Why Do I Lose Weight Around My Ribs First:4 Common Reasons

Losing weight is a journey that requires effort and dedication, but the results are gratifying. The whole weight loss process is complex, and many factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health, influence it. When you lose weight, you will notice that different body parts will lose weight first.

woman lose weight around ribs

For many people, the first noticeable change is a decrease in the size of the waistline, but for some, it’s a reduction in the circumference of their rib cage. But Why Do some people lose weight around their ribs first? These cases are very common, and it can signify that the body is starting to shed excess fat in the right places. 

The ribs are among the body parts that lose weight fast. But why do you lose weight around the ribs first? There are many reasons you lose weight around your ribs, including subcutaneous fat in this area, the influence of hormones on fat storage, fluctuations in fluid levels, and posture. All these factors can cause the ribs to be one of the first areas where fat is lost when you begin to lose weight. 

This article will explain why you lose weight around your ribs first. 

Common Reasons Why You Lose Weight Around Your Ribs First

  • 1. Subcutaneous fat 

Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat that lies directly below the skin. The amount of subcutaneous fat in a particular area can be influenced by genetics and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise[1]. Because subcutaneous fat is closer to the skin’s surface, it is often the first to be lost when people start to lose weight.

Your ribs are among the places where the fat is located in abundance. You lose weight first around the ribs because the subcutaneous fat is more accessible to the body’s fat-burning mechanisms and is often the first to be mobilized during weight loss. 

  • 2. Fluctuations in fluid levels 

The amount of fluid in your body also impacts how weight is distributed. For instance, if someone has a high salt intake or is dehydrated, the body may retain more fluid, which can cause bloating and an increase in weight. Also read; Why Do Some People Lose Weight Faster Than Others?

On the other hand, if you are adequately hydrated, you may have a more balanced fluid level which can reduce bloating and weight loss. It can cause the body to shed fat in different areas first, potentially leading to weight loss around the ribs.

  • 3. Posture

The rib cage is one of the areas of the body that is most affected by posture. Poor posture can cause the rib cage to become compressed, leading to the buildup of fat in this area. When people improve their posture, the fat in the rib cage starts to disappear. 

Slouching, for example, can cause an accumulation of fat in the midsection, including around the ribs. Because slouching and other forms of poor posture can cause the abdominal muscles to weaken and the spine to become misaligned, the distribution of fat in the body can be affected.

On the other hand, standing tall and sitting upright can help distribute fat evenly throughout the body, potentially reducing subcutaneous fat in the rib area.

Maintaining good posture strengthens the abdominal muscles and aligns the spine, which can help to promote overall weight loss and prevent fat accumulation in one area. Check out this article on whether or not shaking your belly can help you lose weight.

  • 4. Hormones

Hormones such as insulin, cortisol, and estrogen can impact how the body stores and loses fat, even around the rib area. High cortisol levels, for example, can lead to increased abdominal fat, while low estrogen levels can cause fat loss in the hips and thighs.

The presence of these hormones in the body impacts where fat is stored and lost, potentially affecting the order in which areas of the body lose fat.

The insulin hormone regulates blood sugar levels and helps the body store energy as fat. High insulin levels can lead to increased fat storage, including in the midsection, while low levels can promote fat loss. Also read: How Much Should You Walk Daily To Lose Weight?

Cortisol hormone can increase fat storage in the abdominal area, including around the ribs, when levels are elevated. Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can lead to weight gain in the midsection. Reducing stress can help to promote weight loss in the area.

Estrogen is a hormone that helps regulate fat storage in the body, and low levels can lead to fat loss in the hips and thighs. Changes in estrogen levels during menopause and other life stages can impact where the body stores and loses fat.

Factors influencing weight loss process 

  • 1. Genetics 

Genetics influence body composition and metabolism, which can affect fat distribution in the body. Some people are predisposed to having more subcutaneous fat in the rib area, whereas others have a more favorable genetic makeup that causes fat to be stored in different places.

While genetics can influence where fat is stored, it is not the only factor, and lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity can significantly impact weight loss in specific areas.

  • 2. Diet

The type and quantity of food you eat can significantly impact your weight. Processed foods, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and excess calories can result in weight gain.

A diet that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, combined with an appropriate calorie intake for your needs, on the other hand, can aid in weight loss. Eating a diet high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, such as the ketogenic diet, is effective for weight loss in some people.

  • 3. Health

Weight loss can be hampered by medical conditions that disrupt hormones and metabolism, such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Chronic stress and sleep deprivation can also impact weight loss by raising cortisol levels and causing the body to store fat. Furthermore, some medications can cause weight gain or make losing more difficult.

  • 4. Exercise

Doing regular physical activities is essential for weight loss because it increases energy expenditure and muscle mass. Engaging in cardiovascular exercise and strength training can help optimize the weight loss process, as each has distinct benefits for weight loss and overall health.

Cardiovascular exercises like running and cycling can raise heart rate and burn calories, whereas strength training can increase muscle mass and metabolism. Read: How Intermittent Fasting Can Help you Lose Weight?


As discussed above, people first lose weight around their ribs for various reasons. If you want to lose weight, keep in mind that different people lose weight at different rates, and you may lose weight in different areas of your body at different times.

It’s important to note that while these factors can impact where someone loses weight first, it’s not possible to target a specific area for fat loss specifically.

The body naturally sheds fat from different areas randomly, and overall weight loss can be achieved by eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activities. 

Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.
Jennifer Singleton
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