Ditch the Scale!

You’ve been working hard for 2 weeks, but you still haven’t lost a pound, or worse, you’ve actually gained weight!  Does that sound familiar?  I see it all the time on the message boards.  People get discouraged or think that programs like P90X or Insanity don’t work because they haven’t seen the scale move at all.  That is understandable, because you’d feel like you should see some awesome results from all the hard work you put in.  But I want to stress to not worry about the scale right away!  There are many different reasons that the scale won’t budge, but I don’t feel that it’s the best measuring stick of your success.

As your body is initially adjusting to the intense workouts, you might not see the scale move.  You might be holding on to extra water weight as you focus on hydrating yourself, and you will be building muscle while cutting fat.  And muscle weighs more than fat.  So if you put muscle on easily, this could be the problem with your weight not changing.

If you are experiencing this, though, the first thing you should do is analyze your nutrition.  Really track what you’re eating every day.  If you’re doing the workouts but haven’t changed your diet, then you’re not going to see the results you want, it’s as simple as that.  If you’ve started P90X, Insanity, or Turbofire and it’s been a long time since you’ve exercised, then you will probably be more hungry than usual.  This can cause you to overeat, which could also be the reason why you’re not losing the weight.  I personally experienced this during my first 30 days of Insanity.  I lost no weight and didn’t really see any results, all because my nutrition was not dialed in.  For the second 30 days I decided to follow the nutrition plan and ended up losing 17 lbs.!  So if you’re not losing any weight, analyze your diet.  If you’re following the nutrition plan, then you have nothing to worry about.  But if you’re not, then it’s time to fix that!

So if you ditch the scale, what are you supposed to measure?  My answer: body fat percentage.  In my opinion, you should be much more worried about body fat percentage than your weight.  It’s the true measure of how much you’re transforming your body.  It will show you how you are losing fat and building muscle.  Someone could have a Body Mass Index (BMI) that says they’re overweight or obese, but in reality they could be in great shape, with a low body fat percentage.  My BMI says that I’m overweight, but am I worried about that?  No way.  It is simply a function of your weight and height, it says nothing about the composition of your body.  So the best thing to measure in my opinion is body fat percentage.  And I think there are a couple ways to measure this.  The first is using calipers.  I have a set of calipers that I measure with.  It’s really fairly simple and gives pretty accurate results.  The other way is not exact by any means, but can be helpful, and that is by taking progress pictures of yourself.  This will allow you to visually see how your body is changing.  If you see no change, then it’s time to look into your nutrition and how hard you’re pushing in your workouts.  But if you see a noticeable change in your body, then you know you’re making progress.

So if you haven’t lost a ton of weight right away, don’t worry about it!  And don’t let that discourage you to the point of quitting.  The better measure of your success is your body fat percentage and how you feel.  As long as you’re losing body fat and have more energy and feel better, that’s really what matters.  So ditch that scale in the short term, if you stick with your nutrition and are bringing it with your workouts, the weight will fall off in the long run.

1 comments
Aaron
Aaron

yep! when you workout.....think about this...."you will burn your fat at the same time u build the muscle" so scale is your enemy dont step on it..........especially everyday....you will see ur lbs back and forth.....it easy if you want to tell if you losing weight or size....is your cloth and your jeans........that's how i found out....Large to Small...36 to 30 ....but my lbs stay the same after my first p90x phase

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  1. […] might get discouraged with the scale not moving much.  To read more on that, check out my article Ditch The Scale.  But now that you know measuring body fat is important, how are you supposed to accurately […]

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