1830 I-30 Frontage Rd, Rockwall, Texas 75087

Non-Scale Victories

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People starting a journey to improve health and fitness often use the scale as a measure of progress, which can be somewhat disappointing since the scale may not change much. The scale is often not a great tool for tracking progress initially because some muscle gain (muscle being denser) will often offset weight lost from fat loss, thus showing a no net change on the scale, even though this is a desired outcome.

The primarily problem is that the scale does not show body composition or fitness/endurance level improvements. Most people drop some weight initially on almost any diet simply though water loss (starting to exercise and eating better often causes that to happen). Most people typically gain back some of that within a couple of weeks as well. So, repeated weighing on the scale can drive you crazy and be discouraging even though things may be working according to plan.

There are lots of other ways to see progress:

  • Clothes fitting better
  • Better skin complexion
  • More easily climbing stairs
  • More energy
  • Lifting more weight than you could before at the gym
  • Doing workouts more easily as stamina has increased now vs similar intensity workouts one month or two months ago
  • If you are fairly overweight, losing weight through both diet and exercise should see lower resting heart rate over time (fit people have low resting heart rates; it’s a good thing) and better blood pressure readings. (Note: If taking some medications, the medications may off-set that). Other things like cholesterol panels, blood sugar, etc. should also improve. For people who are numbers-obsessed, use things like that rather than the scale to track progress. Besides, they are more meaningful for health and wellness anyways.

    If you do weigh yourself, at least do it at the same time each day (first thing out of bed in the morning). If you weighed yourself multiple times during the day, it is not unusual to see 5-8 lb variations. So, weighing yourself on different days at different times is going to give inconsistent numbers. As well, pair the scale with other types of measurements to get a better picture of changes.


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