Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ditch Your Scale!

What's that you say? Ditch your scale? But but but ... the scale is my friend. NO IT'S NOT ... THE SCALE IS YOUR ENEMY! It can make you feel badly about any progress you've made if you don't see it go down. The scale is often not the litmus test for success!

You've worked hard. You've watched what you've eaten. You wake up in the morning and get on the scale naked only to see that the number has gone UP! What the WHAT? How can that be? I've done EVERYTHING (maybe you haven't but that's not the point). I am working out every day (yes, but are you working hard or smart?) I am barely eating (that may be an issue right there) and I am drinking water (are you drinking enough? Are you also drinking a ton of soda or coffee or alcohol?).

I am guilty of this. Getting on the scale and not seeing the number go down or, to my horror, go up. It's happened a few times over the past few weeks. First of all let's define a pound.

1 pound of weight gain equates a total of 3500 calories consumed. So if you weigh yourself one day and you're 140 lbs but the next day you weigh 142 lbs likely it's not what I like to call legitimate weight gain. If you had REALLY gained 2 lbs over night you would have had to have consumed 7000 calories as well as not even MOVED (let alone have done your workout). So what the heck could it be?

If you are working out and not drinking enough water you may be retaining water. Your body gets dehydrated and therefore will store all the water it takes in as it is signaled that you are not hydrating properly. Most people think that eight 8 oz glasses of water a day is enough but it's not. Your body may be retaining water in fear that you are not going to give it enough water.

Diets high in sodium can also lead to water weight gain. If you use a website like My Fitness Pal, make sure you enter your own values as other people cheat when they enter foods and calories and other nutritional items may be off. If there is no nutritional information on a package google the food and find something that looks right, over estimate if needed. If you aren't weighing your food or measuring you may be eating more then you think. Buy a Kitchen Scale it will be one of the best investments you make.

Are you eating enough? Calories are like gas ... if you are working out and burning a lot of calories you may just be running out of gas and your body is holding on to the calories you consume and storing as fat and enters preservation mode. If you aren't working out with a Heart Rate Monitor you have no idea what you are burning during a given workout and you may not be eating ENOUGH. For instance; I have a net caloric intake of 1300 calories daily. If I burn 500 calories that means my body only had 800 calories left in the tank. Over time, my body will begin to store those calories and I will gain weight. If I had a heart rate monitor I could consume back some of those calories and therefore my body wouldn't feel like I am starving her. HEART RATE MONITORS ARE ONLY GUIDES. Note the link above is to an inexpensive model that does the basics. I personally use a Polar.

"Well Karen Miss Smarty Pants, what do we do if we don't get on the scale? How do we measure progress?" ... Well readers; you do just that ... You take measurements. Often times you will find that you are shrinking even though the scales says you're not. I use the Accu Fitness Body Tape Measure and it's really nice because you can measure yourself without the aid of anyones help. There are videos on you tube on how to self measure. Watch them, note your measurements. DON'T MEASURE AGAIN FOR ANOTHER 30 DAYS.

Give yourself time to get into a new routine. If you are just starting out on this journey it will take at least 30 days for your body to adjust. You have to be patient. You didn't gain weight (or get out of shape) overnight, you won't lose weight (or get back into shape) overnight either.  You are rebooting your metabolism and it may take time to catch up ... it's not going to happen overnight, in a week, in 2 weeks ... it may take up to 1 month for the changes to start happening.

BOTTOM LINE, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED keep with it and you WILL see changes (if you are being honest with yourself on what you are consuming and how hard you are really working out).

As always feel free to Contact me if you have any questions.

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