Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Scale!

Maybe we should just stop with the scale if it brings your motivation down.

Women are constantly comparing themselves to other women. I’m not sure why we don't embrace our own bodies and its structure; but I guess in our minds the grass is always greener on the other side. Now don’t think men are off the hook! They too compare themselves, but usually want to be built and lean like what they see in muscle magazines. It's a harsh and stressful world we live in and the biggest stress comes from physical appearance and acceptance. Unfortunately, many women want to drop weight for the wrong reasons. Instead of having improved overall health as the main goal, women tend to strive towards impressing others or fitting into society’s definition of beautiful. 

If we were to set fitness goals with health as the goal, we would all stop trying to rush those pounds off. Slow, steady and correct should be the priority. If you truly care about your health, then this should be a lifestyle change. Sure you can starve for a month or two and drop lbs off the scale, but what are you really losing? Lean body mass, that's what! Yes, fat as well, but why lose muscle? Women especially who have higher risk of osteoporosis should want to maintain as much lean body mass as possible. Why do women care so much about that scale? Even worse, we compare ourselves to males. For example, you and your male significant other go on a diet and he loses 10lbs in a week just by cutting out soda while you see maybe a pound or two. Ladies, news flash…we don't have hormones like males. Our bodies will fight us harder, remember we are made to bare children! 

The scale is only one indicator that’s not 100% for males or women, there are many factors you must consider. Don't think fat loss is not occurring just because the scale didn't budge. Don't think your diet failed if the scale goes up. There are many reasons for that too and women especially should compare weight only during menstruation phase; monthly. 

Here are a few things that factor into your weight:

Glycogen storage- This amount depends on your current intake of carbohydrates. For every gram of carbohydrate that your body stores via glycogen, it also stores three grams of water. This isn't a bad thing people! Carbs are very important and filling out your muscle glycogen helps give you a tight firm look (doesn't mean to go overboard either).

Water retention/depletion from sodium- Your body adjusts to the new levels of sodium accordingly via the hormone aldosterone. Eat out one day and notice more bloat, and scale will be up. That's not fat, it's water. Give it few days it will go back down. Monitor your sodium, don't cut it out if you’re very active, just don't over consume either. Eat what's appropriate for your body's needs.

Cycle bloat- Women will retain water during their cycle. Best for women to only compare weight from month-to-month.

Dehydration- Most people neglect to intake enough liquids a day. Especially if you're consuming sodium. Try to aim for 128oz of liquids a day. Of course if you're training hard and maybe heavier built you can aim for 1.5 gal a day. Keep hydrated. Yes its more weight on scale, but it's not fat! When you’re not hydrated you'll weigh less. We drop easy 3 to 5lbs of water weight when we compete, this is not a healthy thing to do for long periods of time. 

This article breaks it down like I explain to my clients who ask me about the scale.

This article by Lyle Mcdonald breaks down how women's hormones fluctuates the scale, as well it will show you best times to do more power training. I recommend when trying to lose weight, use the scale as your guide and weigh in one time a month the morning right after each cycle.

Seriously, the number you see isn't just FAT!

          These articles explain why we have fluctuations and is why I stopped caring about the scale and started focusing more on how I look and feel. The only time I weigh myself more than once a week is when I’m getting close to a competition and its more to analyze every detail possible. For example, does my weight go up, stay the same, or decrease when I refeed during competition. I get curious and I love learning the science behind it all, like how long my body holds onto the water weight before dropping etc.

I hear too often from clients how "the scale isn't changing" but hear "I love my energy" and weeks later "wow I fit into a pair of jeans I couldn't fit into before". But as soon as they see scale the same, they still aren't happy. That just goes to show why some women shouldn't weigh themselves! I would be thrilled to know I'm holding on to mass and losing body fat. That should be everyone's goal to live a healthy fit lifestyle. One thing I can say, all my clients learn to love training, learn to love eating, and finally learn to not care about the scale (even if this is the hardest part). Be patient to be successful, stop looking for quick fixes because every time you bounce back you'll think you're a failure. Just stay focused and enjoy what you love in moderation. This is why I teach macronutrient intakes. It lets you have your cake and eat it to. Too many restrictions can cause failure. I feel it’s even harder on women then males because we are built smaller and are only allowed so many calories. All our favorite foods are high in calories! But that's why learning proper nutrition and setting up your goals can have you succeed and stay successful in becoming Fit, Focused, and Fabulous.

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