How Many Pounds Does a Person Have to Lose to Drop a Dress Size?

We are in the middle of a Health Challenge over in our Facebook group. Today was our weigh in day and most (but not all) of our participants are seeing some success. It can be frustrating to be “doing everything right” (or almost everything) and only see a half pound loss in a week. However, every half pound will add up to a whole pound and every one pound lost adds up to multiple pounds lost. Which got me thinking about how many pounds does a person have to lose to be able to drop a dress size?

New Year, New You

The answer is not as simple as you may think. Typically, the more you have to lose, the more pounds you can lose before noticing a big difference in the way your clothing fits. However, if you begin to take pictures and compare them from month to month, you may be pleasantly surprised at the difference you can see in the pictures, even when the scale is not cooperating. Or even better, take measurements before you start and you’ll begin to see that your body is indeed changing.

I follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan and it amazes me to see the transformation in some ladies, even as they report a small number loss. I have a friend who lost a considerable amount of weight but for the first 20-30 pounds it wasn’t very noticeable. Then the transformation began! It seemed like overnight she was looking “trim” but the reality is that it took weeks of doing the right thing even when no one was noticing.

For those of us with children, doesn’t it seem like they grow an inch overnight? But we know that the growth is actually happening daily, in small amounts. I believe it’s the same with weight loss. We lose slowly over time and then one day, BAM! You start having people notice.

So for those of you (us, because I’m talking to myself as well!) who are making an effort to regain health by shedding a few pounds, do not grow weary when the scale doesn’t budge as much as we think it should. Your body is unique and you need to figure out just what it needs to fuel it without overdoing it. Maybe you’ll see a larger drop the following week if you don’t give up. And maybe you will not. But even if you only see a half pound, that half pound this week and a half pound next week and the next and the next will add up to 2 pounds in a month, 4 pounds in two months, 6 pounds in 3 months. It’s slow progress but it’s PROGRESS! I know it doesn’t satisfy our “instant gratification” mentality but remember the principle of sowing and reaping. If you sow only good seed, then you WILL eventually have a good crop. If you sow weed seeds as well as good seed, then you will reap less of the good crop.

So let’s be good farmers and decide NOT to plant weed seeds, and when some do inevitably sneak in, do your best to eradicate those weeds at first sight. Don’t give in to the temptation of doing it later. They’ll be that much harder to get rid of when they’ve grown a larger root and have taken hold!

So back to my initial question of how many pounds do you need to lose to drop a dress size? On the average it’s 10 pounds. In other words, for every 10 pounds lost, you will fit in a smaller pant size. But that’s the average. For some people it’s more like 12-15. Others will see a size difference after only 5 pounds. I personally believe that it has to do with a person’s height and body shape as well. PLEASE don’t set your heart on that number! It may be an interesting exercise for you to chart what it takes for YOUR body. Maybe you have a favorite pair of pants that have grown too tight. See how many pounds you lose before they fit again. I’m not talking about that pair you wore in high school 25 years ago when you were a size 2. I’m talking about a pair that fit last year, or last month, or before the holidays or last summer. Something more recent.

A friend commented to me this morning that she wore a pair of pants all day yesterday that had been uncomfortable. She’s lost about 5 pounds so far.

I have to recite this Bible verse to myself when I find myself wanting to give in and give up. I have a little tune that I made up to help me remember it. Maybe that will help you too.



About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

6 thoughts on “How Many Pounds Does a Person Have to Lose to Drop a Dress Size?

  1. You know the scales were up for me. Had lost a 1.5 pounds and then higher than ever today. But I didn’t get upset. I know I am eating better, more conscious of what I do and don’t eat. Drinking my water more faithfully, vitamins. But this past week PC has been sick and we just don’t go to the gym when one or the other is sick. We will get back at this weekend. And next weigh in I will celebrate. Thank you so much for doing this challenge, Sheila.

  2. This is really encouraging. So glad you’re sponsoring the Health Challenge. I know I’ve been a slacker but it’s still so good!

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