When the scale doesn’t change
A reality check and reminder not to freak out by metrics
Let’s be honest; the weighing scale provides us with just a lone solitary number. That’s it! A number…a single number. Yet, we tend to benchmark our real progress on this single metric. This means that momentum, adherence, and further progress all hinges on it. What does this number represent, though? Does this number really represent your state of health? Does it express how energetic you feel and how fit you are? Let’s dive into this some more:
What Influences Weight Change?
It’s important to know there are many factors that can affect the number on the scale that are not related to body fat. Weight fluctuations are completely normal. Let’s reduce the apprehension toward weight change and highlight a few factors
Are you consistently weighing yourself in the mornings, fully nude, after emptying your bladder and bowels? Experts say that weighing yourself first thing in the morning before breakfast is best. That’s when you’ll get your most accurate weight because your body has had the overnight hours to digest and process whatever you ate and drank the day before
Let’s say that on Monday morning, after a busy and indulgent weekend, you freak out because the scale measures one to two pounds more than last week! What is going on? You have been so good with your workout routine. You have followed your nutritional plan diligently (well, except for this weekend). Here are some questions to ask: Have you hydrated adequately? Perhaps you had a little more sodium than usual? Maybe a bit too much alcohol? These can all lead to water retention.
YOU ARE BUILDING MUSCLE!
If you are following a nutrition plan, you have no doubt ramped up your weight training at the same time, right? You are building muscle…and muscle is denser than fat tissue. And while it takes more effort to grow muscle than to gain fat, you are increasing your lean mass. This is good! Think of it; you are losing fat and gaining muscle mass. The scale will reflect this in a higher number, but this represents progress!
Use Other Progress Markers
Progress can be measured in other ways other than standing on the scale! Let’s look at some additional progress markers!
TAP INTO YOUR BIO FEEDBACK MARKERS
Energy and fatigue reduction are good signs that your nutrition is improving. How do you feel in the morning getting out of bed? Do you have energy throughout the day?
How do you feel at work? Do you feel rested? If you look after nutrition, sleep, hydration, stress, and get regular exercise, you should notice an improvement in your energy levels.
HOW ARE YOUR FITNESS LEVELS?
Cardiorespiratory fitness is a prevalent indicator of an effective and consistent training regimen. Is that 5K run getting easier? Are you squeezing out a couple more repetitions with the same weight you struggled with last month? Do you feel more recovered after a day of working out? You are getting fitter my friend!
HOW DO YOUR CLOTHES FIT?
If you feel that you’ve lost weight, but the scales aren’t reflecting this, this might be due to the reasons mentioned above. If you have gained muscle then you’ll notice it in the mirror. The number on the scales might not move, but you may see a change in how your clothes fit. Like I already said – your body composition can change even though your weight may remain the same.Check your closet for an old pair of jeans that used to fit you perfectly. If they look good on you, congrats! Nothing says success more than being able to fit into your old pants.
HOW DO YOU FEEL EMOTIONALLY?
Finally, one of the most critical benchmarks. Your state of happiness! Do you feel emotionally lighter? Is there less stress in your life? Do you feel more confident with who you are? Our inner happiness and acceptance of self are, after all, what we are striving to reach. Isn’t it?
The scale is a helpful guidance to see how you progress, but do not let your journey be solely dependent on that number…
YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN A NUMBER ON THE SCALE!
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