The scale never tells the whole story.
Many times, we have new clients embark on their health and fitness journey with us, and they’re doing all the right things. They’re making changes to their nutrition. They’re moving their bodies. They’ve started up a strength program and they’re feeling their bodies get stronger.
But then they step on the scale after all those weeks of hard work and see no change or what they consider to be a ‘minimal change’.
Then you hear about people on these wild diets that lost ten pounds in a week. It doesn’t seem fair.
If you’ve ever felt this way, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
- You don’t simply want weight loss. You want fat loss. When you see the glamorized ten-pounds-in-one-week success stories, what these people have done is lost mostly water, some fat and probably some muscle, too. Losing muscle is going to decrease your metabolism, which is going to make it harder to maintain that weight loss. This is why most rapid weight losses follow rapid weight gain.
- Strength training is going to not only help you lose weight sustainably, but it’s going to change your shape. You won’t simply look like a smaller version of yourself. You’ll get the toning and definition that you’re truly looking for. Preserving muscle is going to ensure you can sustain your results because you haven’t caused your metabolism to downregulate as well.
- When you strength train, you might also put on some muscle. This is fantastic. Muscle causes your body to burn more calories even when you’re sleeping – and who doesn’t want that? It also keeps you strong and functional for the activities in your everyday life. Muscle tissue is much denser than body fat. And this is what is happening when someone’s clothes are fitting looser and they’re down a pant size but the scale seems to be moving slowly. Progress is happening, and it’s progress that will last.
- True fat loss is a long game. You can lose and gain water quite easily based on what you’ve eaten in a day, how much water you’ve drank, the type of exercise you’ve done… There are so many factors. This is why the scale can fluctuate anywhere from about 3-6 pounds on a given day or in a given week. True fat loss takes consistency over time. This is why it’s critical to track long term trends instead of short-term fluctuations.
- The scale isn’t everything. The scale can be a measure of progress, but you don’t want it to be the only one. Here are a few other things you could keep track of as well:
- Your workouts – how much your fitness is improving.
- Your energy. Are you able to do more in a day than you once could? Are you sleeping better, waking up more refreshed?
- Your consistency with certain habits. I have a habit tracker I use every day, and I LOVE seeing how much easier it gets to do my habits daily and how much better I’ve gotten at them over time.
- Have an article of clothing you use as a gauge. A belt, a pair of pants, a dress…
When you track more parts of the equation, you’ll notice how many things improve when you start taking great care of yourself. And when you feel great about all these different things, you’re more likely to keep doing what you’re doing.