So for the record, let's get this specific issue clear.
Over the past week I have received several questions asking, "If I'm not losing weight (on the scale) am I still making progress in my training?" This is an excellent question and a great one for Mid-Week Motivation.
The short answer is Yes!
Remember, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of fat, which both weight the same as a pound of muscle.
The difference is one of space.
Think of body fat as taking up the space of a grapefruit, while the same weight of muscle would only take the space of a tangerine. So while you may not see the numbers change on the scale, you should notice a difference in how your clothes fit -- because your muscle takes up less space, you should see the progress in inches first, not weight.
What I mean by that is, you may not see your loss of body fat on your typical bathroom scale, but that does not mean you haven't gotten rid of some unwanted body fat.
When you begin a good nutrition and exercise program it is not unusual to initially see the overall body weight number on your typical bathroom scale actually go up.
Because if you're like most of the population, chances are you've been under-eating. Meaning, you've probably been consuming way too many carbohydrates and not near enough protein to feed your muscles properly. So when you start eating properly, your muscles soak up all those extra calories because they have been starving all this time. And in most cases, the muscles soak up the good nutrients a bit faster than you are able to burn off the extra body fat (stored sugar for energy).
To take it one step further and hopefully make this a bit more clear, think of it this way. From what I've gathered from my research, we are all born with a certain number of fat cells and a certain number of muscles cells. The amount of each of these does not change!
What does change is the size (volume, amount of space they take up) of each of those types of cells. You can shrink your fat cells through exercise and good nutrition, thus creating a "smaller", healthier you. While at the same time slightly increasing your muscle cells (which take up less space) which thus allow you took look smaller, feel better, and live longer, all without seeing much change on your typical bathroom scale.
So again, YES, you may still be making progress even if you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale.
Lastly, I've been saying "typical bathroom scale" throughout this blog, because technology has now advanced to a point where you can buy a bathroom scale that will provide you with a body composition number (body fat compared to lean muscle). They are relatively inexpensive and do a decent to good job of giving reliable information on which to base your progress.
So don't get down on yourself just because you don't see the number decreasing on your typical bathroom scale. Instead, get a better bathroom scale, keep planning your meals in advance to stay on track, and get your exercise in consistently with no excuses.
Now Go Out and Get It Done!
- Trackback Link
- Post has no trackbacks.