Weight Loss Articles


Is Your Bathroom Scale Driving You Crazy?

- by Melanie Mendelson

(c)Melanie Mendelson - All Rights Reserved

Your goal is to lose weight. Perhaps, this is a good reason as any to obsess over the numbers on your scale. After all, the scale measures your body weight, and weight is something that you want to lose, right?

Not exactly!

What you want to lose is FAT. Our body is mainly comprised of water, muscle, organ tissue, fat and bone. The scale measures the total weight of all the elements that our body contains. It does not give us any idea on how much of this weight is, in fact, fat.

For adults, the weight of the organ tissue and bones is constant. The fluctuation of numbers that we see on the scale reflects changes in volume for the other three components of our body - water, muscle and fat.

Have you ever weighed yourself twice on the same day and found a difference of several pounds? Such differences, whether it is positive or negative, should be attributed to changes of water in your body.

You cannot gain or lose a pound of pure fat in just one day. It is also not possible to gain or lose a pound of muscle overnight.

However, it is very easy to retain or lose several pounds of water.

Gaining or losing water will affect the number on the scale, but will not make you slimmer. Eventually, your water volume will return to the balanced amount, and the scale will adjust accordingly.

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Muscle, another crucial component of your body, weighs more then fat. This is the reason why ideal weight charts and formulas do not work for bodybuilders.

Even when bodybuilders have very little body fat, the amount of muscle that they have makes their total body weight go way up. According to the standard weight charts, most bodybuilders would fall under the category of being "obese". This clearly illustrates how "losing weight" does not equal "losing fat".

Tools to Measure Your Progress

Since fat is the third component that influences the number on your scale, the scale is merely a useful tool for measuring progress on your fat loss journey. However, the key here is not for you to fixate on the scale, but to use it as only one of the tools to track your progress.

Weigh yourself just once a month on the same day to avoid stressing out every day over weight "ups and downs" caused by water fluctuation.

In addition, you do not want to rely totally on your scale. Instead, judge your progress by the way your clothes fit.

Take your tape measurements every month to see how far you have reduced your fat factor; because, it is inches-- not pounds, which really matter most!


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