Five Reasons to Ditch the Scale
Thursday, June 13, 2013
When I first started the Insanity program, I found myself jumping on the scale religiously to see just how much I have lost pound-wise. Back then, I was so concentrated on losing weight and that is all. After a couple weeks into the program, I was very disappointed to see that I have not lost any weight. And this is when I started to think whether I was doing everything right. However, I was looking at all the wrong numbers.
Insanity is a high intensity interval workout combined with muscle toning. It is designed to help you burn the calories and build muscle, thus shedding the fat. And as we all know, muscle weighs more than fat volume-wise and thus takes up less space. Which is why my body weight stayed the same - however my body fat percentage decreased. I dropped 1% body fat in one month as well as two inches on my waist. I'm not sure if this is good or bad for a month of exercising, but I am happy! This is one reason why you should not only look at your weight. Here are a few more.
1. Measure Yourself - This goes back to the whole fat vs. muscle discussion. Two people who weigh the same might not look the same - their body compositions will be different. The same goes with clothing sizes - both might wear the same size but look totally different. Measuring your waist, hips and chest circumference are better indicators of health than weight.
2. Water Weight - Have you ever felt so great and light, until you stepped on that scale and it told you otherwise? Yes that happens, more often than not. You shouldn't be overly compulsive with weighing yourself day by day, since we all know that our weight changes hourly and daily. Depending on factors like water intake, salt consumption, and (for the ladies) that "time of the month", your weight will naturally fluctuate up and down.
3. True Health - Your weight might not always be the best indicator of your health or fitness levels. You might weigh less but are you flexible? Are you strong? Do you have endurance? A person who weighs 100 pounds might not be able to keep up cardio wise, have a high body fat percentage and be considered unhealthy, whereas a person who weighs more than recommended for their body height might be healthy, have high endurance levels and have a lower body fat percentage.
4. Before/After Pictures - Pictures don't lie, and they will show you just how much your body has changed. It is a great way for you to compare how much you have lost (and muscle gained) instead of stepping on that scale each time. Plus, looking at how much you have accomplished from all that hard work is such a self-motivator!
5. Your Self Worth - You should never allow the scale to tell you how you should feel or allow yourself to get into a depression over a number. It is just a number and as long as you are working hard at your exercise routine and eating healthy, you should never let the numbers rule you. Just because you gained a pound or two from yesterday doesn't mean you should punish yourself by working out double-time or skipping out on a meal. Not only is this harmful on your emotions, it can also be harmful on your body. If exercising is making you a happy person overall, then that scale should never come between you and your happiness!