Your Scale is WRONG!
Ever feel like your making progress, but the scale is telling you that your not? If weight loss is your goal, but at times the scale seems to be increasing instead of decreasing, then this article is for you.
The composition of fat and muscle are two TOTALLY different things. Muscle is tighter, more toned, and takes up WAAAY less space. Whereas a pound of fat is squishier, flabbier, and takes up way more space. Check out the pics below to see what I mean…
So why are YOU still driving yourself crazy when you see a number that you don’t love on that dreaded scale?
IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
It’s all in our conditioning….
We didn’t suddenly wake up one day and decide to use a random device to check whether or not we are making progress or not. We have been conditioned to ONLY use the scale as our source of feedback….
- You go to the doctor’s office….they weigh you
- You join Weight Watchers, or Jenny Craig, or Nutrisystem….they weigh you
- You go to the gym… they places scales all around you.
Unless you have been exposed to other methods, most of us ONLY know about the scale as a source of feedback. And the fact that it’s immediate feedback makes it even more appealing to monitor.
There are TONS of reasons why the scale can be grossly inaccurate in terms of measuring progress, but let me give you just a few.
Remember that the composition of fat and muscle are different. So the scale can’t tell you what you are losing or what you are gaining. It doesn’t determine body composition. You gain a pound of muscle and lose a pound of fat—the scale won’t change, but your body sure would. Remember, muscle takes up less space so that you lost a pound of something bigger, and gained a pound of something smaller. You would physically be smaller. Unfortunately that trusty scale just made you think that all your hard work was in vain.
The scale only determines mass, and you can manipulate your body in so many ways. Super-hydrated? Dehydrated? Retaining water? That time of the month? Eaten that day? Not gone to the bathroom lately? I could go on and on and on, but those are just some of the variables that could drastically manipulate your scale weight. How do you think professional body-builders lose weight so quickly before a show and then can literally gain 10 pounds after they eat a couple carb-filled meals? These factors can majorly deceive you when you are ONLY focusing on scale weight.
You could conceivably be screwing up your metabolism, and the scale would deceive you into thinking you are making progress. Take someone on a fad diet or a cleanse or some other calorie-restricted diet, put them on a scale while they are dieting, and most likely their weight will decrease….but most likely it’s due to water loss or lean body mass loss. So guess what happens next? Muscle is what makes your metabolism run—it’s what burns calories—so if you lose your muscle mass, you will then in turn be burning LESS calories than you were the previous day. Eventually your metabolism slows down to a crawl, and you have a really hard time burning more than you are consuming. It’s a slippery slope.
Scales can’t measure fitness, or ability, or strength. The scale is just a number. It doesn’t know if you can do one pushup or ten. It doesn’t know whether your core is strong as an ox, or if you are one bad squat away from spine surgery. It doesn’t know if you can balance on one foot…or walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded…or run away from a bear or a bank robber. You could be one cheeseburger away from a heart attack, but that scale has no idea what’s really going on inside your body.
But, I could go on and on listing all the reasons why the scale shouldn’t be your best friend when getting fit.
Check back here in a couple days and find out exactly what you can do on your own or with a fitness professional to ACCURATELY measure if what you are doing is working or not.