Before-and-afters that will make your jaw drop.

By Blake Bakkila
April 04, 2018

When most people start a weight-loss plan, they typically have a goal weight in mind—and then do regular weigh-ins with the bathroom scale to track the rate at which the pounds peel off.

The crazy thing is, even though your clothes might fit better and you feel lighter, sometimes the scale will stubbornly stay put. It's demoralizing, sure, but also a good reminder not to get too hung up on what the number says. Instead, nutritionists advise that you chart your diet progress by how much healthier you feel, any increase in your strength and endurance, and a change in body-fat composition ratio, among other measures.

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Don't believe us that it's possible to drop lbs without seeing that reflected on the scale? Take it from these 8 women, who posted dramatic before-and-after images on social media to explain what they learned when this happened to them.

“In both of these pictures I weighed 160 lbs, this is the difference over a year of CrossFit had on my body,” @kari.leigh said. “I gained a lot of strength and lost body fat. The best part was I felt incredible too! I stopped stressing about the scale so much and just focused on how I felt. It boosted my confidence and allowed me to get to know myself better.”

“The number on the scale is only one unit of measurement,” @fitness_cara captioned these photos of herself, both of which showed her at 127 lbs. “I recently stopped caring about the number and celebrating it, it is so freeing not letting this number control me!”

“Honestly I think the biggest factor is just time,” @em_wizzfit wrote. “Being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself, bit by bit slowly adds up. My confidence has never had anything to do with my weight or my body shape, but my perception of myself. [That’s] what you need to work on.”

“So many women think the answer to looking or feeling their best is to lose weight,” @theblondefiless wrote. “While for some people this is certainly true, for others it may be best to pursue a body recomposition.”

⬆️And this is why the scale should not be the main measurement of progress or health. The scale does not differentiate between muscle, fat, water, and organs. I am the same weight between these two photos, but my body composition and health is a whole lot different. ◀️Picture on the left was taken over 12 years ago. At the time I was doing only cardio; eating a diet high in processed carbs, and not nearly enough protein or healthy fats. Remember the Special K Diet? Yeah that was me at this point. I was drinking alcohol and making those ihop runs at midnight. 😲I was suffering from mad digestive issues. ▶️Picture on the right is now. I do mostly strength training and a total of about 30 minutes if hiit style cardio a week. I don’t drink alcohol and I eat quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbs and veggies at every meal and snack. 80-90% my diet is nutrient dense foods, but I do leave a little wiggle room for a treat here and there if I want it. However, I have come to find out I rarely want those foods. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 💥💥💥Ok so lets talk about how I got from picture on the left to picture on the right. Contrary to what some people say, you cannot turn fat into muscle. It is a two step process. I first lost the fat, (and actually got myself wayyy to skinny for a long time; leading to lack of a menstrual cycle but that is for a different Post). And then over the past few years with the introduction of counting my macros and prioritizing strength training have gotten my hormones back up and running and built up my lean muscle mass while keeping my body fat at a healthy level. ⬆️The scale is just a number, and will not be how I will measure my progress or health. #transfornariontuesday Questions?!

A post shared by Natalie Eynon (@shapebynat) on

“And this is why the scale should not be the main measurement of progress or health,” @shapebynat shared. “The scale does not differentiate between muscle, fat, water, and organs. I am the same weight between these two photos, but my body composition and health is a whole lot different.”

TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY - SCALES VERSUS PICTURES 💫 - - My nana always says a picture tells a thousand words - well here’s one for you - same weight, three years apart 👀 - Feeling healthy is THE number one measure of a healthy body, and I know that whats the mirror, and in my progress pics like this one, are 100% more accurate measure, and I’m so glad I’ve documented my whole weight loss journey 😍 - My weight has shot up to 68kgs again in the last while, and my minds been playing tricks on me 🤷🏼‍♀️🤨 The last time I was 68kgs was 2015, I was just 12 weeks into my first ever training program and I had lost a massive 7kgs already!! #delightedwithlife 🤣 - I used to live by the scales, and got no end of satisfaction seeing it drop every week, when I was on a weight loss programme, but more recently, when my weight levelled off, I stopped caring about the scales 🙌 - However, to be totally honest, i still had a little panic when I weighed myself & realised just how much my weight has increased recently 🙈 - But it just goes to show u that the scales is not an accurate unit of measure, especially when you train with weights 😅 I’m not gonna say I’m entirely happy at this weight but seeing this pic deffo helps 💫 - Enjoy your training, enjoy your food, enjoy your life, and your body will respond accordingly 🙆🏼‍♀️ PS I’m writing this with a belly full of dominos 🙈🙈🤣 Back on track tomorrow 🙌 - #transformationtuesday #sameweight #differentbody #scalesversuspictures #mindfuck #healthybody #healthymind

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“Feeling healthy is THE number one measure of a healthy body, and I know that whats the mirror, and in my progress pics like this one, are 100% more accurate measure, and I’m so glad I’ve documented my whole weight loss journey,” @fat2fitdotie captioned her side-by-side photos.

“This is why you shouldn’t depend on the scales when you’re working out!” @laurapattison_fit shared. “I have so much more muscle definition now & look completely different, yet weigh the same. Our bodies are incredible!”

“In both photos, I weighed the exact same amount, 145 lbs,” said @jay.qwellinn. “It's amazing what eating clean and some muscle definition can do for you.”