Stop Losing Pounds and Focus on Inches

I've officially lost 3% body fat since I started the Motivationchella (that's now just motivation for life lol), as of last Monday! Overall, that's 7% since the beginning (yeah it's been four years)! It's been a long road of watching the scale dip up and down, but I'm excited that I'm focusing more now on the measurements rather than the number.

My coworkers and I have had this exact conversation before. I've told them that my original goal was to break 200 back when I began this whole thing, and immediately they wanted to share the facts that I already know to be true: It doesn't matter what the scale says!

Wait, What do you mean?

Five pounds of Fat versus 5 pounds of muscle (I don't own this image)

Five pounds of Fat versus 5 pounds of muscle (I don't own this image)

Yep. You read that right. The scale doesn't matter! Our bodies are obviously going to differ among different people, BUT the composition of fat and muscle are very different. Yes, a pound of muscle is the same weight as a pound of fat, but they don't LOOK the same when you compare them - one is larger in size (see left).

“I need to lose _pounds before_”

It’s a common thing among women, to watch the scale and either feel motivated by it going down or to feel just the opposite if it climbs a single ounce. What we have to remember during our journey, Piggie Posse, is that our relationship to our bodies is important. Yes, the scale reads out your relation to gravity and is usually a good gauge of your progress for WEIGHT loss, what it is NOT is a good instrument for measuring what we’re all trying to achieve here: FAT loss. Simply measuring with the scale will not tell you what kind of things your body has done in recent weeks; if the scale hasn’t budged, its OKAY! Livestrong.com says:

Measuring inches lost shows the visible effects of weight loss… better than looking at pounds alone. Because muscle is more dense than fat, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat… A 135-pound woman with 20 percent body fat weighs the same as a 135-pound woman with 14 percent body fat, for example, but the woman with less body fat will have smaller measurements, and she'll look more fit.”

Whenever I say the word ‘displacement’ – this is what I mean. You’ll lose the inches by dropping fat, and gain some muscle which is why the scale hasn’t moved much. Tracking your measurements all over will help you see where it is you’re gaining the muscle as well as losing fat and you can target those areas, specifically. If you strictly focus on the scale, you’re more likely to commit to drastic measures in order to achieve your goals, as well. You should be losing a pound to two a week, as a good guideline. Anything faster than that will do detriment to muscle growth.

Eating whole unprocessed foods like I mentioned in 3 Secrets of Clean Eating that Everyone Misses, (lean proteins, fruits and vegetables) will nourish your cells, support your muscles, and help you feel content as you work toward your goal. When you have more muscle mass, you lose fat, your metabolism increases and foods you eat burn quickly - the cycle continues.