The scale can be both our friend and our enemy, playing havoc with our emotional state. This message is to motivate you to find other ways to measure your progress.
First of all, remember that a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat but muscle takes up less space. When you are exercising, you may find you still weigh the same or even more, but be a smaller size. This is because your body composition is changing (lean muscle mass versus body fat). If you are looking to shrink your waist line, rely more on tap measurements and good ass-kicking workouts that help change and shape your body. Combine this with a clean diet consisting of real food. Buy whole, live and local!
Losing weight is an emotional game. Some people get stuck on a number on the scale. I suggest to set a range instead, as our bodies naturally fluctuate with body fluid, gain and lose fat/muscle. Our bodies are constantly in motion, changing, even when we sit still, and it is a factor that needs to be consider. To obsess about a specific number on the scale is only going to cause you emotional stress and that’s not the point of exercising and eating well. It wasn’t until I started studying on how the body loses fat, creates muscle, deals with fluid, etc. that I realized it’s irrational to want to be the exact same weight every day or every week. In all the years I’ve been weighing people, I have yet to weigh someone who is always the exact same every single time. I suggest you give yourself a 2 -5lb range that is guilt free. The range will vary from person to person, depending how your body deals with fluid retention, what your fitness goals are, etc. If you start to go higher than your set range, increasing more each week, then you need to look at your diet and fitness regime to see what’s going on. Most of us tend to underestimate our food calories and overestimate our exercise calories. Keeping a fitness and food log is the best way to assess what really is going on. Take a week and readjust things, reflect, find out where the problem is and stomp it out!
Also ask yourself – are you depressed? Are you binge eating to make yourself feel better? Is binge eating really helping you feel better…or worse? Instead of binge eating, try doing something else with your body. When you move you burn calories and release endorphins (feel good brain chemicals) and it makes more sense to do that when you are trying to lose weight instead of eating more calories. Change your mindset, think logical, and the new habits will develop naturally. So instead of grabbing that ice cream or bag of chips, grab your sneaks and jacket and hit up a nice trail in the woods. Go do something you like to do. Don’t set any expectations on time, distance and intensity, just get out there and do it. And if you are one of those people who step on the scales a million times a day, get rid of the scales all together as you might just be focusing on the wrong thing, using it as a distraction, as you are finding it difficult to deal with other issues in your life.
Remember that one of our biggest obstacles is controlling the consumption of carbohydrates in the form of breads, grains, muffins, pasta, rice, etc. It’s so easy to grab food in this form and doesn’t take long to swallow up. When pasta, rice, breads, etc. are consumed, they get converted to “sugars” in our bodies (glycogen and glucose). If we are eating too much…then we have too much”sugar” in our body. If you combine that with fruits and vegetables (that contain natural sugars easier for our body to process and use ASAP), then you may be on sugar overload. If you add in treats like a cookies, chocolate, chips, candy, sweet breads, cakes, breaded foods, snack crackers, commercial cereals, granola bars, processed foods, etc, then we’re on a “sugar high” that is absolutely destructive to our health when carried over a long period of time. To top it off, if you’re not burning this off with DAILY exercise….well what the hell do you expect to happen! You’re smarter than that!
So…instead of concentrating on reducing those scales to a specific number, how about focusing on reducing your “sugar” and moving that body…EVERYDAY!