How weight loss actually works….
Most people measure their fat loss progress by stepping on the scales. The scale can create an all or nothing mentality and can impact not only your happiness but your behaviour. If the scales don’t go down when you’ve been ‘good’ then what’s the point? You may as well throw the towel in and enjoy that cake!
But scale weight isn’t a great measure of progress, mainly because it can’t differentiate between muscle, fat, water or anything else. It just measures the relationship your body mass has with gravity. Sometimes body composition can change without any weight change, e.g. if you gain additional muscle, lose bodyfat and improve hydration you could see minimal weight change. Fat and muscle weigh the same but 1kg of fat is approx 4 times larger than 1kg of muscle, meaning you could very well be smaller and heavier.
Your weight also fluctuates wildly every day. Between morning and afternoon your weight can fluctuate up to 6kg depending on what you eat and drink, and how you exercise. If you drink 2-3 litres of water a day that’s up to 3kg. Then how much do you pee, sweat and breathe out over the day? It’s impossible to measure. Our bodies are mainly water so changes in hydration cause significant weight fluctuations.
In addition a bowel full of food, fibrous or salty meals, and hormonal changes can all influence weight and cause greater daily fluctuations so real change can be hidden. For example, I weighed myself Saturday night, then first thing Sunday and again at 1pm – there was 2kg increase overnight, but a 3 kg loss during Sunday morning! I obviously didn’t put on 2kg overnight or lose 3kg of fat in 6 hours. Depending when I weighed could massively impact how I felt about myself and my progress.
We’re conditioned to focus on weight but instead try to use other measures e.g. items of clothing and how they fit, or cm measurements etc. If you really can’t help stepping on the scales then look at averages over time rather than individual daily variations and focus on trends the long term. 🤗 xx