When someone begins dieting and working out, the thing they do most besides going to the gym and preparing their meals, is weighing themselves.
Why wouldn’t they? You’re working hard to change your body, and you certainly want to get some sort of positive feedback if all your hours of sweat and tears are actually yielding results.
Did you know that the scale really isn’t the end-all-be-all of tracking your progress of body composition changes? Well, if ya didn’t, now you do! Don’t get me wrong here, obviously you want a scale handy so that you can see how much weight you are dropping and how fast. But sometimes the scale can cause discouragement, as normal fluctuations in weight are not only inevitable, but expected!
What Is The Scale Used For Then?
So what exactly do we mean by all this? Well, this article from CutAndJacked.com explains it pretty well, and so will we.
Numbers can only tell us so much. Let’s take the scale for example. It’s undeniably the most common way to track weight. But tracking a person’s weight is just one aspect of progress. The scale simply does not tell the whole story; there will always be fluctuations depending on factors such as food and water intake.
Another reason why the number on the scale is unreliable is because it doesn’t factor in body fat. Someone in a fat loss program might be disappointed to see they only lost 5 pounds in a month based on the reading on the scale, but what if they actually gained muscle mass while losing fat at the same time?
Simple enough to understand, right?
The scale tracks what it’s supposed to track – your body WEIGHT.
The scale, however, does not take into account your body fat percentage, or amount of lean muscle mass you carry. It just tells you how much you weigh. That’s all.
You can weigh the same amount that you started out at, but have significantly less body fat after a few weeks.
Is the scale really that good as a progress tracker? Well, yes and no. It always helps to know how much you weigh, especially if you are a fighter, for example, or an Olympic Weightlifter – both sports have weight classes. With that said, you can clearly see that a man who is 5’9″ and weighs 170 pounds with 6% body fat, looks and performs much better than the same height male who is 170 pounds with 12% body fat.
As our good friend Albert Einstein said: IT’S ALL RELATIVE! By all means use the scale to check your weight, but do not get discouraged when you see the numbers going up and down depending on the day.
Progress Your Progression
“So what do we do to track progress?” you may be asking. Well let’s explain, and yet once more reference this article about tracking progress. There’s a few simple and sensical methods of tracking your progress without the use of a scale. Let’s dive in:
Your Clothes Start To Fit Differently
You know you’re heading in the right direction when your clothes don’t fit you anymore. If you find yourself needing to buy new clothes because the ones you own don’t fit you anymore, does it really matter what the scale says?
Your Progress Pictures Look Better And Better
Taking progress pictures allows us to have a visual record of the physical changes that is happening with our bodies. It’s a great way to see the changes in our physique just by comparing the images that occur over time.
Progress photos are easy to take and don’t require much effort. Take one every 2 weeks first thing in the morning before consuming any food or water.
You Are Getting Stronger
Progress isn’t just about aesthetics. It should also be measured by your performance in the gym.
General Lifestyle Changes
Walking up and down the stairs is easier. Your mood and self-esteem improves. Your energy levels are significantly higher. You are getting much more quality sleep. Doing household work doesn’t hurt your back anymore. Your kids feel light as a feather when you carry them
Get the idea? It’s a simple, straightforward concept. Go over and read more in depth about it from this article on CutAndJacked.com.
Don’t let the scale discourage you! There are many other factors that matter when getting fit and healthy!