I'll bet you've done it, too! You bought 'the best bathroom scales' you could afford...stepped on...and hated the number.
Your self-talk turned negative...you quit trying...and you secretly hated yourself and wondered what's wrong with you. Then you asked, "Where's a cookie?"
Some bathroom scales give you one bit of information, your total weight. That is:
That is like driving your car with just one big gauge on your dashboard. Your car could be just fine...or it may not be. You are left to guess!
If your best bathroom scales can calculate your percentage of body fat, you can easily figure out how much fat you lost and how much muscle you gained in your healthy weight loss program!
There are several brands available...but I personally like Tanita bath scales. They electronically calculate your body fat percentage for you! (While electronic body fat measurements are not completely accurate, they are consistent from month to month.) That makes Tanita easy!
While I posted this month's results on my Best Bathroom Scales blog post, I want to use a personal example to show you how to be smarter than your bath scale:
Before 1st Month of Exercise
Weight 264 pounds
Body Fat Percentage 38%
(I know...that's not healthy at all! Beachbody is helping that!)
Multiply your weight by body fat percentage to get the number of pounds of fat you are carrying:
264 x 38% = 100.32 pounds of fat!
(I carry that with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! I know, that's alot!)
Subtract your pounds of body fat from your original weight to get the weight of 'everything else', including your muscles:
264 -100.32 = 163.68 pounds
After 1st Month of Beachbody
Weight 262 pounds
On the surface that looks like only TWO pounds!
"Oh, no! All that work and soreness for nothing!"
But wait! Here's the rest of the story:
Body Fat Percentage 34%
262 x 34% = 89.08 pounds of fat.
From last month, that's a total LOSS of 11.24 pounds of fat!
262 - 89.08 = 172.92 pounds of 'everything else'.
From last month, that's a GAIN of 9.24 pounds of muscle mass!
If I add 11.24 pounds of fat loss plus 9.24 pounds of muscle mass gained, I get 20.48 pounds of total change! That fires me up to go again next month!
The big gauge on the dashboard said only 2 pounds changed for a month of work! If you add just one other number, you can see ALOT is changing under the hood!
(Now, I'll be eating smart and
exercising tomorrow, too!)
All the sudden this is FUN!
Now, you are smarter than your best bathroom scales!
Everyone has their preferences...I recommend weighing once a month. Then calculate where you are...and adjust your workouts and foods if needed. It frees you up to be 'living' and not 'micro-managing' day by day.
Daily Water Changes
Depending on the amount of fluids you drink and the salt you consume, you could go up or down several pounds in a single day! 'Fluid retention' weighs on your scale! Therefore, on the day before your monthly weight, only drink the amount of fluids you have in a normal day and monitor your salt content. Just before you weigh, stop by the restroom.
Bowel Habit Changes
Constipation can retain bowel contents which will 'add weight' to your overall number. By eating smart and exercising, your bowels should move on a regular schedule every 1-2 days, so your monthly weigh in should remain consistent.
Monthly hormonal changes can lead to fluid retention / weight gain every month. That is normal. One benefit in women of weighing at the same time each month is avoiding the hormonal effects on weight!
Time of Day
That's right, we tend to retain fluid as we go throughout the day. I recommend weighing early in the morning.
Your Best Bathroom Scale is 'Off'
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for using it. A solid surface is helpful. You can also get an idea by putting a known weight on the scale (like a 25 pound sack of dog food, etc.) Make sure it says 'zero' prior to stepping on it.
In reality, are your clothes fitting differently than a month ago? Take up a notch in your belt? Need a new belt? Sometimes I believe that is the best measure of where you are in your Health and Fitness Transformation!
Call it what it is.
The number you get is the number you get...but that number doesn't tell the whole truth, either! Because you have an Inspiration Roadmap in place, you are free to use the bath scale as a tool to help monitor your health and fitness progress!
Your scales should NOT be your inspiration nor your downfall. I hope you have a bigger Fitness Inspiration to fire you up everyday than the number on your scale!
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