Losing Weight: The Scale vs. Body Fat. What’s the difference?

Losing Weight: The Scale vs. Body Fat. What’s the difference?

As an IFBB Pro Competitor and trainer, I get this question a lot, “what’s the difference between weight loss when you step on a scale and losing body fat? Many women are addicted to the scale.  It’s an easy measure of weight loss. It’s a standard that we are use to.  Everything seems to be related to your weight!  Much of it has to do with how we are educated.  At TwinFitness, we advocate a better, more effective way to track your weight loss progress that will make

This is 5 pounds of body fat.

This is 5 pounds of body fat.

you realize what you have done for years is not the best  way to determine your fitness.  Most of us have tried popular weight loss programs and they use ‘scale weight’ as a indicator of progression and results.  The problem with ‘scale weight’ is it doesn’t measure how much muscle you are losing or gaining.  Muscle is extremely important because it is metabolically active and keeps your metabolism going.  Are you one of those women that are obsessed with your scale and weigh yourself everyday or worse several times per day?  If you are- stop!  You are making yourself crazy.  It is impossible to gain 5 lbs  of weight in one day or over one weekend. So many people are convinced that can happen.  There is a lot more that has to happen inside your body to lose or gain 1 lb of fat! Interesting fact: muscle takes up 1/3 less space in your body that fat does.

More Body fat = Hormone Imbalance

Keep in mind that the more fat you carry on your body the more your hormones get off balance.  As women, a lot of messages go through our heads. For instance, in order to lose “scale” weight you need to do hours of cardio and reduce calories.  For the first after 6 months this may work for you. After 6 months when you start eating a little extra (100cal/day) you’re going to gain back that “scale” weight.

How we lose body fat graphic

Graphic: losing body fat

The other challenge with a high cardio workout coupled with a reduction of calories, is you will loose a lot of muscle and you will  start to feel soft. You will begin seeing more cellulite on the back of your legs, and your arms will look fat! You may weigh the same (for example: like you did before you gave birth to your kids) but you body doesn’t look the same in a bikini!  Let’s be honest. We all want to look amazing in a bikini at the pool. The answer is you have to lift weights to achieve that physique you have always dreamed about.  To have muscle tone and definition, you have to lift weights and stop focusing on the scale.  Have a professional measure your body fat that has experience using calipers and a measuring tape. This is a much better approach than using a scale.

Step on a Scale Once a week

I have my body fat taken weekly.  I only weigh myself once a week .  When I have my body fat taken, I note that it has  stayed steady but my weight has been increasing the past couple of months. Am I concerned? No, because I know I am gaining muscle, my clothes are more loose and my jeans still fit comfortably.  I am here to tell you ladies to get off the scale and learn (from us) on how your body really works.  Don’t be that skinny fat person that only does cardio then when it’s bikini time you will kick yourself that you haven’t done weights all winter and cover yourself up as you are at the pool with your kids and friends.

Your weight vs body fat

The graphic  is an example of how your body loses body fat.  Remember that you have body fat inside your body and around your organs.  Also know that 1 lb of pure fat is a lot harder to lose that 1 pound on a scale. When you lose 1 pound of fat,  you will see a great reduction in size, how your jeans fit and how much better you will look in a bikini!