Scales Lie!

IMG_3830Okay the scales don’t actually lie. Our scale does exactly what it’s supposed to—it tells us how much we weigh. It measures our body fat but it also measures bone, water, muscle, organs, undigested food and more. When that number goes up or down we think it is a reflection of fat gain or loss and that is the false belief.

At FitMania we often see people lose as much as 16 inches and two to three sizes in clothes and yet the scales barely budge. Sometimes they even weigh more! How could that be? Here are a few reasons why:

  • When we work out, it causes little tears in our muscle fibers. There is a healthy inflammatory response that heals the muscle tears and makes muscles bigger and stronger. The fluid required for inflammatory response adds weight
  • Fluctuations in glycogen (stored carbohydrates)
  • The amount of food in our digestive track
  • Fat loss can cause your body to temporarily increase the water content of the adipose (fat) cells
  • New muscle, tendons, ligaments and other tissues to support the new muscle increases weight

There are some very accurate methods for measuring body composition (our percentage of body fat and lean mass) but they are expensive. They are also not necessary. We can measure our progress closely enough through a combination of methods:

  • Body measurements using a simple tape measure
  • Photos
  • Last and least, the scale

One last note. I have on my wall something Kacey wrote on Challenge “after” picture day as a reminder to our clients. I liked it so much I have left it hanging there. It says,

“You have always been beautiful. Now you‘re just deciding to be healthier, fitter, faster, stronger. Remember that.” – Kacey Larracoechea

by Sherry Stirling Fernandez

 

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