I have been working out intensely as usual, but notice that my weight has begun to average around 3-5 lbs. lower than what it mostly would sit at. I feel like I've been getting fatter, but at the same time more muscular, but my weight has gone down.

From what I can tell, when you get more muscular your weight should go UP. I have seen more arm muscle size with measurements and have been cutting back on cardio due to losing focus and not sticking to my old routines, but I've still lost some weight while adding more muscle size -- and strangely I feel fatter. I have not made any dietary changes/energy expenditure changes/etc.

Why would I be gaining muscle size and feeling "fuller" and fatter, but be losing weight?

I can't be getting leaner because I wouldn't feel fatter -- and I can't be losing muscle because I'm seeing size improvements that are both visibly more noticeable and measurably larger too.

So why would I be losing weight slowly? I'm not losing fat nor muscle, so what else could it be?

It's not "chronic" changes -- more so it just seems that a couple of pounds have shed away from nowhere. I don't feel or look leaner, and I'm more muscular -- so why would I lose instead of gain?

Interestingly, I did more cardio before and ate less my weight always stayed steadily at 162 lbs. I do less cardio and eat the same, but now my weight is going down. Why? I'm not trying to force or change my weight -- I'm just noticing that it's going down and wondering why, if anything, it's not going up some due to more muscle. I'm male, 25, ~5'10" and around 162 lbs. at 13% bodyfat.

  • 2
    My initial thought is you lost some body fat and you "look" more muscular but you really aren't. One way to look like you've gained 10 lbs. of muscle is to lose 5 lbs. of fat. The "feeling fatter" can come about from various things. For example, I typically "feel fatter" after I eat a particularly salty meal.
    – DeeV
    May 20, 2017 at 3:00
  • I doubt that 3 lbs. of fat loss would make anyone look more defined. You're thinking of an obese individual who sheds to a normal ballpark, who could look more more cut when reaching that level of bf. 3 lbs. isn't enough to make any significant difference in nearly anyone's body.
    – user25647
    May 20, 2017 at 3:27
  • 3 lbs. can make a significant difference in the lower bodyfat percentages (like 13% for example).
    – DeeV
    May 20, 2017 at 3:30
  • Ok, assuming it can, I still know that it hasn't been a visible difference on/to me.
    – user25647
    May 20, 2017 at 3:34
  • I'm not sure/clear on what "feeling fatter" means. Aug 31, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Chances are that the weight lost is from water. You would need to be in a 500 calorie deficit to lose 1 pound of fat per week, and it's doubtful that you are since you're not eating less.

Check your macronutrient and micronutrient ratios. Limiting carbs and sodium will cause you to retain less water.

it just seems that a couple of pounds have shed away from nowhere. I don't feel or look leaner, and I'm more muscular -- so why would I lose instead of gain?

A few things:

  • A couple of pounds difference will not result in much visible change
  • Losing weight, whether its water or fat(you definitely did not lose this much muscle), will make your muscles more defined. Your skin will look tighter.

Losing weight makes your mid section smaller before it does your upper body, and this will aid in the illusion that you are more muscular. Professional bodybuilders seek to maximize this illusion.

  • I know that normal weight fluctuates up to 10 lbs. a day in some people, even with a perfectly on "maintenance" diet (if one even exists). Some weight changes can be water, stool, cell weight, etc. I heard some things can make cells "buff" and hold more stuff (like water, etc.) and that can momentarily cause weight gain without fat/muscle gain (think about drinking three gallons of water in ten minutes -- you'll probably gain a LOT of weight instantly) -- or eating lots of high-volume foods that add immediate weight but may not have calorie-density or affect overall diet/metabolic changes.
    – user25647
    Jun 6, 2017 at 23:44
  • 500 cals/day = 1 lb fat is outmoded and erroneous.
    – JohnP
    Jul 6, 2017 at 23:12

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