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20 Signs That Your Workout Routine Is Actually Burning Fat

Jason Kozma, aka Mr. America, reveals everything to be on the lookout for

So, you finally made the decision to start your workout routine and get into shape. But how will you know when, or even if, it is working? According to certified fitness trainer, Jason Kozma, aka Mr. America and Mr. Muscle Beach, is a champion bodybuilder who trains clients at Santa Monica-based High Performance Personal Training, there are a few signs that your routine is actually burning fat.

Clothes Fit Better

Woman struggling to squeeze into tight jeans while lying on bed at home, closeup

The first sign you are burning fat is if your clothes are fitting better. "You will notice changes in how your clothes fit, such as feeling looser around the waist and hips," he says.

Increased Energy Levels

Overjoyed excited girl with perfect athletic body in tight sportswear doing yoga handstand pose against wall and laughing, shouting from happiness. Gymnastics for body balance outdoor workouts

You might think that exercising makes you tired, but it actually has the opposite effect. Kozma says you should have "more energy throughout the day and reduced feelings of fatigue" when you are in the fat-burning process.

Improved Sleep Quality

Young Caucasian woman sleeping in her bed and having happy dreams

Have you noticed your sleep quality is improving? "Falling asleep faster and experiencing deeper, more restful sleep" is a definite sign you are burning fat.

Visible Muscle Definition

Hispanic young man looking at his arm muscle while doing a bicep curl with weights at the fitness center

Visible muscle definition is another sign. Expect "more defined muscles as fat decreases and muscle mass becomes more apparent," says Kozma.

Steady Weight Loss

Happy young woman on scales at home

Are the numbers on the scale going down? Steady weight loss means you are burning fat, says Kozma. Look out for "a consistent decrease in weight over time, even if it's gradual."

Reduced Body Measurements

The man who measures a waist with a tape measure

Another way to know if your fat is dissolving? Reduced body measurements, says Kozma. "Smaller measurements around key areas such as the waist, hips, thighs, and arms," are sure signs.

Increased Strength

Shirtless man flipping heavy tire at gym

Are you feeling stronger? "Gaining strength and being able to lift heavier weights or perform more reps" is another sign.

Better Endurance

Two fit young women friends exercising in a park running up the hill. Active healthy lifestyle and outdoor workout concept

Can you go harder for longer? "Better endurance" and "improved stamina during workouts and daily activities," is a fat-burning hint.

Reduced Appetite

Young woman eating a healthy salad after workout.
Shutterstock/NDAB Creativity

If you are burning fat it is likely your appetite is reduced. "A more regulated appetite and fewer cravings, especially for unhealthy foods," is normal, says Kozma.

Lower Body Fat Percentage


Lower body fat percentage is another obvious sign. "A decrease in body fat percentage, as measured by calipers or body composition scales," will be a good indicator, he says.

Improved Mood

Happy businesswoman warming up body and muscles at workplace, feeling satisfied with work done, smiling female employee resting from computer screen. Well-being, productivity and happiness at work

Are you feeling happier? "A more positive mood and reduced symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression" are symptoms of fat burning, according to Kozma.

Healthier Skin

Headshot of mid age adult 50 years old blonde woman standing in bathroom after shower touching face, looking at reflection in mirror doing morning beauty routine.

You may even notice an improvement in your complexion. Healthier skin that is "clearer and more vibrant" is often a result of better hydration and a healthier diet.

Enhanced Mobility

Fit young woman working out outdoors in park on summer day, doing crescent lunge pose (anjaneyasana), Horse posture (ashva sanchalasana), stretching hip flexors and quadriceps

As you burn fat you are more likely to experience enhanced mobility. This can include "better flexibility and range of motion in joints and muscles," Kozma maintains.

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Increased Motivation

Close-up portrait of excited curly tanned girl in trendy sunglasses walking by swimming pool outside. Funny cheerful young woman in headphones enjoying music, while resting outdoor on summer resort.

Increased motivation is another benefit of fat burning. This could be a "greater enthusiasm and commitment to going to the gym," Kozma says.

Better Digestions

Woman, stomach and hand with heart in outdoor for exercise, diet, fitness and closeup. Female tummy, gut health and self love for wellness and training in the summer for healthy workout outside.

Your gut health will likely improve, and you may experience better digestion. Improved digestive health may include "less bloating and regularity," Kozma says.

Stable Blood Sugar Levels


Stable blood sugar levels are another positive side effect. This could be in the form of more consistent blood sugar levels, reducing spikes and crashes, Kozma explains.

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Improved Cholesterol Levels


Another health marker to look out for? Improved cholesterol levels. "Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good) cholesterol," he says.

Lower Resting Heart Rate


You might also notice a lower resting heart rate. "A decrease in your resting heart rate indicates improved cardiovascular health," Kozma says.

Visible Fat Loss in Stubborn Areas


You may also notice visible fat loss in stubborn areas. This might be a reduction of fat in areas where it's typically harder to lose, like the belly or thighs, he says.

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Positive Feedback

Two female buddies doing partner side plank giving high five while training in the forest

Finally, you might start receiving a lot of positive feedback. "Compliments and observations from others about your physical changes and overall health improvements" are big benefits of getting in shape. And if you enjoyed this article, don't miss 12-3-30 Walking Method: 20 Proven Tips to Lose Weight Faster.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more