Inspired by reading this site (👍) I started a calory deficit combined with strength training for some months and tracked my weight and body circumferences.
I see that I keep losing weight while my circumference plateaus.
Could it be that I lose muscle? Are there any indicators to tell if I lose muscle except expensive body fat percentage measurements?
As I have seen in other questions that lack of concrete background is often critized, so I try my best
This is a record of
- my weight in kg (yellow curve),
- the smallest possible circumference just below my thorax when I retract it as much as I can (W1 purple), and
- the largest possible circumference when I push my belly out (W2 green).
Please ignore the big jump around 11.09. for weight due to recalibrating my scale.
In addition I was at 21% body fat at the beginning of the record (the less inaccurate of electronic measurements where you have to hold two handles).
I am 39 years, male, 173cm tall, working in IT, i.e. sitting all time.
My initial state (1 month before record starts) was:
lifestyle: quite unhealthy regarding nutrition and involved no sport (maybe except occasional bike commutes 2 times a 20min per week).
I didn't feel bad about or had any health issues though.
E.g. I had 5 junk food meals and 8 alcoholic drinks per week, drank sugary sodas daily, ate chips etc.
physique: weak and some belly and love handle fat (aka skinny fat)
At day X (1 month before record starts) I decided to to get rid of my belly fat and adapted the following changes quite consistently:
- no sugary sodas, no juice
- eating almost zero processed or sugary foods, exceptions being (1) having a handful of quinoa for breakfast, and
- (2) using moderate amounts of processed, sugary spice sauces to add taste to roasted vegetabes
- eating much more vegetables
- eating very low carb including almost zero simple carbs, cut out bread, white rice, wheat pasta etc.
- also my complex carb intake lower than my total carb intake was before. I only eat brown rice and pasta as minor addition to veggies less than once a day
- eating much more protein in form of salmon, thuna, chicken, eggs and protein-rich vegetables
- therefor shifted away from other darker meats
- eating fats quite tolerantly but almost only in form of non processed plant oils (sesame, olive).
- eating only until I'm full or even staing a bit hungry
- max. 1 cheat meal per week, where these roles don't apply
- started gym cycle training with machines (not real weights, but those which simulate weights)
I do 2 sessions a week, a session being 4 cycles of 6 exercises. every exercise is 1:00 active plus 0:30 rest. I do these with the heaviest loads I can handle with proper form and as slowly as possible, e.g. for butterflies I do 4 reps in the 1:30 window. the training really feels exhausting.
Also I have to say that I had a quite intense phase of bicycle cardio in the unrecorded phase between day X and record start. I'm not sure if that might be relevant for the question.
Any help and comments are strongly appreciated :)
Edit: While answer given below is perfectly fine, the concrete solution to my problem was something they couldn't tell, but I can now and add it here:
I later found that the fat went away from other regions not included in my waist measurements, especially my butt and legs. Did need some time to find this out as it is not visible in the mirror from a frontal perspective
Also, risking to be offtopic, I'd just like to add this: Just did a second BF measurement and it turned out I got down from 21% to 13% body fat without loosing any muscle (and even gaining a bit) in a couple months. This is mainly due to the valuable information I got from reading through this community, so I just wanted to say "thank You" again 👍.