Nowadays when you ask many people at the gym what their ultimate goal is, there’s one common answer: ‘I want to lose weight’.
But although this is a common goal, it’s misguided and unless you are overweight, you could be doing more harm than good if you only focus on the number on the scale.
We’re told by the media and diet companies to watch our weight and ‘go to the gym to lose weight’ – and instead the focus on being fit, strong and healthy appears to have been completely lost.
So why is it a bad idea only to focus on losing weight? Read on below to find out why your scale isn’t necessarily the best judge of your overall health.
The number on the scale is not an accurate indication of overall health
Weight can only tell us a limited number of things about the body. Yes, BMI is calculated from weight – but what that and your magic number don’t tell you is what’s going on inside your body. For example going on weight and BMI alone, a body builder could be classed as obese. That’s because if he is short in height, but carries a lot of muscle (which is dense and pound for pound ‘heavier’ than fat), he may weigh more than a person who is the same height, but has little muscle and a lot of fat. If you went off their weights alone, you’d probably say the second man was healthier – but in actual fact it’s the first. So you see, weight really is a vague indicator when it comes to overall health and fitness.
Weighing yourself religiously can de-motivate you
If you’re constantly weighing yourself and don’t see results (or see a gain or loss when you were hoping for the opposite), a poor result can actually cause a drop in morale. It can also mean you end up indulging in bad habits – like not eating enough or eating the wrong types of food in order to get that number lower. These habits not only harm our metabolism and other bodily functions, but they also hamper your mission for good health.
‘Losing weight’ doesn’t specify what you’re losing
You could chop off a limb and lose a lot of weight – but it’s fairly likely you wouldn’t be pleased about that! It’s an extreme example, but it demonstrates that the number on the scale will go up and down and will be affected by a number of factors – some you can see, some you can’t. For women especially hormonal changes and water retention can alter the result. If your goal is toning up and reducing in size, the only accurate way to understand your progress at the gym is to have a professional use fat callipers or other technology which will give you a clear picture of how much fat you have in relation to muscle, and where it is on your body, so that you can train smarter not harder.
If you want to tone up, chances are you may end up weighing more
Many people are disheartened when after weeks of eating right and hard gym sessions they’re seeing the number on the scale creeping up. However this is common – it is a good sign and can mean that your body is building muscle. As before, you can be heavier, but slimmer – because weight doesn’t show what you’re made of inside.
To maintain a healthy weight for your body and for overall good nutrition and fitness, get your cheap supplements from supps r us, and enjoy good nutrition whilst you train.