Stupid Scales

Instead of trying to “lose weight” the focus instead needs to be to lose fat.

Weight loss, and drops on the scales can be from a number of things, one being water retention. You may lose 1kg in a week, however that 1kg is most likely water, and your fat levels have remained the same. But you lost 1kg, so you are pleased with the results. Alternatively, and more often than not, this also works the other way. You may have gained 1kg on the scales yet your body fat has dropped and muscle increased. Or you may simply be retaining water. But that 1kg gain wreaks havoc on your mind, you think you have failed and you may as well eat a whole block of chocolate now because you’re a fatty anyway. (For more on this check out “Stress, Hormones and your Mind”)

We all know that muscle is more dense than fat. 1kg of muscle takes up less room than 1kg of fat. And muscle looks better than fat. Because of this, the scales can EAD. I currently weigh myself once each week, however this is to advise my coach of where I’m at so he can make adjustments. I get dexa scans done every 3 months and this shows much more accurate progress. After going up on the scales for 3 weeks, I decided that yes I will track weight because he asked me to, BUT I will take measurements as well because those numbers started messing with me. Once I decided I don’t care about those numbers, woah and behold I am feeling leaner and I am also suspecting that the scales will show a drop this week now anyway.

If you are of an average (or even a bit above average) size then you should try to forget about those scales. For people who are very overweight, or obese then the scales will still be a good indicator as to how you are tracking, but only to start with. There will come a time where you should stop weighing yourself, and use other means to measure your progress. Dexa scans are the most effective way to track progress especially for athletes as they give an extremely accurate break down of muscle/fat in each part of the body. For those of us simply wanting to get in shape or “tone up” and lose a bit of fat, then a simple tape measure is something you should invest in. By taking measurements of your hips and waist (also thigh, chest, bis, etc if you like) this will give a good indication of how you are tracking. You may go up on those stupid scales one week, yet your waist measurement is down 2cm. Success! The scales are looking pretty silly now, aren’t they?

So stop worrying about what they tell you and throw them in the bin!