Seven reasons to step away from the scales

Why the weighing scales are not important…

Many women have a love-hate relationship with their weighing scales. Really, we need to view them as a tool. Just a number that has nothing to do with our worth. But nonetheless, a lot of women obsess over them.

One of the biggest hurdles, if not the biggest, when it comes to achieving fat-loss goals is that people often attribute all and any success to the weight showing on the scale.

This is a sure fire way to lose focus and give up. You step on the scales, see the number and say “What’s the point?”

Here are seven reasons why you shouldn’t use the scales to determine success:

1. Your body composition is changing

Ever wondered why the scale doesn’t change when you’ve made so many changes to your diet and lifestyle?

If you’re building muscle as part of a resistance training programme, you could be losing body fat while gaining muscle. Therefore, your weight may stay the same as you lose inches.

2. Your weight fluctuates each day

If you weigh yourself daily you may notice that the number on the scale fluctuates each day. Sometimes this could be due to water retention, hormones, excess salt intake or undigested food. You can combat this by drinking lots of water and lowering your salt intake.

3. Low weight doesn’t always equal healthy

Just because someone is thin doesn’t automatically mean they’re healthy. In fact, a heavier person may have better overall health due to lifestyle choices like eating a better diet and working out.

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Focus on practising healthier habits and being consistent. For improved health you need to make changes that you can keep for life.

Better blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels are good measures of improved health, which may not change the number on your scales.

4. Fat and muscle weigh the same

1lb of fat weighs the same as a 1lb of muscle. When you work out you are building lean muscle. While it weighs exactly the same as fat it is leaner and denser, or more compact and takes up less space than fat, so you may look smaller.

Building lean muscle has lots of benefits. Did you know building muscle will help boost your metabolism so you can burn fat as you rest?

5. Your clothes tell the truth

Instead of relying on the scales to tell you whether you are getting results, look at how your clothes fit. If they are fitting better then the number on the scale is not important. Let your clothes be the gauge in deciding if your healthier lifestyle is paying off. If they are getting looser then by all means celebrate and buy some new clothes!

6. It can break your day…

That once-a-week weigh in on your own scale or at  your local slimming club can break your day and you’re not alone. It is normal to feel disheartened when you base your success on whether the scale is up or down.

You could have three women that that weigh the same but have three different shapes and dress sizes. It all depends on how much muscle and fat you carry and where. Stop focusing on your weight and switch your focus to adopting a healthier lifestyle. Small changes and building healthier habits are the key to success.

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7. The scale does not account for everything…

When you step on the scale you are weighing every tissue, every cell, the food you ate and the glass of water you just drank. Realise that the scale does not account for everything and the numbers do not show the bigger picture of fitness and health.

Focus on your happiness, your energy levels and the things you love. THEN begin making the health changes you need such as a healthier diet and exercise. Don’t forget to get enough sleep and reduce your stress levels as they can affect health and weight too.

The weight will come off if you follow this approach because the weight loss is just a side effect of true health and happiness.

About Tracy Patterson

I'm an Associate Trainer with Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace. I am also a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist and as a Women’s Health and Nutrition educator, I specialise in menopausal weight management. I want to empower women to recognise that age is no barrier to strengthening their bodies. For the past 20 years my successful career in medical sales, with leading healthcare providers in the world, has given me a unique insight into how our bodies function. At age 57, five years post menopause, I decided to leave medical sales to follow my passion for health and fitness and women’s wellbeing. I fully appreciate the challenges that come with this time of life. I’m committed to inspiring women to thrive and be the best version of themselves throughout their menopause and beyond.