Raise your hand if you weigh yourself often.
Now put your hand down 😉
Raise your hand again if you feel good when you see the number go down.
Put your hand down again 😉
Raise your hand if you get upset if the number goes up…
If you raised your hand 3 times, then this article could change your life.
The scales are a relationship between you and gravity. Nothing more. The scales literally just tell us how much we weigh.
Not how much body fat we have.
Not how much muscle we have.
Not how much nutrients are stored in our muscles.
Not how much our bones weigh.
Not how much water we are retaining – positive and negative.
Not how much food we have in out digestive system.
Just…. how much we weigh.
So, why do we associate ‘weight loss’ with success or failure with ‘fat loss’ – the two are often not connected.
Let me show you an example. Lets use an example woman who weighs 60kg or 9st 6lbs or 132lbs. Lets use kg moving forward, as its a little easier. Lets call this woman Sarah.
Now Sarah wakes up and weighs herself and she is 60kg. Throughout the day she eats some breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.
She drinks about 3ltrs of water and also a couple of cups of tea.
In total she eats about 2,000 calories worth of food. Now, for Sarah, that isn’t a lot of food, so she would most likely lose body fat on these calories over time.
Sarah also trained today. She did some squats and a gentle jog. Her legs are nice and sore from the session as she worked hard.
With the food that Sarah consumed, she ate about 250g of carbohydrates. About 150g of protein and the rest was dietary fat.
The next morning, Sarah weighed herself again and she now weighs 61kg. She looks at this and feels disgusted, upset and unmotivated. She goes and eats a big pizza to make herself better and doesn’t train. She also has some wine too. She didn’t sleep that well either as she was upset.
The following morning, she weights 61.5kg. She is even more upset now. So much so that she starves herself for a whole day and hardly eats anything. The following morning she weights 59.8kg. She feels better now having seen that the scales are lower, however she is so hungry from not eating. She tries to eat back to Monday again, but is really struggling.
You see how the pattern repeats….
What is happening here? Why did Sarah go from 60kg to 61kg when she was eating good and training hard?
Its quite simple really and there are a few reasons for it –
1 – She ate good carbs which totalled 250g. When we eat carbs, the body has to store 4g of water (4ml) in order to put the carbs into the muscle. This means that Sarah was just storing more positive water within her muscles due to the carbs she ate. Not fat…. just water.
2 – She also trained hard on the Monday. Training can cause muscles to swell temporarily and thus also store more water through inflammation, – the bodies way of repairing itself. So she was also storing more positive water around her legs after squats.
3 – Sarah also had a poor nights sleep. This can cause stress within the body and as a result will disrupt the salt/water balance within the body and cause the body to store more water again. Temporarily however.
So this explains why Sarah’s WEIGHT went up. However, because she trained and ate well, the body was able to metabolise and use body fat as a fuel better. Her weight went up by 1.5kg due to the carbs, water and stress. However, she probably lost up to 0.5kg of body fat and water retention due to the good nutrition and training. This means that she actually LOST BODY FAT but her weight still went up.
If she had maintained this positive routine for 2 weeks, she would feel significantly healthier and leaner.
However, the scales dictated her emotions and caused her to over eat, disuprt her sleep, no doubt her relationships at home due to being emotional and also then starving herself. Very unhealthy.
The reason she then went down to 59.8kg when she didnt eat anything was nothing to do with fat loss. It was due to her body using the carbs in the muscle for fuel and as these went down, the water stored in the muscles also went down. So she LOST WEIGHT…. not fat!
WHAT IS THE TAKE AWAY POINT FROM THIS?
Stop standing on the scales and letting the weight dictate your progress. Do something consistently for 2 weeks and see how you get on.
A poor diet done consistently will get better results and a good diet done inconsistently.