What does losing 5 pounds of body fat look like?

You will never downplay losing ‘just’ 5 pounds of fat again. 

I just want to lose 5 pounds… 

Losing 5 pounds is perhaps one of the most common weight loss goals out there. What makes 5 pounds such a magical, sought after number? People often feel that they are just 5 pounds away from their ‘ideal weight’, it’s common to hit a plateau with 5 pounds left to go, the last 5 pounds pounds always seem to be the hardest to lose. If you are just starting out on your fitness and weight loss journey, even if you are aiming for a double or even triple digit weight loss, the first 5 pounds lost is often a milestone that we recognize and celebrate. Losing 5 pounds makes us feel good. There is a sense of accomplishment that losing 4 pounds just doesn’t deliver. 

Visualizing 5 pounds of body fat at the grocery store. 

5 pounds is not an insignificant amount of weight

5 pounds is not an insignificant amount of weight. The next time you pass a shelf full of soda at the grocery store, lift a single, 2L bottle of your favorite soda. Feel its weight and size. That weight and volume is getting pretty close to what 5 pounds of body fat looks like. 

packages of bacon

Head over to the meat department. Pick up 5 packages of bacon (they typically come in single pound, pre-sliced, plastic packages. Now imagine taping those 5 packages around your waist and love handles. It’s a significant weight and volume, and you would notice it under your clothes. 

One pound of body fat is approximately 3,500 calories.

The math behind 1 pound of body fat. One pound of body fat is approximately 3,500 calories. Simplified, if you ate 500 fewer calories per day than your body burns, and you kept this up for a week, it would add up to a 3,500 calorie deficit, and you will have lost 1 pound. 

1 Pound of Body Fat

One pound of yellow, greasy, body fat is about the size of a standard food can. 

That's just the basic math, a back of an envelope calculation. In reality, it's a bit more complicated. Two important things to consider when taking the calorie deficit approach to losing body fat:

  1. While attempting a calorie deficit, you should be aiming to maintain a balanced nutritional intake, so that your body is getting the vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that it needs to function properly.
  2. If you aren’t doing the right type of exercise, if your meal plan isn’t aligned with your workouts, your body will likely start to strip your lean muscle mass at the same time it's breaking down your body fat. That's because lean muscle is easier for the body to break down and use for energy than body fat. The problem with losing your lean muscle mass, (beyond simply losing strength, muscle definition and tone) is that lean muscle requires significantly more energy to maintain than fat. A pound of lean muscle will burn 3.5 - 5 times more calories than a pound of body fat. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories that your body will burn 24/7 - even when your body is fully at rest. People that build and maintain lean muscle have a built in advantage when it comes to how efficient their body is at burning calories, shedding fat, and losing weight. To build lean muscle, and keep the lean muscle tone that you have, you have to eat the right balance of foods - including getting enough lean proteins (Meal Plan) and you have to do the right types of exercises (Workout Program). 
Balanced diet

This is why its so important to sync and align your diet and exercise. When people take just one approach or the other, it takes much longer to achieve results. You can’t out-train a bad diet, no matter how much effort you are willing to put into your fitness. The fastest way to success is to follow a Meal Plan and a corresponding Workout Program, ideally designed to support each other seamlessly. Trying to fly with just one wing ends up being more work and struggle than gliding to victory on two. 

At BodyRock we’ve helped tens of thousands of women (and men) get in the best shapes of their life by bringing together our meal plans with daily workouts in a seamless, easy to follow solution that delivers transformational results. Simply select the meal plan that best fits your lifestyle:

BodyRock Meal Plan Collection

The BodyRock Meal Plans Collection. 

- The Body Rock Meal Plan which focuses on a balance of whole foods and includes meat options. 

- The Plant Based Plan for vegetarians and vegans (can also be used to supplement the BodyRock Meal Plan). 

- The Intermittent Fasting Plan, with a version of the plan specifically for the needs of women.

Woman exercising with BodyRockPlus.com

With your meal plan in place, start following our daily BodyRock workouts that combine HIIT (high intensity interval training) with Strength Training. This workout format has been scientifically proven to be the most efficient (fastest) method for losing body fat, getting lean, and building athletic muscle tone - in short, getting you in the best shape of your life. Every single day we show up for our community with 2 new workouts - a beginner level workout that has been specifically designed to help beginners up and moving again, building their strength and confidence, and an intermediate to advance level workout. We believe in making fitness accessible, and we don’t leave anyone behind - it doesn’t matter if you haven’t exercised in years or even decades, we have you, and we dedicate ourselves to supporting your goals. 

For a limited time, you can get a full year of our workout programs on our fitness streaming service BodyRockPlus.com (think NetFlix, but for workouts) for just $69 with code: NY22

Now that you have some context for what 5 pounds of BodyFat looks like, the math behind it, and a proven solution for reducing and eliminating it, let’s get more graphic now with some hyper realistic body fat models that give you a sense of the appearance and scale of 5 pounds of body fat. 

5 pounds of Body Fat

The approximate volume, and texture of 5 pounds of body fat. 

Losing this much body fat is something that should be recognized as a significant accomplishment. When you have these images for context, its no wonder that losing 20 lbs of excess body fat will completely change your appearance

5 pounds of body weight visualized

5 pounds of fat vs. 5 pounds of muscle

5 pounds of fat vs. 5 pounds of lean muscle. 

You can see from the side by side comparison photo, that fat is significantly larger than the same weight of lean muscle. This is one of the reasons why we recommend using the mirror, or how your clothes fit to track your progress. As you build fat burning lean muscle, you can lose inches and go down multiple dress sizes without that profound change registering the way you would initially expect on the scale. 




If this post made you even more determined to start your fitness and weight loss journey, we’d love to have you as part of our fit fam. Please take a minute to check out our Meal Plan options, and come and train with us. No matter where you are starting, you don’t have to feel the slightest bit intimidated. We’ve been helping beginners take their first steps towards achieving their fitness and weight loss goals for over 10+ years, by taking a simple to follow, achievable approach to both diet and exercise. Our plans work together to deliver results. If you need a place to start, here is an excellent article for starting out as a beginner. You can also check out our 30 day Beginner Bootcamp workout series on our fitness streaming platform BodyRockPlus.com - it’s been a trusted on-ramp for beginners at any fitness level for over 250,000 + women and men. Our Beginner Bootcamp will get you up and moving again in just 15-20 minutes per session. Use code: NY22 to get a full year of BodyRockPlus and access to all of our programs and daily workouts for just $69. Over 100+ beginners are joining our fitfam every single day - and we’d love to get you moving towards your weight loss goals. 

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