If you have ever been through one of my online bootcamps, then you know that I am a stickler for one particular rule: stay off the scale. While this may seem like a strange rule for a fitness program, my reasons behind it are important for clients to understand.
The scale shows weight loss, not fat loss.
Anytime you create a calorie deficit, you will see weight come off. However, it is possible to lose weight without seeing any real change in your body’s overall composition. When you are trying to look lean, toned and strong, what you really want is fat loss. The most effective way to burn fat is to build lean muscle; your metabolism is directly related to your muscle mass. At times, this means the scale may not move, or that it may move up a few pounds. However, your body will begin looking significantly different as you build muscle and burn fat. I weigh more now than I ever have, but I look leaner, stronger and more fit than when I weighed less.
The scale cannot measure health, energy or overall fitness level.
The point of dialing in an exercise and nutrition plan is to make you a more energetic, stronger, healthier version of you. The scale cannot tell you a single thing about how fast you run, how much you lift, or how full of energy you are. Aesthetics are nice, but being able to play with your kids longer, being fully engaged in the world around you, and feeling healthy and strong are extremely important indicators of success. A scale won’t be able to tell you how strong your bones are, how you’ve boosted your immunity, or how exercise and nutrition has improved your blood pressure and cholesterol.
The number on a scale is not reflective of your gains in confidence.
When you look and feel your best you’ll be able to walk out into the world full of confidence. The number on a scale can’t measure the pride you feel for the work you’ve put in. There is no better feeling than meeting a goal; like finally getting that pull-up, or hitting your macros dead-on. Your scale won’t tell you a thing about being able to rock that swimsuit or fit into some skinny jeans like never before. Confidence is a huge factor that a scale can’t touch.
So what should you focus on, if not the scale?
- How has your overall body composition changed?
- Are you beginning to see your abs? Is there more definition in your quads?
- Do your arms look stronger and more toned?
These are the types of aesthetic wins you want to focus on. You can answer yes to all of the above without seeing the number on a scale go down.
- Has waking up each morning gotten easier?
- Have you seen a decrease in mid-afternoon energy crashes?
- Has your dependence on coffee waned?
- Are you able to last longer in a game of tag with your kids than you could before?
Improvements in your energy are MAJOR non-scale victories. Being able to fully engage the world around you is a true gift; one that will never be reflected on a scale.
- Do you run faster?
- Can you lift heavier at the gym and at home?
- Can you complete a challenging workout in less time?
Building strength and endurance will help you prevent injury, strengthen your bones, and help you move through life with ease. The scale will never be able to tell you how strong you are.
Being in control of your food choices
- Do you indulge in the treats you want to, when you want to, knowing how that fits into your overall plan?
- Do you understand how to fuel your body for your workouts?
- Do you make decisions about your food based on your long-term goals?
If you are feeling more in control of your food choices, then you will experience far less anxiety when it comes to your nutrition. The scale can’t measure decreased anxiety and a greater feeling of control.
- Can you finally fit into that pair of jeans you’ve been trying to get into for years?
- Do you love the lines in your toned legs?
- Do you feel strong and confident because you know you are taking care of your body?
- Can you hit the beach without fear?
Confidence comes when we look and feel our best. The number on a scale cannot accurately measure the confidence that comes with being truly fit and healthy.
Ladies, at the end of the day the scale gives you one tiny piece of information: your weight. That piece of information is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Do not waste your energy trying to reach some arbitrary number you have in your mind. Get rid of your scale friend. Focus on getting lean, strong and healthy. Focus on building confidence, increasing energy and living the life you want to live. No scale will ever play a role in getting you closer to that goal.