Today we bring you the 2nd of our joint collaboration features from dietitians Lisa and Monica. This one covers that topic that crops up time and time again – the scales and what it is or isn’t telling you. Most of us are scale hoppers and have a good or bad day according to the needle or reading. But if it’s not the true or whole picture, does it show our progress or not?
Success is not always about the number on the scale!
We know you guys hate it when we say this, but it’s the truth… and we are about to show you the PERFECT example.
Adrienne’s transformation is truly incredible! Despite losing a measly 2 lbs, a quick look at her before and after picture clearly shows a dramatic change in her body composition.
What do we mean by ‘body composition’? Body composition refers to what proportion of our body is fat, muscle, bone and water. Since the weight of our bones and water stay relatively stable, it is the percentage of our fat and muscle that change when we gain weight, lose weight and, in the case of Adrienne, also when we exercise.
Unfortunately, what we measure on our home scales is simply the total weight of all of these (i.e. fat + muscle + bone + water). This means when we gain muscle and lose fat, which is what happens in the case of exercising and weight lifting regularly, our scale is not able to express these shifts in body composition.
Moral of the story: the scale does not always dictate your progress. If you are sweating your butt off in the gym, you are definitely changing your body.
It breaks our hearts when we see clients who are healthy, super fit and 3-5 dress sizes smaller, but they are still not happy with their ‘success’ because of the number on the scale. Sadly, in some of these cases, the clients were so desperate to lose more weight that they stopped their weight training to intentionally lose muscle. Crazy right? All just to see the number on the scale go down.
Remember: Success looks different on everyone.
Weighing yourself is only one measure of progress. Ask yourself the following questions if you are exercising regularly but not seeing results on the scale. If you answer yes to any one of these questions, you are most likely changing the composition of your body for the better (i.e. gaining muscle and losing fat).
– Do your clothes fit slightly looser?
Although Adrienne’s story does not involve bariatric surgery / weight loss surgery, she is a perfect example of how you can dramatically change your body while being ‘plateaued’ or ‘stalled’ in terms of your weight.
What are your favourite non-scale victories? Post below in the comments!
Monica & Lisa