Even a small amount of weight gain can feel discouraging. So you gained some weight. Is 5 pounds weight gain noticeable? What about as small as 3 pounds? 10 pounds?
The amount of weight gain that will be noticeable depends on a few factors, including your starting weight, your build, and how you carry your weight.
Let’s dive in.
Is 5 Pounds Weight Gain Noticeable?
If you’re starting at a relatively low weight or body fat percentage, or if you have a small frame, then 5 pounds of weight gain may be noticeable. On the other hand, if you have a larger frame or you’re already carrying around a few extra pounds, then 5 pounds of weight gain may not be noticeable at all.
Your starting weight is a very important determining factor for determining if a weight gain of 5 pounds will be noticeable.
If you’re starting at a very low weight, even a modest weight gain of 5 pounds can be noticeable. This is because your starting weight is relatively lower in the first place.
For example, let’s say you’re a small framed woman who weighs 110 pounds. A weight gain of just 5 pounds would put you at 115 pounds, which is 5% more than your starting weight.
In this case, the 5 pound weight gain would likely be noticeable, especially if it’s all concentrated in one area, like the belly or in the face.
If you weigh even less than this, let’s say 90 pounds, a weight gain of 5 pounds may very well be noticeable for you.
On the other hand, if you’re a woman who weighs 200 pounds, a weight gain of 5 pounds will not be noticeable because you have a lot more weight on your frame to camouflage this gain
The way your body is built is also a determining factor of how much of a weight gain will be noticeable.
Your height definitely plays a role. For example, a 5 pound weight gain may be more noticeable on someone who is 5 feet tall than on someone who is 6 feet tall.
This is because the 5 foot tall person will weigh significantly less than a person who is 6 foot tall, and will likely have a lower percentage of body fat to begin with.
When both of these individuals gain body fat, it is much more likely that the gain will ne noticed on the 5 foot tall person.
Where You Carry Body Fat
Where your body stores fat first is a large factor that will determine if a 5 pound weight gain will be noticeable for you.
If you tend to store weight in your belly, then a 5 pound weight gain may be noticeable, even if you don’t gain any weight in your hips or thighs.
Conversely, if you tend to carry weight in your hips and thighs, then a 5 pound weight gain may not be noticeable, even if it’s all stored in your belly.
Some people store body fat in their face first before anywhere else on the body. If you do tend to gain weight in your face first, a weight gain of 5 pounds is much more likely to be noticed by others.
Is Gaining 3 Pounds Noticeable?
Gaining 3 pounds is only likely to be noticeable for someone who has a very low starting weight and body fat percentage, or who has a small frame.
If you have a larger frame or you’re already carrying around a few extra pounds, then gaining 3 pounds will not be noticeable at all.
For example, let’s say you’re a small framed woman who weighs 95 pounds. A weight gain of just 3 pounds would put you at 98 pounds, which is 3% more than your starting weight.
In this case, the 3 pound weight gain would likely be noticeable, especially if it’s all concentrated in one area, like the belly or the face.
However, 3 pounds of body fat gained is a relatively small amount in the grand scheme of things.
There is a very high chance that a weight gain this small will not even be noticed on a small framed 95 pound woman either, it really just depends on where this small amount of fat is stored.
Is Gaining 10 Pounds Noticeable?
Gaining 10 pounds is more likely to be noticeable on most individuals, unless you are of a taller height, or already have a higher body fat percentage.
As we discussed, a big determining factor of how much of a weight gain will be noticeable is your starting weight and body fat percentage, height, and where you tend to store body fat first.
For someone who weighs 100 pounds, a weight gain of 10 pounds may very well be noticeable, especially if the person stores body fat in one specific area, instead of all over.
On the other hand, if a person who weighs 180 pounds and stores body fat in a variety of areas gains 10 pounds, it may not be noticeable at all.
If I Gained 5 Pounds What Should I do?
If you gained 5 pounds and want to lose it, the only way to do so is to create a calorie deficit.
A calorie deficit is achieved when you burn more calories than you are taking in on a daily basis.
You can burn calories through exercise, and you can reduce the amount of calories you’re taking in through diet alone. You can also do both!
If you want to lose the 5 pounds quickly, you’ll need to create a larger calorie deficit, but this is not recommended. Losing weight slowly is the best way and will be sustainable.
Creating a calorie deficit is based on your basal metabolic rate which will determine your maintenance calorie amount. You can easily calculate your basal metabolic rate using an online calculator.
This is done by calculating your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure,) which is your basal metabolic rate plus your physical activity performed. If you do not do ANY physical activity, you can use this calculator to calculate your basal metabolic rate only.
Once you know your maintenance calories, you simply will consume an amount of calories less than this.
For example, if your maintenance calorie amount is 2,000 calories per day, you would need to consume 200-500 calories less than this per day (1,500-1,800 calories) to lose body fat.
Related Post: How to Make a Calorie Deficit Easy (15 Easy Tips)
Does Weight Gain Always Mean You Gained Fat?
A weight gain on the scale does not always mean you gained body fat.
There are a few other factors that can contribute to a weight gain on the scale, even if you haven’t gained any body fat.
- Water retention: This can be caused by a variety of things, including eating too much salt, stress, and hormonal changes that can occur.
- Muscle gain: If you’ve been working out and lifting weights, you may have gained some muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so this could account for a weight gain on the scale even though you haven’t gained any body fat.
- Digestion: The food you eat has weight too! If you’ve eaten a lot of high fiber foods or foods that are high in water content (like fruits and vegetables,) this can add weight to the scale.
So, a weight gain on the scale doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve gained body fat.
You may even weigh yourself again the next day and see this small weight gain be drastically different.
The scale is not always accurate. The best way to tell if your weight gain is really body fat is to measure your body fat percentage.
You can do this at home with a body fat scale, or have it done professionally with skinfold calipers for example. You can also just simply measure your body with a measuring tape or just gauge how you fit into your clothing.
If you use a measuring tape, be sure to measure the areas where fat will commonly be stored, such as around the abdomen, hips, and thighs.
Why Is It People Notice When I Gain Weight But Not When I Lose Weight?
It’s more noticeable when someone gains weight because the changes happen more quickly and also because everyone stores body fat in different areas and loses it at different rates.
When you lose weight slowly over time, the changes are not as drastic and therefore not as noticeable.
If you tend to gain body fat in your abdomen every single time but this area is also the last to go, then someone would be more likely to notice this weight gain, rather then if you lost a little weight slowly.
If you tend to gain weight in your face first, but lose weight from your face last, then it is going to be far more noticeable to others when you gain weight.
Another reason is that people tend to compare your current body to your past body. So if you used to weigh 115 pounds and now you weigh 150 pounds, the change is going to be much more noticeable than if you currently weigh 150 pounds and lose 10 pounds.
There are a variety of factors that determine how much of a weight gain will be noticeable, including your starting weight, body fat percentage, your height, and where you tend to store fat first.
It can upset you if you gain weight, but remember, your weight gain may not always consist of body fat alone. Also a small weight gain is not likely to be very noticeable to others.
If you want to lose this weight, a calorie deficit is the only way to achieve it. It is tried and true, and it works!
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