Saturday, April 13, 2013

Weighing Yourself; Don’t Be Afraid of the Scale

One mistake many people make when they’re trying to lose or gain weight for that matter is to weigh themselves every day. For many starting out a new diet or exercise regimen they don’t step on the scale but once every 2-3 weeks. So when they do finally get on the scale and realize to their dismay that their weight has barely changed, if at all they get discouraged, or they get aggravated and impatient. Now the discouraged person is likely to give up or quit soon without the proper help, and the aggravated or impatient person is likely to go into overkill mode and drastically cut out calories and exercise twice as hard; both are bad situations. The first situation is bad because obviously as a trainer I don’t want anyone giving up on their fitness goals, and the second situation is bad because that person is likely to start dropping too much weight too fast. This in turn would lead to the burning off of muscle for energy and use by the body while it held onto the fat; especially in all the problem areas like the stomach, love handle region, butt, and legs.

Remember though in any situation you don’t want to lose more than 1-2lbs a week. Doing this ensures that the body is burning off primarily fat; anymore additional weight lost over 2lbs in a week has a great probability of being muscle. So what should you do so that you don’t run into his problem yourself? Go and buy a scale, they’re cheap, and weigh yourself every morning upon waking. Don’t drink anything don’t eat anything until you weigh yourself; if you have to go to the bathroom beforehand that’s fine. Now, you log and track your weight every morning on a piece of paper or whiteboard, and every 7 days you take the average and write it down with a big circle around it! You will see that on a day-to-day basis that your weight fluctuates; meaning one morning you could be 200lbs, the next day 197lbs, and the next day 202lbs. This does not mean that you lost 3lbs of actual body mass, or that you gained 5lbs of mass either; what it means is that one day you could’ve been holding more water and food in your intestinal tract, or you could’ve been sweating the night before and believe it or not you could’ve lost 2lbs of water through perspiration, yuck!

So keeping track of your average every 7 days you should be seeing which direction your heading in by week 3, and be able to make the proper adjustments to your diet and or exercise routine to better increase your weight loss, or weight gain. Also keep in mind people who are trying to lose weight and get lean, just because the number on the scale isn’t going down, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not losing fat! You could be building lean muscle mass and burning the fat right off, muscle is a lot more dense then fatty tissue, so you could be skinnier but weigh close to the same. Which brings on the topic of another great and crucial tool that can help you, a body fat measurer or caliper, which will be able to tell you if you’re losing fat even though the number on the weight scale isn’t moving too much, but I’ll talk about that next time.

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