Centimetres Or kilograms? Which is more important? When we start a weight loss program we become obsessed with the scales weighing ourselves several times a day to see if that pesky little needle has shifted. Suddenly our entire diet's success teeters on that one measurement. We weigh ourselves before we eat and after we pee. We weigh ourselves 2 or 3 times a day to see if we have dropped any additional weight throughout the day. Don’t let that scale turn you into a complete fruit basket!
Weighing yourself is important as a starting point but what I would like you to do is weigh yourself initially then weigh yourself after every 2 weeks.
I know, sounds like torture but it will prevent you from becoming a slave to the scale because before you know it, the success of your diet will rely on the number that scale spits out. That’s too much power for a little inanimate device to have over your life. You need to realize that your weight will fluctuate all day every day, that’s a natural thing. Sometimes you hold more fluid on certain days than others and this will reflect itself through the scales. Seeing this fluctuation even after half starving yourself will only make you feel defeated.
The best indication for your weight loss is the way your clothes fit.
You can have 5 different weight fluctuations throughout your day which makes you feel as though you are not succeeding in your diet when in actual fact it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fat is lighter than muscle. Ever notice when you’re cleaning out a pan filled with fats that it floats to top of the dishwater? That’s because fat is lighter, so then doesn’t it reason to stand that fat will also be the lighter of the two?
So imagine to your horror when you’ve gained 2 pounds on the scale yet you are swimming in your clothes. That’s because you have gained more lean muscle mass, the attractive, toned type not the Arnold Schwarzenegger kind. This is great because the more lean muscle you have the more surface area it covers and the more fat it can grab and burn as energy because that’s really all fat is, unused energy just waiting to be burned.
So just remember when weighing yourself, muscle weighs more. Don’t get worried if you have gained a little especially when you know you are eating right. It just means that your body is changing and reshuffling itself as your body eliminates fat from your body.
My advice, weigh yourself once every week or every two weeks, then hide your scale out of sight until the 2 weeks are over. Let your clothing be your indicator as to how much fat you are losing because fat weighs less than muscle yet takes up more space which is why you will notice your clothes getting bigger, or rather you getting smaller.
Starting Point – The Importance Of A Goal
A Ship’s captain and an airline pilot have the same thing in common, before they even leave port they have a destination already set.
Before you embark on your program, you too need to have an end in mind. You need to have a destination, an arrival point. In other words, what weight will you finally arrive at?
Don’t take it as the weight you think you will look good at and just because you may have looked great at that weight as a teenager or when you were younger does not necessarily mean you will now.
The best thing to do when determining your goal weight is find a program that can calculate that for you. It takes several factors into consideration and will arrive at an average weight it feels you should be based upon your age and your height.
So, what weight should you be?
You should have already calculated that earlier in this book. If you haven’t already the chance to you can do so here:
Take your body measurements so that you can keep track of your progress. You never realize how far you really come until you know where you initially started. Keeping track of your measurements is a rock solid testament to your progress and gives you burning incentive to stick with it.
Your measurements should include:
The Date: _____________________________
Current Weight: ________________________
Bust (women): _________________________
Waist around the belly button: _____________
Right upper arm: ________________________
Left upper arm: _________________________
Remember, the most important measurements here are those around your waist, hips and thighs - NOT YOUR WEIGHT. As long as you are experiencing a reduction in these measurements you are doing great.
Make sure that you purchase a notebook to keep tabs of your measurements or use an excel spreadsheet. Don’t forget to re- measure yourself every month which will encourage you to stay focused on your goal.
As mentioned before, weigh yourself every two weeks, once a week at the very most to avoid becoming discouraged with the natural weight fluctuations as your body begins to change and transform.
The other great thing about goal setting is that not only do you have a real purpose and you are solidifying and materializing those dreams into reality but it also gives you achievable steps to attain it. Think of it as a blueprint to your weight loss.
If you have access to skin fold calipers or a decent set of bathroom scales which measure body fat % then this measurement is a far better indicator of fat loss than weight measurement alone.
When you lose weight you want to be losing fat, not water and definitely not lean muscle which is important for keeping us strong and healthy.
When we hop on the scales, we are measuring fat, bone, muscle, organs, water, last nights dinner and this mornings breakfast. Our weight can vary quite dramatically throughout the day, but our body fat % will remain the same regardless.
Take this measurement at the end of each week and track your body fat loss.
NEXT CHAPTER >>>
My name is Dave Hagger, founder of Seriously Fit Bootcamp
As a fitness professional I frequently meet people who want to lose weight but just have no idea where to start.