I wanted to address a topic that i have mentioned in previous article’s but i think probably deserves its own article.
The Weighing Scales and the Obsession with the numbers on it.
When trying to lose weight or change/improve body shape i tend to see alot of people use a weighing scales as their only means of visual improvment or use the scales as an indicator of what their body composition is (“I am over weight because i weigh more than avergae/I am healthy becasue i am skinny/My body hasnt changed because the scale says so/I weigh more after my workouts…etc). I would like to make aware some of the body composition myths and some of the assumed results of the weighing scales as i have seen especially woman get dis-couraged when they are obssessed with the weighing scales and lose 7lbs in a week (due to crash diets leading to water loss mostly) but yet their bodies don’t change shape like they assumed it should because really no major fat mass has been lost. Our goals for our bodies should be: fit and healthy; to keep ourselves strong/resilient/flexible/agile/glowing and hot of course ;D….So a few notes below if your feel this was maybe you at one point or another or someone you know that you could pass the advice too :).
- A weighing scales is used for measuring the weight of something.
- It will not tell you your body composition (unless it is one of the body composition machines, which are expensive and mostly found in gym’s/doctors offices)
- Your body compostition and body weight is made up of Water Mass, Bone Mass, Organ weight, Muscle Mass and Fat Mass. People tend to see there body weight as only FAT and MUSCLE…these are only two of the components that make up your weight.
- To get a correct gauge you should go and get your Fat mass and Muscle mass checked. These are the real results as to your body composition and why you look as you do.
- You should have more Muscle mass than Fat Mass.
- Muscle Mass is more dense than Fat Mass and therefore does not cover as much of an area (hence, you may weigh more than people think and look healthy/slim/toned if you have a considerate amount of muscle mass and less fat mass; also, can happen, people may weigh the same but one may look bigger due to a larger fat mass, as fat mass covers a larger area; The same can happen for slim people, they may be slim but still contain fat mass but little muscle mass giving a slimmer look due to underdevloped body muscle.)
What i want to highlight is that the scales should not be the only relied indicator on your performance or improvments or as an indication of how healthy you are (***unless – exceptions to the rule – You are sports specific weight gaining and dropping for competitions i.e body builders/iron man/ sports specific etc.. OR weight was at the much larger end of the scale or vice versa at the much much lower end – this should be addressed seriously***). If you are constantly watching the scales for results for small-medium amounts of weightloss or improving your body shape(fat burning) it is demotivating and not accurate enough to tell you what is going on inside.
I have included here a great story here from a wonderful Fitness Expert Rachel Cosgrove about when she was making weight for a competition and friends of her’s(women who were serial weighing scale watchers) were amazed at how she dropped 10lbs in a week yet her body was the exact same… she was making people aware that the scale’s are not a correct indication of your weight in terms of Fat mass, they will only give you your TOTAL body weight including water, organs etc…. http://www.rachelcosgrove.com/2011/11/making-weight/