I really hate scales of all kinds: math scales, voice scales, food scales… and the worst offender, body weight scales. As a dietitian practitioner, they are necessary to gather information and to use as a reference point, but as an indicator of progressive fitness levels, they completely suck! (Just sayin’).
Here’s what happens: you start a goal to live better, eat cleaner, exercise harder, and along that process, you vow to love that amazing body that keeps you going every day. You are dedicated, committed, you stay focused, you move more, and then you step on the damn scale, and it doesn’t move one tiny ounce from the week before, and even worse, it moves up a notch. Do you give up, throw in the towel, get mad, blame food and gyms, and say every naughty word you learned as a child? Most likely, you choose at least two or all of the above reaction. Well…DON’T.
Here’s the thing. We have heard it a hundred times, but I am here telling you again: scales are not a good indicator of your progressing fitness level. The best way to ascertain improvement is using your own internal indicators:
- Do you feel better?
- Do your clothes fit looser?
- Are your endorphins kicking in to provide some extra energy and happiness?
- Are your muscles tighter and slightly sore?
- Do you feel like “a job well done” at the end of the day?
- Are you striving to be your personal best?
- Are you accomplishing your goals and loving yourself along the way?
When you can say yes to some of these, you are progressing, and THAT is the key.
It’s common knowledge that muscle weighs more than fat, so why don’t we believe it when we are striving to build muscle weekly, and then we step on the scale and we have a mini freak-out because it goes up a bit, or stays the same?
Okay…so bottom line, DON’T LET THE SCALE BE YOUR GUIDE. For anyone monitoring your weight loss/gain goals, use it as a reference frame only. Listen to your body and get in touch with how you feel. Your heart and does not care if you lost a pound last week, but it does care that you are working it out and feeding your body awesome food to keep it pumping for a long, long time.