“Don’t trust the scale, trust your jeans. “
The Size Zero Myth:
Day 1: Oh my god, my weight is not coming down on weighing scale, I work out and eat healthily. Why am I still not weighing 10 kgs lesser by now…
Day 5: Yeyyy, weighing scale shows I have lost 5 kgs. Starving myself has really worked. I am slim and trim now. I am perfect.
The Wise Hero Reality:
Scared to stand on that scale? Do you constantly pray that this time the pointer is on the lower side? Well, don’t be.
I was reading a very popular book, ‘Chicken soup for the dieter’s soul’, where I came across the weight loss experiences of many individuals. Most of them wrote how horrific they would feel on the day they were asked to stand on a weighing scale. I could relate to them so much as I constantly fear whenever I know the time of weighing myself is nearing.
I have faced this fear for many years till I did some research and learnt what exactly does the number that pops on our weighing scale mean. I was shocked to learn the truth. So will you. Let us dig a little deeper and understand this concept.
Body Weight Composition:
When we weigh ourselves, most of us do not understand that the number which pops up on the scale is not just the weight of fat but also other components. Our body is a complex structure and it is not so simple to calculate the amount of fat in it.
Our body weight is made up of two parts:
We all know what it exactly is.
Lean Body Weight
The weight of your muscles and bones.
The ideal fat percentage should be under 20% for men and under 25% for a woman.
All about BMI:
BMI or Body Mass Index is calculated as below.
BMI = weight (kg) / height (m)2
In BMI, total body weight is used for calculation. The contribution of fat weight is not taken into account separately. Hence this way of measuring if your body weight is fine or not, is not right.
Two people with same BMI may look very different. The one who has more fat percentage will look flabby whereas the one with more lean mass and lesser fat % will look lean and toned.
What happens when you Crash Diet:
A few years ago, I used to diet a lot. I followed many diets which claimed to make you lose 5 to 7 kgs in a week. I used to be extremely happy after a week as I thought I have lost a lot of weight. But the weight bounced back faster than it took to shed. I got frustrated easily and disheartened after that. Last year I joined a gym, my weight did not move much but definitely, I felt slimmer and more fit. My new weighing scale was my measuring tape as my weight remained almost same but I started losing a lot of inches.
When you eat healthily and exercise regularly (mind it I am not just talking about cardio, but also strength training) you will see a drop in your body fat, but not much in your weight. But when you crash diet you see the weight going down quite fast so you think this works better. Let me stop you right there and let us get into a little more technicality of what is really happening inside your body.
ALSO READ – Cardio or Strength Training?!!
In crash diet, you lose weight, agreed. But have you ever questioned what exactly are you losing? If you think you are losing fat, you are mistaken, In crash diets, your lean body weight comes down drastically whereas your fat weight either remains same or increases.
Fat occupies a lot of volume in the body, whereas muscle occupies much less space (just like 1 kg cotton occupies more volume than 1 kg iron). Hence maybe you weigh the same, but you start losing inches. Gaining muscle is also an advantage as the more muscle, the higher metabolism. Also, gaining muscle makes you healthier and gives your body a definition which makes you look better and healthier.
So, stop blindly assuming that weighing scale is an indicator of your health. It is not. You might weight very less but all that could be more of the fat weight and you might weigh more, but that could be your lean mass weight.
Body Composition Analysis (BCA):
An alternative to measuring inches is getting BCA done. These machines are available in all the big gyms and fitness centres. This test gives you a complete analysis of fat mass, muscle mass, fat percentage, basal metabolic rate, etc. The accuracy of this test is still questionable, but it is a much better way of analyzing your fitness rather than using a weighing scale.
A great post on the truth behind using a weighing scale and how it lies.
Don’t let the weighing scale be the indicator of your health, let your hips do the talking. As I said ‘Hips don’t lie, but weighing scale does’.