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What irritates us the most about packaged wafers or Chips ?
The feeling of holding a jumbo pack of potato wafers when pop open gets us to see just a handful of crisp thin wafers inside. It's the subtle trust that is broken, we feel a tad bit cheated, a tiny bit disappointed for having made the choice at the convenience store about buying that big fluffy pack of chips.
Breakup with your body scale!
When it comes to weight loss or fat loss, looking at the entire journey and fixating on a scale as a measure for gauging the progress is sure going to end you at the same point as opening the pack of chips and getting dismayed.
About 10 years back (Gosh! Time flies ) I underwent a major surgery followed by extreme depression. The result was going 18 kgs down on the scale. I was at my lowest on the scale, yet I had lost major part of my muscles, I looked 20 years more than my age. All tell tale signs of loosing weight and not fat from my body. I could fit into a tiny pair of jeans, but had a tyre around my waist after getting into them. I felt tired all the while and I could go on about the ills of loosing the way I did.
A part of me was happy that I finally could get rid of the extra baggage I was carrying around for years. After doing some thinking I realized just how detrimental the scale has been to my journey. I thought back to when I hit my lowest weight ever. Instead of using it as motivation to push forward, I looked at it as a huge goal that needed a reward like overeating and “treating myself” all day, everyday. In my eyes I had wiggle room to fall back into old habits for a few days, but a few days turned into a few months.
Also the scale, unless it's the ultra sophisticated one which tells you exactly the in-body measurements in muscles mass, bone density, fat % etc, would only give you the total mass multiplied by the gravitational force (thats the formula for calculating the weight of any object /body ) .
A good measure of weight loss is getting the fat % to an optimal range, improving on the muscle mass. Yes, that's where the calories get burned, having the bone density in place and the body well hydrated. However, the regular scale we have at home does nothing to report the improvements on those fronts. It only moves when there is a total loss of mass.
Now lets discuss it a bit more in details and get to know why fixating on the the scale works contra to your total journey and motivation and how to avoid doing it.
Understanding Muscle Vs Fat
Muscle weighs more than fat, i.e density of muscle (weight per volume) is more than than of fat. If you’re gaining muscle, it’ll still show up on the scale. Because I’ve been doing toning routines more often and incorporating weights, I can feel that my legs, arms and abs are more muscular. This won’t show up on the scale, though it likely will in your measurements. Just because you’re gaining muscle, don’t mean you aren’t getting rid of fat. You are. That fat loss is what shows in your measurements.
If you’ve lost inches, you’ve lost fat. It’s that simple, in my mind. Also, I realized there’s no possible way to gain 3+ lbs overnight. Honestly… there’s 3,500 calories in one pound, which means you have to burn off 3,500 calories to lose one pound. So 3 x 3,500 = 10,500 calories in one night. I barely eat 1500-1600 calories in a day (I don’t count calories, but I am calorie conscious so I estimate I eat about 1,500 most days). There is no possible way I, or anyone else for that matter, can absorb 10,500 calories overnight without trying. It’s water weight / bloating. This could be the case with women when we are close to our periods or due to certain hormonal changes at times we tend to retain the water in our body .The only way to accurately lose weight is by burning more calories than you eat. If you’re into it, use a calorie counting app like My Fitness Pal.
If you want to see results, I honestly recommend ditching the scale, at least every day. Once a week is perfect — it gives your body enough time to balance itself out and show an accurate loss or gain. Even more, start measuring yourself. If you continue to eat healthy and workout, I believe you’ll see a difference in inches before/more than your weight
If you’ve lost inches, you’ve lost fat
I find the more you focus on the scale, the more disheartening it can be. When it doesn't happen we feel defeated, discourages, and heartbroken. More often than not this is the critical point where some just give up. They sum it up to "this isn't working" and they bid the new habits farewell! BUT if they would have JUST kept going... if they didn't let that number hold them back, they would begin to SEE all the AMAZING changes that are taking place!
Most people go into a new weight loss journey wanting to lose WEIGHT! Obviously we set expectations and goals to drop a certain amount of weight by a certain date. Yes, I still have a set number in my head by a set date BUT I am starting to realize that those numbers and dates don't matter as much as I thought they did in the beginning. My main focus was to get back to my "pre kids" weight. While I still agree that would be nice, I am starting to change my focus and just get to a place where I am fit, happy and healthy!
To sum it all - The scale is a GREAT tool for maintaining your weight but not so much for losing weight!
About the Author: Nitu Bajwa (http://getsetgo.fitness/#/public/coachprofile/nitu)