Focus on your clothing size, not the scales

Australians should use their dropping down in clothes size as a key indicator of weight loss, not the kilograms displayed on their humble bathroom scale. You see, weight scales aren’t accurate and tend to lie about your current weight due to the fact that several factors can influence your weight reading.

It’s essential to consider water retention, muscle gain (which leads to changes in lean body mass), glycogen storage, menstruation and other perfectly normal fluctuations to your body weight. If you better understand these changes and how your body function, you can free yourself from your daily battle when you weigh yourself in. Let’s have a look out how these aforementioned elements alter your scale reading.

Water Retention
Excessive amounts of salt/sodium in diets can cause the body to retain water. If you’re consuming too much sodium or not enough water, your body will hold onto the little water it has which will cause the scale reading to sky rocket. So drink water whenever you’re thirsty.

Menstruation
Women tend to retain large amounts of water prior to menstruation. This weight will go as quickly as it comes. On the plus, women can minimise water weight gain by increasing their water intake, maintaining physical activity and minimising high-sodium foods.

Muscle Gain
It’s no secret here. Muscle weighs three times as much as fat. So if you look slimmer, but weigh more… it’s clearly muscle gain. Hence; using clothing size as an indicator for fat loss.

Food Intake
Each meal we consume throughout the day will affect the numbers on the scale. So if you instantaneously put on a few kilos after eating a large meal with a drink, it’s not fat. It’s in fact the weight of the food you just ate that will be gone in a few hours upon digesting it. For accuracy’s sake, it’s best to weight yourself in the morning before you’ve have anything to eat or drink.

Glycogen Storage
Your body stores energy (carbohydrates) as fat and glycogen. Glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles and fat cells. Essentially it acts as your fuel tank for daily living. And for every gram of glycogen stores, your body will store an extra three to four grams of water with it. So that’s why when you eat a meal with carbs, the body automatically stores water and glycogen as weight. But it’s not fat at all! These fluctuations have nothing to do with weight loss or gain, yet it will affect your weekly weigh-in.

So really, it’s important not to lose your cool at your daily weigh in. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet and exercising vigorously, the best indicator for change is your clothing size because losing weight and losing fat are two different things. Take measurements of yourself regularly and don’t be dismayed if the scale jumps slightly up or down. Day by day, your body is changing and getting closer to the goal you’re trying to achieve. Change is happening, regardless of what the scale says. And it’s more likely that you’re gaining lean muscle if the scale creeps up as quickly as your waist line drops.

About Andrew Simmons

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