Today we’re going to talk about the scales (otherwise known as the “sad step”) and how to best measure your weight loss successes because the weighing scales are something I’m so passionately against for reasons which I hope you’ll find sensible, logical and liberating!
Every client I work with, I always start our sessions discussing these below points so that our thinking process is aligned and from the get go, we have the same reference point of measuring their “success”.
So here are my four reasons why I’m seriously anti the scales….
1. The scales don’t celebrate muscle gain.
Do you want to lose weight short term or keep it off and never be on a diet again? The more muscle you have, the more energy-producing mitochondria you have in your cells and it’s these energy factories (mitochondria) that contribute to a higher metabolic rate which equals more fat burning for you!
Biochemically lifting your metablic rate is what you should be after if you want to lose body fat in a healthy way as the higher your metabolism, the more fat burning potential you have inside of you, so even if you’re sat down typing at your computer (which I’m doing right now at my desk), if you possess more muscle, your ability to burn body fat goes right up up. So, gaining more muscle and looking after those precious muscle reserves is a complete no brainer for long term weight success and self-esteem and you’ll wave goodbye to yo-yo dieting!
With a fast and non-sluggish metabolism, you’ve got more room for movement with your diet and you don’t have to be so careful with ensuring you do plenty of exercise and keep active all the time (although If you love exercising that’s brilliant) and you won’t have to be so mindful of your calories. Calories aren’t something we should concern ourselves with if we’re eating the right kinds of foods as our bodies have a natural “I’m full” button which registers when we eat whole, real food. This is a whole different topic.
So muscle is for the ladies, just as much it is for men! And the scales are for nobody, unless you compete in a sport or hobby where you have to be a certain weight to qualify for the sport. Weigh yourself out of curiosity, not to track your success.
2. The scales can dilute your internal results.
Muscle weighs more than fat, so let’s say you do resistance type exercise and eat ample protein so that your muscles can repair, strengthen and grow and you gain muscle after a period of time. That success of building muscle will be diluted or lost on the scales because the only thing that the scales pick up is your overall mass, it’s not selective. Whilst your scale weight might not have gone down all that much, you might have gained muscle and lost fat within that loss.
All that work down the gym and being careful with your diet, for only a couple of shifts on the scale – how disappointing. Whereas in fact, you might be doing just amazingly and have transformed into a much healthier person and be unnecessarily disappointed!
Your weight can alter due to numerous factors such as time of the month (women obviously), time of day, how many meals you have eaten that day and how much water you have consumed. Why anchor your success on a constantly changing number!
3. Your mood will be all over the place.
How many of us – women in particular – let our moods be dictated by a numerical value which in no way reflects who we are or how healthy we are?
In my experience it does not ‘motivate’ us to take better care of ourselves if the number doesn’t go down on the scale, it actually tends to perpetuate a guilt spiral, which is actually a contributing factor to issues with weight in the first place.
When we consider food as either “good” or “bad” or a number on the scale being “good” or “bad”, often we extrapolate this to imply we are either “good” or “bad”. This black and white approach is what causes people to fall off the wagon – they’re all in or they’re well and truly all out! But real life happens in the grey. It is daily habits and choices that will get you closer to your health and wellness goals, not being “good.” There is no wagon to actually fall off.
Bring awareness to how much your weight dictates your mood. Please remember that life is precious, you are precious and to treat yourself accordingly.
4. Our energy is being diverted in the wrong places.
An obsession of weighing yourself and checking to see how many stones and pounds you are promotes a real dieting mentality. While on one hand weighing yourself provides a measure with which you can compare your efforts, you are actually far better to use waist circumference than weight – to assess weight loss/fat deposition.
Energy is precious and there are so many positive spaces to place it. What amazing breakfast can you make this week? What dinner recipe can you experiment with tonight? Have you drunk plenty of water today? Have you said something kind to a friend, loved one or stranger to make their day? Did you sleep well last night? Focus on more meaningful actions and you will get a much happier outcome!
How I prefer to track my success…
Personally, I prefer people to use their clothes and their physical health as an indicator – and particularly their energy as the currency of health. I want to encourage you to view any weight loss goals/plans/ideas or concepts with a long-term focus on health. Instead of creating goals such as I want to be ‘xyz’ weight – consider I want to have more energy, I want to be physically fitter, stronger, able to run around the park without stopping for a break, able to not wear makeup because my skin doesn’t need covering up and it naturally is blemish free.
So, I hope you’ll joining me in using your scales far less frequently and being more emotionally attached to more meaningul things 🙂
Which did you like best….share your brainwaves with me below….