Scaling Down: Why You Shouldn’t Be Discouraged When You Step On Your Scale

Written by: Brianna Minard, Membership Consultant, O2 Fitness Wilmington

Don’t let the numbers on the scale discourage you!

My roommate has been training with one of our NC personal trainers 3 days a week and has seriously changed her eating habits. Just looking at her, I can tell she has lost body fat. Her clothing size has already gone down and everything is fitting her much more comfortably than before. These are clear signs that she is well on her way to hitting her goal – but she is letting the numbers on the scale bring her down.

I see that way too often in the gym. Someone who is working hard, steps on the scale only to be disappointed by it. Most of these people are looking and feeling better than they did when they started their exercise programs. Sometimes I wish the scales were gone all together!

When someone says “I want to lose weight” most of the time what they really mean is that they want to lose body fat and the scale is the most inaccurate way to measure it.

When you get on a scale you are measuring your TOTAL body weight. This includes your fat, muscles, organs, bones and water. You may not know this but muscle weighs more than fat by volume but takes up much less space. If you were to take a handful of fat and a handful of muscle, the muscle would weigh much more because of its density. So, if you are losing a decent amount of fat and gaining muscle at the same time, the scale may end up reading the exact same way it did when you started.

If you’re concerned about reducing your body fat, measure your waist and watch that number. Look in the mirror, do you look better? Better yet, do you feel better? Great, you are on the right track! So, don’t refer to the scale.

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