I’ve found a question that comes up repeatedly: “How long it takes other people to notice your weight loss?”
When will other people really notice your weight loss?
Unfortunately, the answers provided by academia and mainstream media are impossible to understand.
There is one study covering the topic. It surveys both genders and quotes confusing results like this: “perceivers recognized differences as small as 1.33 kg/m2, changes of roughly twice that size were necessary to alter attractiveness.”
I pity anyone trying to understand what that means.
The articles on “authority” media sites are vague and covered with ads & videos that makes reading them unbearable. The Today Show website, for example, holds the top rated position on Google for the phrase “notice my weight loss” and here’s a paraphrasing of what they said on the topic: “a woman of average height would need to lose eight pounds to be noticed.”
Umm. Okay, but what if a woman is not 5’4” exactly?
Live Strong ranks #2 on Google for this question. How long it takes other people to notice your weight loss?
They must have something more comprehensive to say, right?
The closest they get to a relevant answer: “A 10-pound loss on someone who has hundreds of pounds to lose will not be as noticeable as it is on a 120-pound person.”
I was surprised that there was not a better answer online, so I’ve created one.
A little weight loss research…
Forums with women talking about online weight loss had the best information since it was real women sharing their real experiences (rather than theoretical studies).
The problem was that this data was scattered all about the web. You had to hunt to find it. So I hunted.
After going through 10 years of archives and reading over 1,000 posts across 5 different forums, I found 98 instances where women had shared their height and weight as well as how many pounds they lost before someone noticed. Statisticians will balk at that base size, but I felt comfortable trying to make some basic conclusions from the data. I consolidated the data for these 98 women into a spreadsheet (like the nerd I am!) and looked for trends.
I found that across 5 different weight brackets, women generally agreed on how many pounds they lost before others started noticing. I took my findings and created the simple chart in the next section.
When will people really notice your weight loss?
Are you a woman who’s curious about how many pounds you need to lose before others will notice? Here’s the answer:
|Weight||Lose This Much To Get Noticed|
|< 140||5 – 10 pounds|
|141 – 169||10 – 15 pounds|
|170 – 209||20 – 25 pounds|
|210 – 249||25 – 30 pounds|
|250+||25 – 35 pounds|
Of note, at weights lower than 110 it may take only a few pounds for people to notice but I didn’t have a large enough base size of women under 110 to feel comfortable including it in my chart.
The table above isn’t altogether surprising, but I am pleased to present it in the most clear and comprehensive format on the web. Here are a few more things I learned while researching this question:
1 – Frequency of seeing someone matters. Your hairdresser might notice before your co-workers. The reason? Your hairdresser sees your weight loss all at once so it’s more noticeable, whereas your co-workers experience it incrementally. The frog in hot water analogy applies.
2 – Non-scale victories can help when no one is noticing. Take measurements and progress pics for additional positive reinforcement and validation.
3 – Your husband or mother will be first to notice. Your husband has the advantage of frequently touching your body so that helps. You mom must have your body image imprinted in her brain as some sort of evolutionary thing.
4 – Usually a few people notice early, then several pounds later, there’s a tipping point where a ton of people notice and offer compliments. So keep going!
5 – Wear ill-fitting clothes will delay people’s responses. If you wear ill-fitting clothes that conceal your figure, it’ll take longer for people to notice. Consider having your clothes tailored if you’re dropping sizes.
6 – Comments come later. Comments typically come well after someone actually notices your weight loss. It takes courage and certainty for someone to comment. It’s somewhat similar to how you might not congratulate someone for being pregnant until you are 100% sure.
7 – The smaller you are the harder it gets. A client recently lost 7 pounds, going from 138 pounds to 131 pounds, and we discussed whether or not anyone had noticed. She said “No” the night that I asked and then the very next day one of her co-workers mentioned how much thinner her face looked. She was thrilled.
What do you think about this post? Does my chart jive with your personal experience? How can I improve this information? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Your action steps?
If you want to start losing weight and burning fat today…
Get FREE access to my: 21 Day Fat Burning Challenge
It’s the exact protocol to use when you need to lose a few lbs.
It will walk you through the exact steps I use for myself and for our coaching clients and it’s totally FREE.
It works just as well if you have 2 pounds to lose or 200 and yes you can lose 200 lbs on keto.
Grab your 21 Day Challenge Fat Burning Guide
I’ve had readers lose as many as 11 pounds in just three weeks just by following the steps outlined in my free guide.
It’s the same process I use for myself.
You can grab the guide here!
Not sure if you’re ready to lose weight?
Read how to tell if you’re motivated enough to lose weight.
Wishing you success!
– Mr Skinny Pants
7 thoughts on “How Long It Takes Other People to Notice Your Weight Loss”
This is very helpful. Thanks!
I am 5 ft tall and went from 138 to 116 and not a soul besides my husband noticed ! Very frustrating . The important thing though is he noticed and I am happier in my clothes!
I don’t know how I happened onto your website but I am so glad I did! I started Keto on 27 Apr and did well until Memorial Day. Now that I’ve read your information about setting priorities and determining if I’m motivated and how to get and stay that way, I’m ready to start a 21-day challenge. I lose well on this plan and have lost 9 lbs since I started in April, but I struggle with carb-laden foods! I see you can have some now and then but If I do I have trouble getting right back on plan. I found all your info so helpful and I’m feeling motivated again! Thank you very much for sharing your family experience with Keto and your own lessons learned. I look forward to the recipes and other information I requested by submitting my email address. It’s a very kind and good thing you are doing with your posts.
Sincerely, Karen Trudell
Thanks for the kind words Karen!
Welcome to the low carb world.
Don’t stress about losing your way from time to time.
We all have to live a little 🙂
The trick is to not let it get away from you!
Shoot me an email if you have any questions.
-Mr Skinny Pants
It’s definitely worth a shot Elyssa! Good luck to you!
This was super helpful! I haven’t had really anyone comment on my 15 lb weight loss, and since the range above for women in 170-209 is a 20-25 lb weight loss for people to notice, I’m not concerned anymore! I thought maybe my scale had been lying to me, haha! Thank you for this article
15 lbs is great. Keep up the good work. You’re doing great! Don’t worry, people will notice soon! Hey I’m not sure if you saw this but we’re just launching a new project that you might find helpful in your keto journey. We have 17 keto experts sharing with us in a couple weeks (with options to pick their brains virtually over the weekend) take a peek:https://ketodietsummit.com/registration (2 of the experts are experts in keto for women!)