|Confessions of a Fit Girl|
Now that I've broken that news, on to the subject at hand... the title of this blog is "Weight Vs. Inches and Muscle Weight Gain". I know the whole "weight vs. inches" thing is something we all have to deal with in our weight loss journeys. I'm maintaining now, but I remember this being a hard issue for me to deal with while I was still trying to lose weight. Just imagine (you may not even have to imagine, this may be you now), you're eating right, faithfully exercising several times a week, and you've gotten used to doing your weekly weigh-ins and seeing the scale go down a pound or two (maybe more) each week, but now all of a sudden, it stalls. Or even worse, it starts going the other way!!! This has recently become an issue for me which leads me to the second part of the title, "Muscle Weight Gain". I'm currently working my muscles more than ever before through free weights and kettlebell training, and although I'm noticing some inches lost and all my clothes are still fitting great, the scale has gone up quite a bit for me and I have to admit, even though I know I know better, as a former fat girl who lost a lot of weight in the past and doesn't EVER want to go back, this has been somewhat troubling for me. So all this led me to write this post. I've digged up some great information that I think everyone will find helpful and encouraging! (I know I did!) So let's get to into it!
Weight Vs. Inches - Losing Inches But Not Losing Weight
|What do those numbers on the scale really mean?|
|Focus on FAT LOSS,|
NOT WEIGHT LOSS
When you talk about losing weight, what you usually mean is slimming down, but slimming down doesn't always mean losing weight. It may sound odd, but it's possible to get thinner without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches, a sign that you're moving in the right direction, but if the scale doesn't change, you may not even be aware that you're getting real results. Knowing the difference between losing weight and losing body fat can change how you get results and may even change how you look at your own body.
The Truth About Your Weight
10 POUNDS!) While the scale isn't completely useless, it may not be the best tool for people just starting a fat loss program. If it doesn't help you stay on track and reach your goals, maybe it's time to throw out the scale for good.
Should You Throw Out the Scale?
|"Don't step on it... it makes you cry."|
When you first start a program, you may need extra encouragement to keep going, proof that what you're doing is working and the scale may not give you that. Other ways the scale can work against you:
- It measures everything: The number on the scale includes everything - muscles, fat, bones, organs, fat, food and water. For that reason, your scale weight can be a deceptive number.
- It doesn't reflect the changes happening in your body: If you're doing cardio and strength training, you may build lean muscle tissue at the same time you're losing fat. In that case, the scale may not change even though you're getting leaner and slimmer.
- It doesn't reflect your health: As mentioned above, the scale can't tell the difference between fat and muscle. That means a person can have a low body weight, but still have unhealthy levels of body fat.
- It isn't always a positive motivator: If you step on the scale and you're unhappy with what you see, how does that make you feel? You may question everything you're doing, wondering why you even bother at all. Focusing on weight may overshadow the positive results you're getting such as fat loss, more endurance and higher energy levels.
|One way to measure your success,|
other than the scale,
is to take your measurements
- Go by how your clothes fit. If they fit more loosely, you know you're on the right track
- Take your measurements to see if you're losing inches
- Get your body fat tested or use an online calculator
- Set performance goals. Instead of worrying about weight loss or fat loss, focus on completing a certain number of workouts each week or competing in a race
Muscle Weight Gain - The Positive Side of Scale Increases
|When replacing body fat with|
muscle, gaining a few pounds is
a good thing!
Muscle also burns calories more quickly than fat, so your metabolism will speed up as you build more muscle. When you are replacing body fat with muscle, gaining a few pounds is actually a good thing. To gain lean muscle mass, you’ll need regular workout routines with weights, machines or strengthening exercises. Your workout routines should be modified each time you work out to work different muscles (so your entire body will be balanced). If you are bodybuilding or weight lifting regularly, make sure you allow yourself enough recovery time between workouts. Working out with weights for about 45 minutes every other day is the ideal for gaining muscle. Low impact aerobic workouts, or cardio exercises and relaxation exercises, are healthy for you to do on your off days. The cardio exercises will help you to burn fat in between weight lifting workouts, which will help you build muscle.
So with all that being said, I'm no nutritionist, dietitian, or expert, but I do know a few things about fitness and nutrition, and I am constantly making an effort to educate myself more and more everyday. Do I recommend giving up the scale completely? Hmmm... that's a hard one... I think that's a personal choice, I do know that regardless if you ever look at that scale or not you will be able to easily visibly tell if you are losing weight just by inches lost and dress/pant sizes going down, so to be honest, a scale is never really necessary. While I was losing weight, I used my scale as a source of motivation. To continually see the scale go down encouraged me to do more! Now that I'm maintaining (and not to mention the fact that my scale isn't exactly cooperating with me lately), I actually think I'm going to give the scale up. But like I said, it's a totally personal choice. (And if you're worried about not being able to tell if you've gained weight if you don't weigh yourself, don't worry, the theory that weight can "creep up on you" is a myth. We all can tell when we're gaining weight! When our pants don't zip anymore, we can't get into the same dresses or shirts, we look in the mirror and see the beginning of a double chin... these are all visible signs that a lot of times we choose to ignore.)
I found all this information to be very useful and I hope you have, too! I hope if you happen to have been discouraged about your progress before reading this that you are now encouraged! Knowledge is power and you'll never succeed without. I hope this blog enlightened you so we can all succeed in fitness together!
Sources: About.com and 3fatchicks.com