Often time I hear people say “the scale isn’t budging” or ” the scale says I have gained a few pounds”. This is when I ask “How are your clothes fitting? How are you feeling?” and then I bust out my measuring tape! Usually their clothes are fitting looser, they are feeling stronger and their measurements are smaller!
Remember, the scale is not an accurate measure of how fit or lean you are. Your jeans and measuring tape on the other hand will never lie. Why? Muscle takes up less space than fat, and is also denser. Therefore, it may weigh more than fat but will always measure smaller. When I first start with a client, I take measurements from the upper right arm (not flexed), chest, natural waist, (easy way to find is to side bend and where you crease is your natural waist) widest part of the hips, right thigh, and calf.
I do this to provide a benchmark for progress. With that said, you shouldn’t pull out the measuring tape every day. You will drive yourself crazy and it’s not healthy. Instead, do it before the start of a program, wait a month, then check your progress. Remember, health and fitness is a lifestyle; a journey, not a destination.
Take each day as it comes, pace yourself, enjoy your workouts, enjoy healthy foods, and be mindful they are providing your body with the nutrients it needs. If you hit a plateau and your body isn’t changing, evaluate your diet and exercise program. Be honest with yourself, are you getting the most out of your workouts? Have you been doing the same routine for months? Are you sneaking in “empty” calories?
Many times your body is not getting the proper nutrients it needs to regulate metabolism. Remember, food can be the greatest source of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Eat when hungry, practice portion control, stay active, and don’t forget to hydrate!
by: Christine Moyer