Your bathroom scale reading is not the best measure of how well you are doing.
Scales only tell you how many pounds you lose in a given period – not where in your body that weight came from.
Your body weight can be broken down into two categories – fat mass and lean mass. Fat is the nasty, artery clogging stuff you want to get rid off. The lean mass is everything else – your muscle, bones, organs, etc.
The goal of every dieter should be to lose fat whilst maintaining or even increasing their lean mass.
If you lose 2 pounds of lean mass instead of fat you will end up looking less toned, less lean, and generally ‘softer’.
Not only that but your strength and mobility will suffer, your metabolism will drop, and as soon as you stop dieting your body will gain fat at an alarming rate.
How do you prevent this happening and ensure you lose fat and not lean muscle mass?
By switching your thinking from ‘I want to lose weight‘ to ‘I want to trasforming my body’. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one.
You must asses yourself using these 3 additional measures weekly if you want to make a complete body transformation.
1. Track body fat percentage
In addition to measuring your weight, you need to calculate and record your body fat percentage.
Body fat percentage is simply the ratio of fat mass to lean mass in your body.
Men should aim for 10-12% and women 14-18% for an athletic look.
The easiest way to measure body fat is to purchase a set of bathroom scales that also measure body fat using bio-impedence. Tanita make some good body composition testers.
This method is not the most accurate by any means, but it is quick, easy and the error is usually consistant, meaning you can track if your body fat is increasing or decreasing.
If you want a more accurate reading then ask a personal trainer or gym in your area to do a 7-site skin fold caliper test on you (it’s not as scary as it sounds!) or Google ‘bod pod‘.
2. Take Photos and look in the mirror
Take photographs every month and compare them. Are you looking slimmer, more toned? Can you seee more definition in your muscles? Then you are probably doing well.
If you are a smaller version of yourself but your body shape hasn’t changed, you may be losing lean mass not fat mass.
3. Trust the way your clothes feel
Is your weight dropping but your clothes aren’t feeling any looser? Then once again chances are you are wrecking your metabolism by losing muscle not fat.
4. Test your strengh
You should be doing resistance training as part of any good fat loss or body transformation program. If your strength is decreasing dramatically then something is wrong.
In summary, focus on the concept of body transformation rather than ‘losing weight’. By tracking the 4 variables above you will get a more accurate picture of how your body is changing and when and how you need to alter your diet and training.
Aim to transform your body and you will achieve amazing results.