Relying on the scale as your only measure of progress is a big mistake
You just started a new personal training program. You’ve been following the diet your trainer has recommended, you’ve been working out a consistent four to five times per week and most importantly, you’re starting to embrace the new fitness-conscious person you’re quickly becoming.
About a month into the program, it’s time to do your first set of re-measurements – and you’re excited to see your progress!
You were expecting to lose six or eight pounds in the first month (after all, that’s typical for diets you’ve gone on in the past) … but the scale only shows a two pound difference! How could that be?! Before your trainer even starts to take your body fat, you’re feeling discouraged …
But here’s the thing: You shouldn’t. If the #1 factor you pay attention to when you start a fat loss program is your weight, you’re making a big mistake.
We’ve been conditioned to ‘live and die’ by the scale; that is, it’s the almost universal way to measure progress on any kind of fat loss program.
However, measuring your progress only by the scale is a bad way to do things. For one, muscle gain can equal weight gain – which is actually good, because more lean mass means an accelerated metabolism and more fat loss in the long run. But in the short term, it can be deceiving.
Scale weight also doesn’t take into account how much strength you’ve gained, how you’ve improved your cardio
conditioning, how you look in the mirror, how you fit into your clothes, or a whole list of other benefits that come from regular, intense, and intelligently designed workouts.
Now don’t get me wrong: We do monthly weigh-ins with all of our clients – and it is a measure of progress. It’s just a mistake to go only by the scale when measuring results.
If you’re one of those folks that gets wrapped up in scale weight when dieting and trying to lose fat – and you get discouraged when weight loss doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like – hopefully this post has made you think a bit. Keep training hard – and let me know what you think in the comments section below!
P.S. We do monthly body fat testing and circumference measurements as part of all of our Sacramento, CA – based fitness boot camps and personal training programs. For more info – or even if you’d just like to get your body fat tested – contact me here.
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