Ah the age old question. When losing weight is it more important to worry about your weight on the scales or the measurements of key sites around your body?
I get asked this question a lot and thanks to an industry that has been focused more on the weight on the scales. Shows like the biggest loser have positioned losses on the scales as the key indicator to success. This might be true for those that have a lot of weight to lose. But if you only have a small amount, losing just a couple of kilos might seem to some as insignificant.
I talk to my clients all the time about not being focused on just one thing. If you do you will be disappointed. It is not a healthy thing to just focus on one aspect.There are so many things that contribute to a healthy body. Have you ever heard of the terms skinny fat? Or Fat and fit?
Yes these are real things. Why I am highlighting them is because you can actually by skinny by definition and still overweight. Think of a very lean person who is carrying body weight around their belly or thighs. For their body type (see my earlier post on body types) You can also be overweight but still very fit.
So what should you be looking at when it comes to results. Well there are a couple of things that you can do for yourself to see if you’re getting results. When you’re embarking on anew exercise program and or eating plan make sure you take some key body measurements so you can see where you are when you start. Then measure yourself again after a month, then again after two and then again at the three month mark. Why do I suggest measuring at monthly intervals? Well simply so that you body has time to adjust and to also achieve some results. I make sure that I measure under the same conditions so that the results are not being skewed by other factors. If you’re female you may experience bloating before during or after your monthly period. So if you are measuring at different times of the month this could impact on the results. Make sure too you’re either measuring with all your clothes on, just your underwear or if you’re able to do this in the privacy of your own home go nude! If you don’t have a tape measure ($2 at Kmart) simply look at how your clothes are fitting. Are they getting looser? Are you able to put on a shirt or a pair of pants that you haven’t been able to wear in years? These indications can mean that you are shifting body fat. The right type of weight loss.
Now before you start to say “what about kilograms on the scale” I still think this is important indicator BUT not the determining factor for success. As I said earlier in this post kilograms lost for an overweight person is great as long as it is the right sort of weight loss. Some times due to other circumstances the weight lost may be water or even muscle. When you’re not focused on losing a large amount of weight but just want to shift those pesky last few kilos being focused on your weight on the scale could have a detrimental effect or could even derail you.
At the end of the day you need to develop a healthy attitude towards weight loss. Its not just about loosing fat, its also about building lean muscle mass and reducing the amount of fat you carry in certain areas of your body. If you keep this in mind whilst also being kind to yourself about the results you achieve you will reach your goals in no time at all.