Do You Lose Water Weight Or Fat First?

If you are interested in losing weight, you are not alone. There's a surprisingly diverse range of reasons — personal, professional, and health — that people want to lose weight. From a personal standpoint, some people may want to drop a few pounds before their wedding — whether they just want to look good in the photos or fit into a smaller size of clothing. Professionally, fighters have been known to cut more than 30 pounds in as little as 10 days to make weight for their prize fight — often using trash bags and saunas to get the job done (via The Sportster). In terms of health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that losing anywhere between 5% to 10% of your overall body weight may have several health benefits like bettering your blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars.

But not all weight loss is equal. The CDC notes that those who lose a little bit of weight — say a few pounds every few weeks — by making lasting changes to their lifestyle, dietary habits, exercise, and how they manage stress are more likely to remain at their lower target weight than those who try to lose a lot of weight quickly. 

You might wonder when losing weight if water weight or fat comes off first. The answer may surprise you.

When you lose weight, this comes off first

Weight loss is a process, reports Healthline. During the initial stages of weight loss, which occur for around the first month to six weeks, people tend to lose the most weight from their body's carbohydrate reserves, as well as losing some protein, water, and a little bit of fat. Unfortunately for those looking to ditch their fat reserves, you are much more likely to lose water weight quickly rather than that stubborn fat (per Family Healthcare of Fairfax). According to Medical News Today, the human body is mostly made of water — anywhere from 50% to 60%. Remember, people cutting weight — like soon-to-be newlyweds and professional fighters — lose a lot of weight quickly, and that's mostly from water weight loss. In short, what comes off quickly can be put back on quickly.

But there's good news if you continue to lose weight. During the second stage of weight loss — after week six — you start to cut into the body's fat reserves, reports Healthline. Sticking with your lifestyle, dietary, and physical activity changes will pay off eventually when it comes to fat loss.