A weekly weigh in was all that was required to track your progress and make sure that your weight was going in the right direction.
Nowadays, we look much further than just what the scales say. We look at the weight of your muscle mass and your bone mass. We also look at your water percentage, your metabolic rate and your organ fat. All of these sections make up your ‘Body Composition’, and so to achieve long-term shape change and health gains, we need to keep track on all of these, not just your weight.
Having helped people achieve results for over 10 years, I have found that offering some education into the importance of body composition is a vital element to achieving long term success. People would often get unmotivated or worse, disillusioned by what the scales would say.
In many cases, the scales would say that the overall weight is going down, but in reality, your body fat % and your organ fat might have gone up and your muscle mass may have gone down due to poor food choices. So in this circumstance, the scales would tell you that you have progressed, but in reality, your overall body composition has reduced.
When it comes to following a healthy living or weight loss plan, it is important to realise the importance of your muscle mass. Quite simply, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. This doesn’t mean that you need to look like Arnold Schwarzennegar, but it does mean that you need to eat the right foods and perform the right exercises to ensure you at least maintain your muscle mass.
I have seen many people fall into the ‘calorie trap’ by cutting their calories right down in an attempt to lose weight. As a result, it is their muscle mass and their body fat percentage which pays the price. A low calorie diet will reduce your muscle mass, which will slow down your metabolic rate (which is effectively your bodies calories burning engine). So the scales might indicate a lose in weight, but the real story lies with the increase in body fat and the reduction in your muscle mass.
This is why is is essential to keep an eye on the whole picture. Your weight is only one part to achieving a great result. By eating the right foods, performing a mixture of cardio and weight training exercises, drinking at least 2 litres of water a day and sleeping enough, your can be sure to yourself on a path which promises long term results, not yo yo results.
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