After a few weeks of eating well, doing more exercise and really cracking on with your plan to lose weight, get fit and feel amazing, there is nothing more depressing than getting on the bathroom scales only to find out you’ve actually put on weight! ‘WTF’ was my reaction the first few times that happened. Back then, I didn’t understand what was going on. I was trying real hard to lose weight but the scales were telling me I was going the wrong way. It would completely kill my motivation, I felt like I was never going to lose weight, was destined to be fat forever….I’d promptly go and raid the kitchen and eat any thing bad I could find to make myself feel better….I felt better, for a while until I realised that hadn’t helped with the weight loss either!
The Weight Loss Motivation Killer
Been there? Experienced that? You’re not alone! The bathroom scales going the wrong way has got to be one of the biggest killers of weight loss motivation there is! I get people telling me similar stories all the time. And I totally get it - you’ve eaten less, done more exercise, why isn’t the weight coming off? Its just not fair! When I explain whats actually happening, you see the ‘light bulb’ moment in people and it all makes sense, and just like that, they’re back on track and feeling positive about losing weight.
Whats Going On With the Scales?
In a nutshell, your body is made up of muscle and fat (yes, theres bones and organs etc, but for the purpose of this and weight loss we’re just interested in the muscle and fat). The problem with most normal bathroom scales is that they just give you your body weight as a whole - muscle and fat combined. When losing weight and starting a new gym regime, you can lose fat but also put on muscle. And thats where the scales going the wrong way comes in; muscle is denser than fat (a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat, a simple way of putting it would be muscle weighs more than fat) so if you’ve been working out down the gym and eating well, you probably have lost fat but also gained some muscle, so normal bathroom scales would show you’ve actually put on weight…cue the ‘I’m gonna be fat forever’ thoughts and lack of motivation to continue trying to lose weight.
Need Weight Loss Motivation? Simple answer…
I found that monitoring my body fat percentage, rather than my actual weight, was a great help in staying motivated to lose weight. By using a body fat reader you can see exactly how much fat is on your body and how much of it your losing, where as the normal scales would just give you your combined reading. Still keep note of your weight, but don’t worry to much about the weight going up as the body fat percentage drops, that just means your body is changing and you’re replacing fat with muscle - you’re getting leaner. If your weight is dropping but the body fat percentage isn’t, that’s when you know what your currently doing probably isn’t working. It tells you that your body is most likely eating muscle to keep its self going, its not using your fat to power itself. This usually happens when you’re not eating enough! I’ll do another blog post next week about fat vs muscle and why its important to keep muscle.
Seeing your body fat percentage drop is a great feeling and a brilliant motivator to keep on going - but be realistic, its not gonna drop by loads each week. To stay healthy and keep the weight off you should aim for a steady drop in body fat percentage each week. When I first found out about body fat readers I was 23 stone, I’d check by body fat reading constantly and it dropped quickly, but then I was huge and the weight just dropped off, to start with (I had 10 stone to lose to even be close to ‘recommended guidelines’!!). The closer I got to my target weight, the slower the body fat reading dropped, but it did keep falling and that kept me going.
Body Fat Readers
Having experienced the depressing-ness of getting on the scales and seeing them going the wrong way, I wish I’d known about body fat readers when I first started to lose weight, could’ve reached my goal quicker and I wouldn’t have had any false starts. They really are a great help in shifting the fat, giving you an insight into whats really going on with your body and helping you discover whats working and whats not. There are a loads of different body fat readers available, and they don’t break the bank.
The one I use now is the Tanita UM-075 (below), its simple and does the job. You can get some that are all singing all dancing, connect with your phone to keep track etc etc. But for me, this one does everything I need - gives me my weight, my body fa6 percentage, muscle mass and a Visceral fat reading (visceral fat is the stuff that is REAL bad, its basically your ‘tummy’ fat and surrounds your vital organs. High levels of visceral fat can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure).
Check it out here Tanita UM-075 Body Fat Monitor and Visceral Fat Indicator Scale
But if you’ve already got a decent pair of bathroom scales you could get this hand held body fat reader (I used one similar when I first found out about body fat readers, was a bit dubious and didn’t want to spend loads of money)
Have a closer look here Jack & Rose Hand Held Digital Body Fat Monitor Analyzer
If the scales have been going the wrong way and your motivation to lose weight has been going out the window, get a body fat reader! It seriously helped me on my path to lose over ten stone in weight. GOOD LUCK and keep going.
Roberto is a presenter, dj and voiceover from London, England. He once weighed over twenty three and a half stone and lost more than ten stone. He didn’t spend hours in the gym, eat like a rabbit or have surgery! Having experienced that amazing feeling of losing weight, he is now helping others achieve their weight loss goals. Join him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more tips on how to fight the fat and lose weight.
Before starting any new eating plan or gym routine, its advisable you get advice from a medical professional. Everything Roberto talks about his from his own personal experience of losing over 10 stone in weight. If he can do it, you can too.