T Nation

Do You Notice Even Fat Loss?

  1. As with muscle gain fat loss often isn't linear and sometimes it will be 1 pound one week, 3 pounds the next and none after that. But as for distribution of fat loss across the body (for example 50% from thighs, 30% from waist, 10% for upper back/chest, etc...) do you notice its constant or that sometimes it will be almost entirely from legs one week then almost entirely from back the next, etc.? I would imagine those who use calipers would be more apt to answer this. I would think its not even most of the time but I haven't used calipers in a long time, they just frustrated me.

  2. On that note, how much of you consistently use calipers? I used to use them weekly but as mentioned they really just seemed to annoy me and although they can be precise sometimes other times it seems like from one measurement to the next (at the same point) it can vary by a couple millimeters obviously throwing off any usefulness within a short-moderate time frame. Apparently they can become less accurate as time goes on as well because of the spring getting worn out.


While I haven't noticed any pattern as far as this bodypart one week, and that the next, I have noticed (and it's been echoed by most of the other natty pros and competitors I talk with) that lower body conditioning usually lags slightly behind the upper body.

Never been a fan of calipers myself though, always been more of a mirror-progress kinda guy.



I agree with that but it could still be constant/even or not. I.e. maybe one always loses ~30% lower body 70% upper body fat or something always. Not that it matters, I'm just curious if people have noticed one way or the other.


I like calipers and measure many skin folds every week. It's kind of a Saturday morning ritual.
I don't like calipers to measure bodyfat %. I just use the fold to see if I gained or lost some fat, and don't try to quantify the amount.

Fat loss isn't liner. In a contest diet, the first few weeks are usually very motivating and I lose fat all over (skin fold get smaller everywhere). After a while, this often stalls, or legs keep hardening, but lower back and the belly region just do not improve. After a couple of more weeks, there usually is a "sudden" boost in progress and those sites somehow "catch up".
I don't know the reason for this phenomenon, and my most important judge in a prep is still the mirror, and my training partner.


I agree. I finally understand how my body stores and loses fat but only after taking weekly pictures over months while dropping weight. I saw no change in my waist for a couple of weeks despite looking a little leaner in other areas but then lost a half inch in about 3 days in one week.

From what I have seen, much like with gaining muscle, there are spurts and lulls in activity....but how you gain or lose or store weight is genetically based.

I will always lose fat from my waist as the absolute last reserve....but even with that, I may notice more progress in certain areas over time as my body regulates itself.


Thanks for the input, this is along the lines of what I was getting at. After I stopped using calipers I just went by waistline, and am/was not entirely sure if no waistline reduction meant no fat reduction (in the case of consistent certain percentage of fat loss from certain areas of the body) or if maybe fat really was lost from other areas and none from the waist.

Also ParagonA I like calipers in the same way, just looking at the skinfold width rather than trying to enter it into a calculator or something, but still I find its hard to be consistent making sure its the exact same place each time. At least weekly. Last week I 'apparently' lost ~2-3mm on my abdominal skinfold (very significant from what I've seen) while my waistline stayed the same :\ it was the first week using calipers in a couple years, I'm not sure if I'll continue. Definitely not for bulking.

PX whats your weight and waistline at nowadays and what were they at the start of your cut?


I won't be giving out my weight on line because people are idiots. Let's just say I have had better progress this time losing body fat while holding onto muscle than I have before. I have lost about 4" off my waist since I started back at the end of March. I would post the before pic (taken after I ate for added belly protrusion), but I am well aware of how people would use that info to act as if I just got fat as hell for no reason....even though I lost any extra body fat from that point in a matter of weeks.

But along with the topic, yeah, if I had not been taking pictures, I would have assumed I was losing muscle mass because my waist was not going down. I had experienced that in the past and halted dieting because of it...not realizing that my body loses fat in a "top to bottom" fashion when it comes to my waist. It means you can lose significant body fat and not have certain measurements change for a while...meaning you need to use all tools like the mirror, pictures, measurements, and the eye of others who actually know what they are talking about.


Yea, pics can be really misleading though which is why I like measurements. If my waistline is down an inch and arms are the same size then I know 100% I'm getting good results. If on the other hand a pic looks better or worse it could be due to distance, lighting, food in your stomach, how flat you may be at that point, etc. Obviously we try to control as much as we can but even then it can be hard. Generally if someone loses even 10lb of muscle they will look better if they lose 30lb of fat with that but I wouldn't consider that to be a good cut. Of course pics are one helpful tool and measurements can certainly be just as misleading.

Sent you a PM