Here’s why you shouldn’t always trust the scale
6 key factors that can impact the number on your scales:
- The scales you’re using
- Time of day
- How much salt you’ve eaten
- Menstrual cycle
- Body composition
Muscle mattersRemember that the scale won’t tell you your body composition, or the amount and distribution of fat and lean mass on your body. Thinking about body composition is important because muscle mass weighs more than fat does. That means that when you weigh yourself the scale may show that you’ve gained a few pounds. But this doesn’t mean you’ve gained a few pounds of fat. What this really means is that you may have slimmed down while gaining muscle that’s totally necessary for a fit, healthy lifestyle. While muscle will account for a higher weight overall, you’ll actually have a slimmer frame.
So, how should you measure your progress?Check the number on the scales no more than once per week and try to do it on the same day and time each week. However, it’s so important to take the number staring back at you with a pinch of salt. Instead of being focussed on the scales alone, try to focus on other ways to measure your progress such as how your clothes fit and how your mind feels.
Measure your strengthHave you thought about measuring your fitness by focussing on what you can do? When you begin an online program like mine you may not be able to do a full press up. After a month or two, you may go back and test yourself and find that you’re a step closer than you were before, you may have even mastered it! Why not choose a challenge that you want to focus on like a pull up or how long you can hold a plank for and work on it over the next few weeks?
Take progress photosTaking regular photos of yourself throughout your fitness journey is a great way to keep track of how your body is changing over time. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the progress we are making until we look back at the photos and see just how far we’ve come.
Try a fitness challenge
Another great way of measuring progress is to test yourself with a regular fitness challenge. You could try doing the same challenge at the end of each month to see just how far you’ve come. Remember, I always release a monthly challenge for you. The challenges are designed to be tough and put you through your paces, so why not pick your favourite one and repeat it on a monthly basis.
Keep a feel good journal
I find that a good way to build a great habit and track your progress is to keep a ‘feel good’ journal. I’m talking about a journal that you write in regularly to keep a track of your energy levels, overall mood and sleep quality. Over time you can look back and measure your progress and see how far you’ve come. Hopefully that’s made it a little clearer why you shouldn’t always trust the scale. Next time you jump on those scales, remember that the number you’re seeing isn’t a good indicator of your overall health and body composition. So instead of letting a weigh-in dictate your progress, focus on eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich whole foods, becoming more active, getting eight hours of sleep, and managing stress.
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