Why the Scale is NOT the Best Indicator of Weight Loss
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The scale is not the best indicator of weight loss. It’s only a number and it doesn’t tell you anything more than just that, a NUMBER. What does that number mean?
I’ve been working out for weeks but nothing’s changed on the scale – what’s going wrong?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong. NOTHING! That scale can’t tell you what of that number is fat and what is muscle. AND MUSCLE does NOT weight more than fat.
However, when people start hitting the gym for a few weeks, and then step on the scale to discover the number hasn’t changed at all, they can be disappointed. Stop that right now.
Your body composition can change without that number on the scale changing. You may have lost some body fat and gained a little muscle. THIS is a good thing. You have improved your overall health. Did you know that having a body fat percentage over 30% is UNHEALTHY? Yep, it can put you at risk of so many health issues but we’re all too busy watching that number on the scale and focusing on the weight loss.
Focus on what you are gaining
Yes, I said that. Focus on what you are gaining, and I’m not talking weight here. I’m talking about the fact that you are gaining muscle and strength along with confidence AND health. There is no scale that can measure that and if you find one, please let me know.
Focus on the behaviors, not the numbers
What healthy behaviors are you developing? You can’t measure this with the scale. The scale cannot tell you your self-worth. Focus on how you feel, and how you’ve adopted healthy habits. The better you feel, the better your progress. Oh, and a little weight loss might be a sweet little side effect of doing it this way.
Your Body Weight Can Fluctuate Daily
Your body weight can fluctuate depending on what you ate that day or even the day before. Stepping on the scale each day isn’t telling you much if this is a factor. It can also fluctuate depending on the amount of water you drank that day, whether or not you have gone pee OR even poop! Yep, those are all factors that the scale cannot tell you.
Focus on Fat Loss Not Weight Loss
Your fat percentage number is way more important that the number on the scale. Yet we continue to fixate on those numbers the scale shows us. Let’s set up an example here: 2 women same height, same weight but one is 32% body fat and the other is 25%. The one with the 25% body fat will definitely LOOK thinner because muscle mass takes up less space than fat does, yet that number on the scale is the same. There is such a thing as skinny fat, which can be very unhealthy.
Check Your Pants
Yep, check your pants. See how they are fitting you. Are they still tight? It’s possible that your clothes will start fitting better as you lose FAT but that number on the scale will remain untouched. Again, this is the fat loss muscle gain theory. If your clothes are fitting better and you are starting to feel better, I’d say that’s a big win in “weight loss” even though the number on the scale is the same.
Forget About the Numbers
So when it comes to the scale and weight loss let’s look at it from a different perspective. If you’re looking at the numbers from the scale, you’re totally missing the boat on your overall health and wellness. Forget the numbers on the scale, stop obsessing and over obsessing about them.
Here are some REAL numbers that you should be looking at instead of the ones on the scale
- Waist Circumference: Research has been linked abdominal fat to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. For the best health, it’s recommended that our waist circumference be less than 94cm for men and less than 80cm for women.
- Blood Pressure: High blood pressure puts a strain on our blood vessels and over time can damage and weaken our arteries and heart. High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure and is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure.
- Cholesterol Levels: Cholesterol has a number of functions in the body: it’s a component of cell membranes, sex hormones and is essential for the production of vitamin D and bile. Cholesterol comes in several different forms including LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the bad type as it deposits cholesterol onto blood vessel walls, where it builds up narrowing and eventually blocking the blood vessel. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is the good type because it carries cholesterol away from blood vessels back to the liver.
- Blood Glucose Levels: Blood glucose provides our brain and muscles with the energy needed to perform daily tasks. Too much glucose in the blood, however, is not good for health. High blood glucose levels over many years can damage blood vessels and organs such as your heart and kidneys.
These above numbers are so much more important than a number on a scale and they are the true numbers of health when they are within normal range. Are you picking up why the scale isn’t a good indicator of weight loss?
I certainly hope this has opened up some new thoughts for you. I know it can be tough to watch that scale stay the same but remember, you are NOT that number. It says nothing about you and your progress. Sometimes you can’t see things at first but when you focus on the above you’ll start to see things in a different way. And the best part..when you are looking at other numbers and truly focusing on your overall health and wellness, the weight will start to slowly come off. Your body knows what it is supposed to weigh.
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