Blog Posts, Fitness myths

Myth #7: The Scale is a Good Indicator of Your Progress

One of the most fun things to do as you start a “diet” (Uhem… but if you still think dieting is the way to go, please check out Myth#5!) is to watch the scale go down.  But before you get too excited, just a friendly reminder… the first 7-10 pounds that you typically lose are water.  Which is reason number #1 while the scale is a crock.

There are so many things that can make the scale do the hokey pokey. (And trust me, there is nothing more frustrating than when it does this!) Everything from your carbohydrate intake, to your fluid intake, to your sodium levels, to your stress and how you slept, and never mind the damn hormones (if you’re a woman) can make the scale fluctuate wildly.  I know this is not normal, but I can gain seven pounds in 3 days and have eaten the exact same foods. 

But the other reason why the scale is way more foe than friend is it doesn’t tell you how your body is composed.  I’ve been around 160 pounds for the last two years, and during that time, I’ve been everything from a size 12 to a size 4.  What the scale can’t take into account is that a pound of fat takes up a lot more space than a pound of muscle. 

The scale is just as likely to frustrate you (in turn causing more stress, which in turn makes it harder to lose weight) than it is to thrill you.  Want a better plan?  Take measurements.  Want a still better plan? Have someone do your skin fold to determine how much fat you have. (But really, unless you’re in a pretty good place with your body, this isn’t helpful.  I won’t even do this for most of my clients, unless they’ve seen a pretty big change. Don’t do things that are going to upset you and thus sabotage your progress.  I’m pretty thankful that my trainer refused to do my skinfold until I was down nearly 50lbs.  He guesses, and he’s remarkably accurate, that I was 45% body fat! No one needs to hear that!)  By far the best indicator of progress is pictures.  Seriously, get over yourself, and take them… front, sides, and back.  As your transformation becomes dramatic, you’ll wish you had! Pictures will show you things that you won’t see otherwise, like how you’ve gone from 2 chins to 1.5. (Been there!) Or how you dooooo (holy moly, where did those come from??) have collar bones. 

Working to turn your fat into muscle? Check out tomorrow’s post! 

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