Blog 41 | By Fitness Trainer Jesi Mandagaran
“Why haven’t I lost weight?!” Peggy Lou screamed at the cold and ruthless scale beneath her bare feet. But the perfectly smug scale didn’t answer. Instead, it smiled keeping its pointy red needle aimed at the number she just saw seven days ago. Peggy Lou did everything right, she hit the gym 4 out of 7 days and stuck to her clean eating meal plan with maybe one slip up here and there. Surely Peggy should have lost some weight, right?
As trainers, we hear this story all too often. People feel defeated, ready to throw in the towel and head straight for the Haggen Daz, bottomless fries and a Netflix binge. We get it, not seeing progress on the scale, can be frustrating. And this is why so many people give up. But we have news for you…
THE SCALE DOES NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY!!!
For starters, we have been conditioned to obsess with the number on the scale. When in reality, our perspective should be on our inner numbers and our energy levels. A skinny person can still be unhealthy, because their inner numbers can reflect unwell results. We call that, ‘skinny fat’.
When we say ‘inner numbers’, we mean, body fat, bone density, triglycerides, blood pressure, LDL/HDL cholesterol, blood sugar levels etc. Does the scale you bought from that garage sale for $7 tell you whether or not you’re pre-diabetic or that maybe you’ve actually lost 1% body fat? …No. The scale only reports your overall weight, which includes water weight, bone density, muscle, and body fat etc.
See this Fat to Muscle image comparison:
The Fat and Muscle weigh the same at 5lbs. The Fat takes up more space in your body. So, you can see why its important to monitor body fat rather than just the weight on the scale.
Here’s another example:
- At age 38, the picture on the left, she weighs 137lbs, only doing cardio and irregular eat.
- At age 40, the picture on the right, she weighs 141lbs, but is much leaner, more fit than the picture on the left. She added weight training and proper eating (more eating, might I add, but it’s the right food.)
Here’s what is important. The best way to truly track your biometrics are by these tips listed below:
- How your clothes fit. Your clothes are a great measuring tool, maybe they’re feeling loose, or you reduced a hole in that favorite belt of yours.
- Tape measurements. Like your clothes, you can tell whether or not if you’ve lost inches or not. ** Measure chest, waist, and hips.
- A body fat machine. Use same machine throughout fitness journey. Note, that none will be as accurate as the official DEXA scan (dual energy x-ray absorptiometryl).
- Energy levels. If you are eating well and getting the right varied exercise, then energy levels should increase as well as your mood. It is the ultimate boost!
- Progress pictures. ‘Before + After’ photos. Having a visual breeds motivation.
- Fitness goals. Example: running 1 mile without stopping, or getting it done under 9 minutes. As a trainer, this is by far my favorite measuring tool, their confidence increases immensely when they see their progress in the gym. Then its like a domino effect in all other areas in their life.
So, the moral of this story is, for all my Peggy Lou’s out there—ladies and gents… don’t be discouraged by the number on the scale. It doesn’t tell the whole story on what’s going on inside your body. And it is important to seek a professional to help guide you in your health and fitness journey. The worst thing you could do is run with the WRONG information. You’ll waste your time, repeating old patterns, and yo-yo dieting only to end up putting all the weight back on, or worse, allowing in unwanted chronic diseases.
Get it right, by finding the right professional to get you on track and to achieve control of your health once and for all.
See ya in the box,