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Step away from the scale!

Stepping on scales

After weeks of hard work and eating clean you start feeling better, your jeans are getting looser, and your confidence is on the rise. Yet when you step on the scale, the number is not what you want it to be.  Sounds familiar? By stepping on the scale every day and fixating on a crude number of kilos, we undermine our progress and diminish our feeling of accomplishment.

When you weigh yourself, there are three possible results and typical reactions:

  • You have lost weight: an immediate moment of joy; and open door to some well-deserved, and possibly excessive, treats.
  • There is no change in your weight: deception and frustration, which keep eroding your motivation.
  • You have gained weight: an ultimate disappointment, which could trigger obsessive calories restriction and compulsive gym sessions, or simply giving up.

What does this number actually mean? Why do we need a scale to confirm that we are getting healthier when we already feel and look better? Before becoming the scale’s victim, keep these facts in mind:

1. Many uncontrollable daily factors can affect the number on the scale:

  • Hydration
  • Water retention
  • Time of the day
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Type and dosage of medication
  • Irregular bowel movements

2. If you train harder and eat well, lose fat and gain muscle, the scale number might not move, but you’ll feel looser in your pants. This is because muscle occupies less room than fat for the same weight. 

3. To gain 1 pound of fat you need to eat 3500 calories more than you spend. Therefore gaining or losing a pound in a day is almost impossible.

So, if the scale is not a reliable indicator to measure your progress, what can you depend on? Here are a few options that could be a more accurate indicator of your weight loss progress:

  • Measure your waist, hips and arms.
  • Do an impedance test at Nautilus Plus:  this will allow you to see your fat percentage, muscle, water content and metabolism.
  • Take before and after pictures.
  • Try to fit into smaller size pants.

Your hard work and dedication deserve some positive reinforcement. Don’t let the scale number define you. No more fixating on a number; step on the scale no more than once a week to keep track, but please  trust your own instincts, eat well and exercise!

How do you measure your progress?

By Alyssa Fontaine

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

Step away from the scale!is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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