“I feel like I’ve done everything right, but I haven’t lost any weight!” As a personal trainer this is a very common statement. Believe me; I understand that when you are trying to lose weight, and you kill your workouts and have the nutrition on point, it can get very frustrating when the scale doesn’t move. This brings me to my main point of this blog, not living and dying by just the number on the scale.
My issue with using the scale as your only tool for measuring your success in losing weight is it only tells a fraction if the story. More than likely when someone comes into the gym and says they want to lose weight, they actually mean they want to lose fat. Well, obviously the scale doesn’t say anything about what type of weight you are losing. Say you come in and weigh yourself and you find that you have lost 2 lbs in the previous week, that’s great! But what does it mean? There is no way to actually know if the scale is your only method. It could have been fat, or it could be water weight, or maybe even muscle. Probably the most common problem we see though is, when the scale doesn’t move at all. If you are actually doing things right, and staying consistent something within your body is happening. However, this doesn’t always manifest on the scale. You could be losing fat and gaining equal parts muscle, which is like the perfect scenario for anybody who works out regularly. If you only look at the scale though, nothing has happened and you get discouraged. Reasons like this are why I try to get all of my clients to use more methods than just the scale.
There are quite a few different options you can choose to better keep track of how everything is going, aside from the scale. First and foremost, my favorite method is to do body scans so we can see pretty much everything this has been happening within the body. It will show us how much fat you’ve lost, how much muscle you’ve gained, and how much water you’re storing. These are all very valuable pieces of information! We have a hand held scanner here at the gym that can be used, or better yet our partners at Max Muscle have an awesome machine that you can use for free if you just tell them you are with NoCo Fitness! Another method we can do is to perform measurements, which will also give us a better idea of how everything is looking. If your measurements are getting smaller, but the scale isn’t moving that could also be an indicator that you are losing fat. The last method I will give is to just don’t ignore the signs. If you’ve recently had to tighten your belt another notch, or your pants aren’t as tight anymore something is happening! I’ve had people tell me this, immediately followed by “but the scale hasn’t moved”, and they get discouraged. It’s like they choose to only listen to one piece of information. If you are dropping pant sizes that’s great, it’s exactly what we want!
If you take one piece of information from this blog it’s this: the scale can lie. There are more ways to measure your success in the gym than this one dimensional number. So, if you keep working hard, and stay consistent you will eventually be where you want to be and not even care about the scale anymore!
By: Chandler Grimes