Does Your Scale Tell the Truth?

November 12, 2012

Does Your Scale Tell the Truth?

Most people, who exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet regimen, hope to lower their weight and lose inches as well. However, if you are losing inches but not weight, you may have to consider some facts.

Focus on Fat Loss

Excessive body weight can be due to increased muscle mass or large amounts of fats stored in the body. If you do not see any changes in weight in spite of regular exercise and diet, it is possible that you are losing the fat and gaining muscle. This will keep your weight steady but improve your overall health. Hence, the focus of your exercise regimen should be to lose fat, not weight.

Muscle vs Fat

Before you start a weight loss program, you should try to understand the composition of your body. The traditional bathroom scale is limited measuring your weight. It cannot differentiate between body fat and muscle mass. Bodybuilders often weigh very high on the scale but this weight is due to muscle, not fat.

Hence, if you plan to lose inches, do not limit your results to the numbers on scale. Knowing the composition of your body may be essential for a successful weight-loss program.

Disadvantages of a Scale

While it is important to lose inches, the aim of your diet and exercise program should be to lose fat. Reduced fat levels lower may lower your weight, and reduce the risk of life threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Your scale may be important for the initial proof and encouragement that will help continue your diet and exercise. However, unlike a scale, many fat measurement devices and scales will specifically inform you about your fat percentage. Major disadvantages of a scale include:

  • Your scale will measure everything in your body including muscles, fat, bones, organs, fluids and food.

  • Your scale does not give you a clear and complete picture of what is happening inside your body. It will not reflect the fat you lose during a cardiovascular or the muscle you gain during a strength training program. Hence, it may not help you plan a right program to lose inches in your body. It is also important to remember that a person with low body weight can have high fat percentage, and be at increased risk of life threatening diseases.

  • Changes in scale may sometimes discourage you but it is important to understand that scale does not give you real picture.

Real Criteria

You may use other criteria to measure your success as well. Check how your clothes fit you. If they are loose, you are on the right tract. If you lose inches from your waist during this process, then you are on the right tract. You should also set performance goals instead of weight-loss goals.

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