The Scale is a Liar! 6 ways to know if your nutrition plan is working
Does this sound familiar?
You get on the scale and you see a number that you really hate. So you decide to make a change. You leave work a little early that day so you can hit the grocery store and restock your kitchen. You get home and breeze past your hungry family looking for the brown sacks full of cheesy burgers and greasy fries. The shame creeps in when you the look of shock cross their faces because NOT having those greasy bags it “abnormal”.
“What have I done?” you ask yourself. My family EXPECTS the unhealthy habits from me? You push those guilty thoughts in the back of your brain. After all…you are determined that THIS TIME it will be different.
You unpack the mountains of fresh fruits and veggies, chicken breast and brown rice as you race around the kitchen, prepping dinner for these ravenous munchkins. 2 hours later, you have dinner on the table and an impressive tower of Tupperware full of fresh cut veggies, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed rice, perfectly portioned chicken breast and ground turkey. You even venture into the world of overnight oats for your breakfast options for the week.
You peer over the leaning tower of health to admire your family eating a balanced and healthy dinner with the nutrient profile of that even the most alluring Olympics athletes would praise! You killed it!
“Ok guys! I’m headed to the gym, love you!” You kiss your hubby who is suspiciously poking at his mound of green veggies resting on his plate. “Those are brussel sprouts, honey. Don’t wait up!”
You zoom to the gym and find the nearest elliptical trainer. “Let’s do this thing.” You mutter to yourself as you open up your magazine, ready to get lost in the flimsy pages for the next 60 minutes. When the clock runs down, you check out the calories burned on the machine (total bullshit btw) and crack a sly smile as you read 723 calories. Time to head home!
You repeat this process of healthy eating with tons of exercise for the next 4 weeks! It’s time to get on the scale. “I bet I have lost 10 pounds! I feel great! I sleep better! I’m less stressed! The food cravings are gone! My clothes are fitting great! I’m killing this weight loss thing!”
You get on the scale and your heart drops… You lost ONE pound! ONE?! You’re pissed off and bewildered. “I’ve worked so hard. I’ve done so much. All for one measly little pound? What’s the point?” You slide off the scale and sit on the floor and say to yourself, “This isn’t working.”
This is, unfortunately, a very common story for people. As fitness and nutrition coaches, we have to demystify this phenomenon to most of our newest clients. The thing is, it’s not their fault that they don’t understand! Society has taught us to gauge our worth at the number on the scale. Frankly? That’s complete bullshit and makes us crazy. The number on the scale lies to you.
Let’s revisit the story at the most important part…
“I bet I have lost 10 pounds! I feel great! I sleep better! I’m less stressed! The food cravings are gone! My clothes are fitting great! I’m killing this weight loss thing!”
She was feeling amazing! She was feeling thrilled about her process and her journey, only to get it stolen by a stupid number. Well, we are here to educate you on why the scale is a big fat liar.
First of all, let’s clarify something…
When you say you want to lose weight, we assume you mean you want to lose body fat? Have you ever heard someone say, “Hey, I really want to lose some bones density or maybe a little water from my muscles and brain.” NO! That’s weird and no one says that. I hope you know where I am going with this. Your body is made of SO MANY things and all weight something. Your organs, your bones, your muscles, your blood, your brain, your skin…and yes, your body fat. Therefore, the only way I would ever say the scale is a good way to gage your body fat loss, is if you were only made up of body fat. Side note: No, those nifty scales that give you your body fat % at home are NOT accurate Sorry to disappoint but the margin of error has been reported up to 20%! Throw that thing out!
So keep in mind, everything you are made up of, weighs something. And newsflash…the weight of each of those things change every day for more reasons than we can count.
So what’s a better way to measure your progress and know your nutrition and exercise plan is working? Check out these 6 ways. They may sounds familiar!
1. You are feeling satisfied after a meal
When you eat and digest food, your gut send signals to the brain telling you how much energy you’ve eaten. This will trigger satiation and as a result, you will become full. When you eat nutrient dense foods that are full of all the good things, your brain triggers this sooner because it doesn’t have to “search” for those much-needed nutrients from the crappy food that always fails to deliver.
2. You have more energy
You feel great! You don’t have that famous 2 pm crash when you are looking for sugar or caffeine to power you through the rest of your day. The foods you are taking in (hopefully a variety of healthy macronutrients and micronutrients) are giving your body exactly what it needs to perform at it’s best and maintain healthy blood sugars for steady energy all day.
3. Your clothes are fitting better
Remember when we talked about how everything in your body weighs something? If you are adding resistance training to your fitness and nutrition plan, you will be even less likely to see a major drop on the scale and you will be gaining muscle and bone density. These are far heavier than body fat! This re-disbursement of weight will not show up on the scale but will most definitely show up with your clothes. Your physique gets leaner and tighter, leading to your clothes getting looser.
4. Your stronger and have increased endurance
Healthy diet will give your body a steady fuel source to get through your workouts. With each workout, you should notice an increase in your strength, range of motion, endurance, mobility and so on. You’ll notice some aches and pains disappearing and an overall sense of wellness.
5. You’re in a “good mood”
You know that “hangry” feeling? That will disappear when you are giving your body a variety of healthy foods. They are a great regulator for the hormones that keep you happy! Not to mention the awesome sense of satisfaction we feel when we start making progress. If you are feeling successful, then the butterflies and rainbows will follow.
6. You’re sleeping better
There are so many reasons we can be sleeping poorly: stress, hormones, family, too much screen time, aging, too much alcohol or caffeine, lack of protein (for the right neurotransmitters) or lack of the necessary vitamins and minerals etc. With the right nutrition plan, you’re getting the food you need to make the right chemicals your brain needs to tell you it’s time to sleep.
When all of these things fall in line and you give the scale very little rule over your happiness, everything feels better! You start to feel like your new healthy habits are a lifestyle instead of a “diet”. Things get easier. Decisions on food become no big deal and your confidence level sores through the roof! You begin to trust that you can go to social gatherings and events, indulge a little then walk away without giving in to peer pressure. Everything feels GOOD! We wish this for you! Learn how to live your best life with a little guidance from your neighborhood HellaBella coaches. After all, that’s what we are here for