Feeling like you want to hug your scale one day, and throw it out the window the next? If you’ve ever worked hard at the gym by sweating, lunging, panting and sprinting, only to weigh yourself and observe your body weighting the same it did weeks ago, you’re not alone. When you’re striving towards fitness and/or weight loss goals, your scale isn’t always your friend. Use it as a tool for progress, without it being your own means for measuring success. Here’s why and how it’s so important to focus on how you feel, in order to keep your momentum up.
That Tricky, Tricky Scale
Have you ever gone on a no bread, no fruit, no dairy (and as a result, no fun!) eating plan? The diet itself is so strict that for the first seven days, you may be able to tolerate its highly restrictive daily calorie count because you’re losing weight but then you gain it all back again! The problem with paying attention to the scale more than you do the food you put into your mouth is that your weight fluctuates. Therefore, the number on the scale fluctuates.
The problem? As a result of fluctuating numbers on the scale, you can lose motivation, stop striving towards your goals and head for the couch instead of the gym. To cure this, repeat the following: “The scale is not the barometer for my success. It is not an accurate representation of my strength, overall health or fitness level.”
Strong is the New Skinny
There’s nothing wrong with paying attention to a number on the scale, but as you eat moderately (to finally lose those love handles!) weight yourself moderately, too. Because water retention, the type of food you eat (and even when you eat!) can contribute to your fluctuating weight, commit to a new health pattern: weigh yourself only one a week or once every two weeks. That way, you’ll miss the ups and downs that leave your frustrated, and instead focus on the weight you’ve dropped.
An extra tip: be mindful that adding muscle, will slow down your weight loss. If you’re weight lifting as part of your weekly routine, focus on another mantra: “Strong is the new skinny.” A balance of toning along with decreasing body fat through strength building and cardio will allow you to reach your goals in a matter of months, not years.