Why You Shouldn’t Rely on the Scale: Alternative Ways to Measure Progress

Written on: July 26, 2022

Measuring Progress | Personal Training | Greeley, CO

If the number on the scale is your only measure of progress, you’re in for a nasty surprise. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, the scale can be misleading. Fortunately, there are other ways to measure progress that are more accurate. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of those methods and how they can help you reach your fitness goals!

Why you should not rely on the scale

The scale only tells you your overall weight, but there are many things that contribute to that number. For instance, muscle mass and body fat both play a role in your weight.

While a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, fat takes up more space than muscle because it has a lot more volume. Muscle, in comparison, is denser. This is why two people can weigh the same but have different body compositions. The scale doesn’t reflect this.

As the body begins to lose fat, you are going to see the number decrease on the scale, but as you build up muscle in the gym, you are going to see that number increase. This is when people begin to lose hope and believe they’re gaining weight when, in reality, they’re only gaining muscle, which is good.

You may be tempted to think that it’s just about calories in and calories out, but there are a lot more elements that go into weight gain. Aside from consuming too many carbohydrates, you might be eating the wrong ones. Not only that, but there are numerous additional factors involved. Water retention, your digestive health, and sleep all impact that number on the scale.

Measure Progress Without The Scale

There are various methods to evaluate your progress that can provide you with a more accurate assessment of how well you’re doing. It doesn’t show how strong you’ve gotten or how much fat you’ve lost, so it’s a lot better to get your body fat measured or compare how your clothes fit.

Review your body composition

There are ways to have your body fat tested, such as an InBody scan like we offer at NoCo Fitness, so that you can get your body fat percentage, body fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, and segmental lean analysis. You can even do this at home by using fat calipers if you do not have access to a body scan machine.

Tracking measurements such as body fat mass and skeletal muscle mass over time will give you a better sense of your progress than just your overall weight on the scale.

Use a measuring tape

Get out a tape measure and track your results the old-fashioned way if you want to keep tabs on them. Depending on your objective, a tape measure is a more reliable method of determining which body parts have slimmed down or expanded in size. Measure the places that you want to see change such as biceps, chest, thighs, and waist. Track these measurements over time to see if you have gained or lost inches in the areas you are targeting.

Take progress photos

Taking progress photographs isn’t always necessary, but it can be useful in determining how far you’ve progressed. Sometimes it’s easier to look at changes visually rather than getting precise measurements. When the number on the scale hasn’t budged, photos help keep us focused. You’ll get the best progress photos if your photographs are as consistent as possible. Make sure each progressive photo is taken at the same time and day of the week, in similar light conditions, with comparable clothing.

Evaluate how your clothes fit you

Your clothing can reveal a lot about how your body is changing. Consider how they feel on your body, depending on your fitness objectives. Take note of how your old favorites fit and drape around your body. Feeling good in your own skin and in your clothes is an essential piece in the journey to self-love.

Evaluate your energy level

You may also sleep better if you lose weight, which might help you feel more energetic and cheerful throughout the day. Sleep quality or insufficient rest can make you feel sluggish and irritable.

When your body loses weight, it uses less energy to help you through the day. Losing weight may improve your body’s oxygen utilization, allowing you to take deeper breaths during common activities like walking, cleaning, or climbing stairs. As a result, you’ll have more energy as you approach your goals.

Measure your fitness level

It’s not just about the number on the scale when it comes to improving your fitness and health. Measure your success by your success during your workouts. Focus on things like how much weight you can lift and how far you can run. Can you lift more weight for the same amount of reps of an exercise now than you could do 4 weeks ago?

You may monitor your fitness development by analyzing your exercises. Who gives a damn what the scale says when you’re getting quicker and stronger, or are able to do activities that you couldn’t before?

This is a far more telling indication of how you’re progressing. Don’t be concerned about the scale; it doesn’t define you.

The best trainers in Greeley, CO at NoCo Fitness will push you through workouts so that you’ll get the results you want. Sign up for a free consultation today!

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