How many times have you started a training program and jumped on the scale only to realize you haven’t lost any weight? Just because you don’t lose weight or you even gain weight does not mean that you are failing. When you hop on the scale, that number you see does not accurately represent the fat that’s in your body. That number includes bones, muscles, blood, water (up to 60% in humans, woah) and all of the other things that are a part of the body in addition to your body fat.
We have become so concentrated on the number we see and think that being fit only means losing weight, but that is far from true. Wait, what!? I don’t have to lose weight? The human body is comprised of many things, but I am going to break it down to the two things we care most about when we exercise. Yes, you guessed it… Fat and Muscle.
When you look at the number on a scale does it tell you how much of the weight is fat and how much of the weight is muscle? No, probably not.
Take a look at the picture here, it illustrates the different structure of fat and muscle. The 5lbs of muscle that you see is lean, dense and compact in comparison to the 5lbs of fat. You could gain 10lbs of muscle and lose 10lbs of fat, and your total body weight is going to stay the same according to that pesky scale. You could gain 10lbs of muscle and lose 5lbs of fat and that scale will tell you that you gained weight. But, wait. You LOOK leaner. You FEEL leaner. Your family and friends are commenting on the changes you’ve made with your physique, great job! We rest our case. Instead of using the scale to identify if your fitness program is working for you, use other methods that are more motivating and more beneficial when working toward your goal.
1. BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS
We look at ourselves in the mirror every day whether you admit it or not. How are you supposed to notice a difference when you see the transformation overtime? Before you get serious about your training program, take a picture of yourself. After you follow a strength training program with one of our LIVFIT trainers and start becoming a fitness junky, take another photo of yourself and compare it to the old one and admire all of your accomplishments.
2. ARE YOU FEELING STRONGER OR MORE CONFIDENT?
How are you feeling? Are some of the hardest exercises of your program starting to get easier? Do you have more energy throughout the day? Are you more confident in the gym or in your own skin? If you said yes to any of these questions, your program is working and you are already a stronger, more fit version of yourself.
3. HOW DO YOUR CLOTHES FIT?
Get your favorite outfit on and examine the changes. Is there a little more room in the waste line? Is your short a little baggy? Or…. Do your jacked arms rip your shirt? Do your muscular quads need a size 6, but your waste needs a size 2? That is nothing to complain about
Ok, you’re liking the idea here, you’re ditching the scale. Now, the first question to ask yourself when designing your fitness and nutrition program – IS YOUR ROUTINE MAINTAINABLE? We’re not about quick fixes here, we’re about sustainable habits to help you reach your goals, FEEL the difference and SEE how your favorite jeans fit just right. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success without the scale. How long can you keep this up for? It takes time and effort to become a stronger, healthier version of yourself. If you continue to follow fad diets and unrealistic training programs, you will never achieve your fitness goals. You cannot build a house overnight. If you did, it is probably not safe.
As you “fall back into fitness” start tracking your results the right way. Step off the scale, pick up some heavier weights (check out my blog on why YOU should be lifting if you’re not already, (‘Why Women MUST Lift’) and physically challenge yourself at a realistic pace. If you have NO idea where to get started, join my completely FREE 28 day Game Changer Challenge for fat loss (email me and say ‘I’m in!’ for a shot at $250) or explore your goals with a personal trainer!
Coach Katie is a certified personal trainer located in the DC Metro area. She is currently accepting clients on a limited basis, but also offers online training to her dedicated clients. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org OR check out more information on Private 1 on 1 Coaching and Online Coaching on our LIVFIT website. LIVFIT!