4 odd things people think are positive signs they’re losing weight

Over the years I’ve been helping people lose weight, I’ve discovered that some people are absolutely uncertain they’re losing weight unless they experience some physical sensations that they believe are actual byproducts of fat burning.

The following methods of alleged body fat burning are anecdotal and there is no science to support them. That hasn’t stopped people from sharing and believing them. I’m sharing them here only for entertainment purposes. They make me laugh.

1. Growling stomach

The rationale: If you’ve cut back on the amount of food you eat, or if you’re skipping meals and your stomach starts to rumble it’s a good thing. It’s said to be the “music to your ears” sound of fat being burned.

Actually, no, a growling stomach is a indicator of homeostatic hunger. It’s a mistake to think that successful weight loss requires that you be in a constant state of hunger.


2. Constipation

The rationale: Basically it’s believed that constipation is a sign you’re losing weight because you have sufficiently reduced your food intake to such a small amount that there is nothing to come out. After a few days enough food should eventually build up to an amount sufficient for a bowel movement. Getting plugged up means there is more fat burning going on, than digesting.

Actually, no, constipation is an indicator that your digestive tract has been disturbed by the extreme change in your food choices and/or eating habits. Once your body adjusts to the changes your constipation should abate.


3. Dizziness

The rationale: Just like you can hear your body burning it’s fat, some people report they can feel it too. Dizziness is an alleged sign of fat burning. If your stomach is growling and you’re dizzy that must mean your body has really kicked its fat burning efforts into high gear. Some say when your body is burning its own fat you might feel light-headed or dizzy.

Actually, no, dizziness can be a sign you’re not getting adequate nutrition. Your dizziness may be from any of the following: low blood sugar, malnutrition, dehydration, or anemia.


4. Super stinky farts

The rationale:  Sorry to be so coarse. Some people are okay, they rejoice even, in their stinky farts because they mistakenly assume the odor is the smell of fat burning off.

Actually, no, stinky farts are never the sweet, sweet smell of weight loss success. It’s worth mentioning that orlistat sold as Xenical (prescription weight loss pill in a stronger dose) and as Alli (OTC weight loss pill) can create odors more foul than you ever thought possible, especially if one ignores the dietary fat limit. Bariatric surgery is also sometimes associated with very bad-smelling flatulence. It’s not the weight loss that’s causing the stinky farts, it’s how the weight is being lost. Consult your physician if your stinky farts are associated with orlistat or weight loss surgery.

If you’re trying to lose weight and experiencing any one of these: growling stomach, constipation, dizziness, or stinky farts, or any combination or all of them simultaneously, you may actually be losing weight, but none of these conditions are an indicator that you’re not going about it right.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.