The Bathroom Scales and Fat Loss
Why is it taking so long for the weight to come off? Why has my weight lost stopped?
These are very common questions that I hear a lot. If you have been following your program on and off and only making half an effort, the answer is clear.
But what about if you have been doing all your workouts and watching what you eat?
What if you do keep a food journal and measure all your food.
You do get enough rest and take your supplements.
How come the scales are not reflecting the effort you are making? Fitterfaster clients are losing cm’s big time, but the scale is sometimes slower to show results.
There are several reasons for this. Let me explain some of them. I am going to keep this basic by the way. I can refer you to many great physiology books if you want further info.
1. First of all, if you begin a program of resistance training like lifting weights or participating in FitterFaster Bootcamps, you will be gaining muscle straight away. Muscle gains come rapidly at first especially if you have come from doing very little or no exercise to suddenly training hard and often. So the muscle weight causes your overall body weight to actually go up. Muscles also store glycogen (for use as energy) and with every gram of glycogen stored, there are several grams of water stored as well with it. So more muscle equals more glycogen and more water. There is more weight on the scales, but don’t worry, it is fat-free weight that you are gaining.
2. Regular cardiovascular exercise also causes your blood volume to rise. And guess what, that also equals more weight. (Intense cardio exercise like we do at Bootcamp causes your blood volume to rise much more quickly than so-called ‘fat-burning zone’ cardio) It also thins your blood by the way, reducing the future risk of stroke and heart attack. More about that benefit in a future post.
3. There is so much good stuff going on inside your body as you increase your fitness level. Your good enzymes increase, your mitochondria (energy makers) multiply, your cholesterol falls, your arteries clear and your blood vessels become more elastic. Your bone density also increases (more weight again) and all these things distort the progress you are making and show that the scale really is an ineffective way to measure your progress.
4. Lastly, if you have been sedentary for a long time, your fat has probably not seen any circulation for just as long. It will be blubbery and possibly hard, so it will take some effort to get the blood circulating properly again. Increased activity especially intense activity like FitterFaster Bootcamps forces changes in your bodies circulation including an increase in capilliaries to get oxygen and fuel to your muscles more efficiently. Have you wondered why you have that pink look for ages after a good training session? Once your circulation gets sorted out properly, the extra blood near the surface (for cooling) will also disapate more quickly.
5. So what is going on in regards to fat loss? Fat is stored in lots of places in your body-some more obvious than others! Fat is stored within your muscles and around your organs as well as under your skin which is where you can see and feel it. Exercise tends to draw from the intramuscular fat first which is why your muscles start to feel firmer and less squidgy even before the scales show anything. Next comes the fat from around your organs and this is a good thing as it is this fat that is the most dangerous to your health.
6. Last but not least, comes the subcutaneous fat. That’s the fat we hate, the fat we can feel and see. After a while, even on a good training program the muscle gains will slow down. Ask anyone who has been training for some time how hard it is to gain some muscle. Without taking hormones or steroids, extra muscle becomes hard to come by, so when the muscle weight increase slow down, the scales will begin to move downward more quickly reflecting your fat loss more accurately.
For most people, the initial weight loss shown on the scales will underestimate their fat loss. There is lots going on inside you body as you increase not only your health, but your metabolism as well.
(For very overweight or obese people the initial drop of weight by the scales will probably overestimate their fat loss. This can be due to a large water weight loss.)
So don’t be disheartened if the scales don’t seem to reflect all the effort you are putting in. Just concentrate on what YOU CAN DO TODAY to produce great results and that is eat the correct foods in the correct quantities and continue with not only your Bootcamp training sessions, but supplement them with the FitterFaster Home Workouts as well.
Think also about the improvements you are making to your fitness levels. Think about how much more energy you have now than before. Think about how much easier exercises like pushup and squat thrusts are becoming.
Concentrate on improving your bodies’ performance and the rest will come on it’s own. Try to go for longer, to go further, go faster, do more repetitions and lift more and all of the above changes happening inside your body will work towards improving your appearance in time.
I could have called this business ‘Jo’s Weight Loss Centre’ or something, but I called it ‘FitterFaster’ for good reason. I want you to all get Fitter and Faster and Stronger and the rest will take care of itself. So be proud of yourselves for the great effort you are putting in. I am! I am finding this so rewarding as I see not only your fitness improving, but your confidence as well. But that’s another story, so remember:
NO EXCUSES-JUST RESULTS
As you know I use a Maltron Body Compositon Analyser which shows not only your body fat and lean levels, but also your hydration status. Those who have been tested know how important your hydration levels are to show accurate results.
The results of this testing have been amazing. Clients who may have only lost a small amount on the scales are showing ‘fat’ losses twice as much or more. This is reflected in their shrinking girth measurements, but not showing on the scales.
So come along to Bootcamp and start shifting your bodyfat, improving your health and increasing your fitness levels.