The weight of numbers on the scales

Are you frustrated by not losing the weight?

When it comes to weight loss, that number on the scale seems to hold a lot of power. If it’s not budging, frustration might set in. But sometimes the number on the scale isn’t the best way to measure progress. If you’re losing inches, but not weight, with your diet and exercise program, you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, which is a good thing.

If you’re concerned with your progress on your weight-loss program, consult your doctor for guidance and suggestions.

Building muscle with exercise

When you’re working out to lose weight, whether it’s aerobic exercise or strength training, you’re not only burning off calories and fat but building muscle too. A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. If you’re losing fat and gaining muscle at the same rate, your body size shrinks, but the number on the scale won’t change.

Replacing fat with muscle is a good form of metabolism, which is the system your body uses to burn calories. Studies have shown that adding 2 kilograms of muscle can help burn an extra 50 calories a day. Not to mention removing fat reduces health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.

Instead of obsessing about the number on the scale, use other tools to measure progress on your diet and exercise program. Clothing is a great tool for measuring progress. If your clothes are looser, something good is happening.

Suggestions to promote healthy weight loss

  • Eliminate all carbonated drinks, including the diet or sugar free versions
  • Eliminate alcohol, cakes, chips & sweets
  • Maintain a 300-500 calorie deficit per day
  • Fuel for training sessions, before, during and after
  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake on rest and recovery days
  • Check portion sizes. Even the best foods can be overeaten
  • Sleep eight hours per night
  • Protein intake should be maintained at normal levels
  • Fill half of your plate with veggies at most meals
  • Time your training session to end at meal time (this can eliminate 250 to 400 calories in that recovery drink)
  • Limit grazing and focus on meals
  • Fast overnight – no food after 8pm
  • Don’t cheat. Cheat days and cheat meals will knock you off your weight loss goals
  • Identify times you pack in unneeded calories as a habit and create a strategy to change it. Maybe not having it in the pantry in the first instance is the best strategy

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