If you have ever stepped on a scale after a week of dieting and exercise, only to wonder why the scale has not budged – or worse, moved upward! – you are not alone. Many dieters find their best efforts go unrewarded, at least in the short-term. This is why it is so important to focus on factors other than the number on the scale. This number is often not an accurate reflection of the changes your body experiences as a result of health improvements.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Weight Doesn‘t Always Matter:
1. Weight Fluctuates
No matter what you do, your weight is going to fluctuate. If you are a woman, you might see fluctuations of several pounds throughout a single month, even if your eating and fitness remain the same. The number on the scale even fluctuates throughout the day. If you want to use a scale to track weight loss, record the dates and times associated with your weigh-ins and track patterns. Read more on the importance of keeping a diet and exercise journal here.
2. Muscle Weighs More than Fat
This sounds a little like a cliché, but it is true. Yes, a pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weight a pound. But a segment of muscle weighs more than an equal size of fat. You might be reducing your size and getting into better shape, but be aware that this might make you weigh more than you did before you began working out. To learn about the benefits of building muscle, click here.
3. The Scale is All-Encompassing
Not only must you think about muscle versus fat, you must also realize that the scale is weighing more than your body’s fat content. When you step on the scale, every cell in your body is weighed. You are weighing muscle, fat, organs, bones, anything you are wearing, and anything you have put into your body. If you weigh yourself at the end of a day of eating, your weight reflects a portion of what you took in during that day. However, this does not mean it will be converted to fat.
4. Weight is Not Always a Reflection of Health
An ideal number on the scale is not always an accurate reflection of someone’s health. A person 10 or 20 pounds overweight might actually be healthier than someone at her ideal weight. Other factors, such as cardiovascular health, genetics, and lifestyle factors all play a role in a person’s health. To learn more about weight and diet myths, click here.
5. Your Body Knows What It is Doing
It might not seem like it when you step on the scale and see the number climbing, but your body is a masterful machine. If you give it nutrition and challenge it with exercise, it will respond appropriately.
An example of your body’s ability to function is glycogen, which can boost the number on the scale. Glycogen is like a fuel tank that stores carbohydrates for energy. Glycogen levels are depleted and replenished on a regular basis and can trigger dramatic weight shifts that might seem devastating. As long as your doctor says you are healthy and you are making strides to remain so, relax. Eating right and exercising will eventually trigger the results you want.
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