Life Beyond the Scale

Weight/fat-loss is difficult, for a number of reasons.  In order to maintain whatever you lose, you must build a lifestyle that you love.  This point is imperative!  Cutting out carbs for 2 weeks, and losing 10-lbs, it means nothing.  It’s water.  If you add the carbs back, the weight will come back as quickly as you lost it.  It’s a evil ruse meant to make you think that you lost 10 lbs of fat.  Fat-loss is extremely slow, water lost is fast.  You can lose 5 lbs of water in one day and gain 7 lbs back the next.  It’s cruel and unusual.  In reality, it’s the day-to-day consistency 3-6 months (or 1-5 years) down the road that matters.  It’s the 0.5 lbs losses, and the 2-lbs gains – and how you handle it mentally and emotionally, that matter.

The scale is one metric for measuring weight loss.  It’s one metric!  You get it?  There are others.  I’m not advocating that you create a massive movement where everyone throws their scales from the windows – releasing them from the bondage of “the scale.”


When you go into a caloric deficit, the aim is to lose fat.  Correct?  But the scale, it doesn’t measure fat loss directly.  You could be gaining water and losing fat, all at the same time, gain on the scale, and still be heading in the direction that you want to go.



Fat-loss matrices

There are a number of ways to measure fat loss.  Or rather, to ensure that you are in fact you are eating in a caloric deficit.  Just because your tracker says you are eating in a deficit, doesn’t mean you are.  Be careful.

      • The scale.  Yes, the scale is a pretty good way to keep yourself accountable.  We gain and lose water.  If we eat less food, we will lose more water.  If we drastically cut carbs, we will lose water (because carbs attract more water per gram than protein or fat).  If we eat more salt over a few days, we will attract more water.  As women, our hormones change monthly.  If you are 2-weeks from your period, you may gain 5 lbs and hold onto it for the 2-weeks, and then drastically lose it on the first day of your cycle.  If you are lifting weight/exercising, you even get water changes due to muscle soreness and stress.Did I say cruel and unusual?Here, we are looking for trends.  We are getting to know our bodies and how it responds to our menstrual cycle.  We are seeing how our bodies react to salt and to food.  The only way that you will be able to reliably lose fat when you need to is to learn how our bodies work and respond to different stimuli.

        If you are gaining week after week, and it’s not an up-and-down type thing, then and only then, you need to look at what you are eating, reevaluate your macros/caloric intake, and look at yourself and your snacking.

        The scale WILL NOT go down consistently week after week, even when you are eating in a deficit.  It will not happen.

      • Measurements – Yep, if you want to accurately track your progress, you will have to get the measuring tape out.  Muscle takes up less space than fat.  So, if you are lifting weights, or doing hit with weights, and you are eating right (within your macro limits), you could be very well gaining muscle and losing fat – and the scale be staying the same.So how do you know if this is happening?

        Measurements.  Weekly tracking of a few places on your body to see if the inches are disappearing.  A waist measurement and hip measurement is all that’s needed.

        Be careful, all of our bodies are different, and we lose fat on different parts of our bodies at different times.  For me, mine goes on my upper body first, with my lower body not changing until the end of the cut.  You are taking these measurements, but the consistency is what teaches you how your body responds in a caloric deficit.

    • Clothes – how are your clothes fitting.  I saw this with caution, of course.  Day-to-day, the fit of your clothes won’t change.  from month 1 to month 3 of consistent work, they will.

      Have you changed sizes?  Is the butt fitting a bit more loosely  Are you feeling more confident?

      Another caution, if you are lifting weights, you may get bigger with muscle, and the clothes feel tighter.  For instance, is this the first time you are working on developing your back?  On month 4, your sports bra might feel tighter?  Well there is a reason.  Your back has gotten larger because you are now doing pull-ups twice a week, you are eating for building muscle, and your back is a bit larger.

      But this isn’t day-to-day, this is after several months of hard consistent work.

    • How do you look in the mirror – Are your hips a bit smaller?  Are you taking the shape that you want?  Are you seeing changes and loving those changes that you see?  This metric is very important.  Maybe those abs are starting to pop.  Maybe you are seeing more definition????.  From month 1-3 you will see these changes, and it means more than the scale or the measurements.

Everything taken together, you can get a sense of what’s going on, how you are progressing, and what changes need to be made.  I hope this has helped bring things into a reasonable perspective.  Don’t make drastic changes because the scale went up.  The scale going up means nothing, alone.

How is your weight-loss/fat-loss going?  Are you still going or have you given up?


About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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