Stay off the scale!!!


Not getting on the scale every day, or even every week, was the first lesson I was taught during my first weight challenge.  I tossed mine in the garbage and relied on my measuring tape.  So many women step on this evil tool daily and often get very discouraged if they gained a pound or two from the day before or even during the day.  This can lead to frustration and giving up or eating a bag of cookies and ditching the gym.  I see it all over Facebook almost daily and it makes me sad.  I try to explain to them to be patient, stay off of the scale for a while, don’t give up!

cartoon-scale

A friend of mine and I have not owned a scale for several years.  She relies on how her clothes fit and I rely on that and measurements.  Someone left a scale at her house so she decided to get on it various times of the day and record the results.  I was curious, too, so I bought my own.

We were very surprised at how much weight can vary throughout the day, before and after eating, before and after working out, after eating/drinking certain foods/drinks and during that oh so wonderful time of the year (you can gain as much as 5-10 pounds!).  Cutting out beer, for her, has also shown a big difference.  Below are some of the pictures from just one day.  We were shocked!

111  This was first thing in the morning.

1  Mid-day

 

116  Evening

 

On this day she weighed as little as 111 lb and as much as 116 lb!  During this week the least she weighed was 111 and the most was 118!  There were a couple of days where she gained two pounds AFTER working out.  For me, I found out the first scale I bought- cheapest one Target had- was a piece of crap.  My weight was all over the place including dropping about six pounds in a week…which suddenly all came back on Day 8.  I exchanged it for a Weight Watchers scale which I like a lot better.  My weight would vary from one to four pounds during the day which was very irritating.  I’m going to document mine next week.

You’ve heard me say “muscle weighs more than fat” because that is what I was told from other trainers and have read in fitness articles and on blogs.  However, it’s a common misconception and I was glad when someone showed me this article One Pound of Fat Versus One Pound of Muscle.

The truth is that when placed on a scale, one pound of fat is going to weigh the same as one pound of muscle – just like one pound of bricks is going to weigh the same as one pound of feathers. Where the confusion comes in is that muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat.

The truth is that when placed on a scale, one pound of fat is going to weigh the same as one pound of muscle – just like one pound of bricks is going to weigh the same as one pound of feathers. Where the confusion comes in is that muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat.

fat-vs-muscle

I really hope this shows why we need to stop obsessing about the scale and just let our clothes and measuring tape be our guide.  Honestly, if you are feeling better, that should mean more than numbers on a scale.

Let your clothes be the judge on how you are doing. Soon your friends will start noticing and telling you how great you look- no scale is going to say that to you!

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