Why your scales can be a false friend

2019 is well underway but there are undoubtedly a huge number of  people who have already given up on their New Years resolutions, the easiest to give up on being your health.

It’s very easy to binge drink, binge eat or just never stop eating. Sugary, processed foods are a dieting person’s worst nightmare and unfortunately they are some of the quickest and most convenient foods to reach for.

New Years gives us all a reason to start something new and due to the fact that the majority of the world could be in better shape, changing your diet and losing weight is always one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

The biggest mistake that people make when taking on the challenge of “losing weight” is focusing too much on the number the weighing scales show. It does seem like the obvious go-to assessor for how well someone is performing but that is not the case, which is quite unfortunate as it would make things a lot easier if it was.

While people say that losing weight is their goal, that generally isn’t the case. It’s not how much you actually weigh that is important to most people but rather how you look. Men and women alike would like to have a slim waist, get rid of the love-handles, lose a bit of stubborn fat around the thighs and everything that comes with slimming down or trying to get leaner.

man in muscle back view
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Too much emphasis can be placed on the scales because we can associate weight loss with fat loss. General thinking might lead you to believe that if you’ve lost three pounds in three days, then you must be losing some fat because what else could you have lost?

For some, losing three pounds makes them happier than actually looking in the mirror and seeing an improvement in their body. It’s easy to get lost in the number on the scales because it’s so much easier in the morning to step on a scale than to measure every body part. The fact of the matter is, your scales don’t tell you everything you need to know.

There can be a number of reasons why your weight moves up or down. Some days are less intense and not only do you burn less calories but you hold more water in your body; other days it can be the opposite. Some days you might eat food that is quickly digested, other days your body might be holding on to more food because it can’t digest it as quickly.

How much water have you drank? When was the last time you ate? What did you have to eat? How much exercise have you done? Have much sleep have you gotten? What food did you have yesterday?

All these questions and more factor into what number shows up on the scales and because you can’t live everyday exactly the same as the last, your weight is bound to fluctuate. You can lose half a pound a day for three days and then all of a sudden you weigh more than your starting weight. These things just happen.

Positive changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle can also lead to you maintaining or even putting on weight. Maybe your diet contains more protein and you’re retaining more muscle, maybe you’re drinking more water and holding on to more water.

When you make a conscious decision to “lose weight”, think about your actual goal. Is your goal to be less heavy? Or is it something related to your appearance? If it’s something related to your appearance, then always remember body is what you should be focusing on to see results. Your weight cannot tell you if you have lost an inch of your waist, but you can see it or measure it.

So, if you are thinking about giving up on your goals because of no weight loss, think again about what your objectives are and re-evaluate whether or not they involve the scales. With that being said, good luck to everyone this year with your resolutions and just keep persevering.

close up of human hand
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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