body fat percentage should be between 13% and 24%.
Much like with women, your fitness goals come into play here. The absolute minimum fat that men can have is 2% to 5%. And the most acceptable body fat percentage is 18% to 24%. Anything beyond that is considered obese.
How Much Fat Should You Lose in A Week?
Many people wish to lose as much fat as possible in as little time as they can. But rapid fat loss is neither healthy nor possible.
This is because, although it’s essential to shed off a certain number of calories, you still need to be ingesting enough nutrients. And it’s near impossible to do without also consuming calories given your current diet.
Additionally, most people who want to lose weight quickly will adopt an unhealthy diet. While you may be able to keep it up for just one week, it won’t be sustainable in the long run. Eventually, you’ll have to switch to a diet plan that provides you with more calories.
And that’s not all. Rapid weight loss is often caused by rapid loss of muscle mass and not fat. This means that you could lose a lot of your body mass and essentially become weaker.
As such, most experts recommend losing anywhere between half a pound and 2 pounds every week. But the numbers aren’t exactly certain as it’s not possible to lose more than 0.5 to 1 pound of fat every week. And this is for people who are the most engaged in physical activity.
By that logic, a 10-pound weight loss journey will take 5-10 weeks, depending on how active you are.
I Lost 10 Pounds but I Can’t See the Difference
So, you know what 10 pounds of fat look like. And you just lost 10 pounds (at least according to your scale), but you can’t seem to notice a difference. We’ve all been there.
While some people may notice a difference, there are a few reasons why you don’t
- The shape and size of your body haven’t changed significantly. But you can still notice the difference, such as your clothes fitting better and you being able to walk upstairs.
- You’re losing visceral fat first. Visceral fat surrounds your internal organs. It’s usually a symptom of being overweight. If you’ve lost 10 pounds of fat but can’t see it, chances are, you’re shedding off visceral fat.
- You lose weight from the top down. So, it may be a while before you notice a change in your belly or hip size.
- You’re replacing the fat with muscle (which weighs less). This is usually the case when you’re exercising for weight loss as well as building muscle strength.
- You might have lost water weight. Water weight is the weight added by the water being kept inside your body. This doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’ve lost fat. But it’s a good place to start.
- You’re too overweight to notice the difference. Depending on your size, 10 pounds may not be a number large enough for you to note a change. This doesn’t mean you’re not losing fat. So, don’t stop there.
- Lastly, it could all just be in your head. It’s a good idea to take before and after pictures to notice the difference.
Your eyes may deceive you, but your scale cannot! Don’t let physical appearances faze you. Trust the scale and keep going!
How To Calculate Gross Body-Weight Change?
How do you know that you’ve lost that 10 pounds of fat or even more? For that, it helps to calculate your gross body-weight change.
For this, you need to know only things your previous weight and your current weight. Then, all you need to do is subtract the two to get the weight you lost. Now, divide the amount of weight lost by your previous weight.
This way, you can know if you lost 10 pounds in weight or more. Remember that the change in body weight may not be as noticeable or significant for some people. For instance, somebody who weighs 200 pounds loses 10 pounds in weight.
This means they only lost 5% of their body weight. If they had a body fat percentage of 30%, then they had 60 pounds of fat. And they lost 16% of their fat.
What Happens to Your Body After You Lose 10 Pounds. Of Fat?
10 pounds in weight may not seem like a lot, but it can surely bring about many changes in your body. Here’s how losing 10 pounds of fat affects your body
Losing 10 pounds of fat has been shown to improve sleeping patterns drastically. People who are suffering from sleep apnea, in particular, will benefit a lot from weight loss.
For those of you who don’t know, sleep apnea is the condition in which your airway gets obstructed during sleep. In other words, you wake up gasping and out of breath. Once you lose weight, you’ll immediately notice a difference in the way you sleep.
When you gain weight, there is a tissue of fatty substance that gets deposited in your throat. When your muscles relax during sleep, the fat narrows the passage for air, leading to suffocation.
