Beware of the Scale

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When people set their sights on transforming their body, usually the focus is weight loss. They will throw a goal out there like, “I want to lose fifty pounds!” This is a great goal, but its incomplete.  I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with wanting to lose fifty pounds.  However, when focus is placed on the scale alone, it will become discouraging in the way that my program works.  There are ways to just simply lose weight, some more dangerous to your health than others.  However, if your goal is to improve your overall fitness and health, then I say look at the scale with a different perspective.  It’s a decent measure for progress for the first 12 weeks or so, but then something changes…

Something to expect as you get deeper into your workouts and nutrition is not weight loss like in the beginning, rather a change in body composition.  This just means that you will develop more muscle and become more firm overall as you lose fat. This might not show on the scale!  The temptation will be to think that you’ve plateaued or that you need to do something different or new.  In reality, your body is transforming to less body fat and more muscle and this is something that the scale cannot detect.  The measure of progress will need to change.  The measure should become your Body Fat Percentage.  I highly suggest measuring your body fat once every month. You will see you’re progress there. Yes, you will need to change things up in the gym from time to time, but not as much as you may think. Just keep going!

Here are some methods for measure body fat percentage:

  1. Skin Calipers.
  2. Bioelectrical Impedance.
  3. Hydrostatic Weighing.
  4. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)
  5. Air-Displacement Plethysmography.
  6. 3D Body Scan.

Skin Calipers are the easiest way to measure improvement.  It may not be the most accurate, but most gyms have trainers that are fairly experienced in this method and will do it for you.  You can also buy your own calipers and train yourself how to use them.  But you may want to venture out and spend a little bit of money once or twice a year with some of the other methods.

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