Additionally, getting better sleep means you wake up with lesser sugar cravings. When you sleep better, you have lower cortisol levels in your body. It means that you’re under lesser stress and don’t crave sugary foods.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
Low blood sugar levels are often associated with type 2 diabetes. It can completely ruin your life. Type 2 diabetes can lead to strokes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and even kidney issues. That’s why prevention is the best way to keep yourself safe from it.
One way to keep your blood sugar levels in check is to lose a certain amount of fat from the body. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, losing just 5-10% of your fat can lower the risk of diabetes by up to 58%. That’s an incredible turnout for such a little amount of fat lost.
Exercising and controlling your diet requires a lot of hard work and dedication. So, when you finally see the fruits of your labor, you’ll stay motivated.
Starting the weight loss journey is the hard part. Once you see some results, it’s easy to stay motivated. Remember that some people will have to work harder than others. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from achieving your goal.
Boost Your Energy
Staying on track with your diet plan and exercising daily will surely keep you energized. The increase in your body strength and your level of motivation will uplift your mood and lend you more energy to use for the day. And let’s not forget that, since now you’re sleeping better, you’ll wake up fresh and ready for the day ahead.
But it’s not just psychological. A lot of it has to do with the food you eat too. Since you lost 10 pounds, it’s more than likely that you cut sugar from your diet. And if you had other problem foods in your diet, like alcohol or fatty food, then you’ve cut down on them too. Hence, you feel more energetic and will sleep better.
Healthy Levels of Cholesterol
One of the biggest benefits of weight loss is a lower level of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a chemical inside your body that, in surplus quantities, can block important blood vessels.
Since you’ll be shedding off fat during your dieting and exercising, you’ll also be lowering your cholesterol levels. This is especially beneficial to overweight people who are dealing with heart problems.
But keep in mind that this is only true for low-fat diets. Ketogenic, Atkins, and other diets high in fat but low in calories will not help you lower your cholesterol.
Good For Arthritis
If you’ve ever dealt with joint pain and issues with your hip and knee, you’ll know that the doctors always recommend weight loss. The reason for that is that fat often releases chemicals that can cause inflammation.
In a 2005 study, it was found that obese people with joint pain who lost even as much as 1 pound felt a world of difference. They felt like 4 pounds of pressure had been lifted from their knees. Losing 10 pounds of fat will help alleviate 40 pounds of pressure from your joints by that formula.
How To Lose 10 Pounds of Fat Quickly
Want to lose 10 pounds weight in no time? Here’s what you can do to lose fat quicker
Firstly, count your calories. This is something that everybody tells you to do, but only because it’s important. Most of your weight loss will occur through a good diet. You can even skip physical exercise if you’re on a good diet.
And the last thing you should do is exercise. You can lose fat without exercise. But exercise boosts the process and helps shed off the excess layers of fat. And for obese people with joint pain and mobility issues, exercise and physiotherapy are great ways to regain your movement.
What does 10 pounds of fat look like?
10 pounds of fat weigh the same as an average 3-month-old baby. If that’s not a good enough example for you, consider a sack of potatoes or a bowling ball. Or you can picture a medium-sized cat or a garbage bag filled to the brim. 10 pounds may not sound like a lot, but it shows that you’re progressing towards a better lifestyle.
Can you lose 10 pounds of fat in a week?
No. It’s not possible to lose 10 lbs. of fat in a week without significantly changing your diet. Most dieticians recommend losing 1-2 pounds of fat each week.
This is because any long-term sustainable diet will help you lose fat at that rate. Any diet that works faster than that will not be healthy or sustainable in the long run.
How to lose 10 pounds in weight quickly?
You can lose 10 pounds of fat in about 5-10 weeks or more by controlling your diet. Keep checking your calories to make sure you’re getting the right amount. And avoid fatty foods, especially those that contain trans fats.
Besides that, exercise plays a crucial role, especially if your obesity has affected your mobility. Exercise regularly and focus more on cardio exercises than strength training.