Maybe you started working out, eating a bit healthier and weighed yourself here and there, delighted with your results.
But then…something happened. The scale…stopped moving. *GASP*
But you’re still doing everything right. UGH! What happened?!
Here’s the deal: the more progress you make, the more precise you have to be about making more progress. Does that make sense?
For example, someone who is 30 pounds overweight who rarely exercised or paid attention to nutrition will see a lot faster results from doing pretty much anything a little bit better as opposed to the exerciser/dieter who has been going at it for a year and has made a pretty big dent in their progress.
Let’s talk more about…
When you work out as much as possible, it doesn’t give your body time to recover and therefore doesn’t allow your training sessions to be nearly as productive as they could be.
Also, if that exercise is mostly fast-paced circuits and/or cardio, this isn’t enough load to build the muscle that helps reshape your body, shrink your waist and “problem areas” and increase your metabolism even at rest.
Simply focusing on burning calories or “working hard” in the gym will only get you so far.
A dramatically more effective training approach is following a program that focuses on getting progressively stronger in mostly compound movements.
So you ate in an 8 hour window a few times last week or are “trying to eat fewer carbs”. Cool. If you’re not in a sustained calorie deficit (energy balance is king) while consuming sufficient protein (increased satiety, preservation of muscle, higher thermic effect than other macros), meal timing and carb cutting strategies will not override this.
It might be time for you to purchase a food scale, download the MyFitnessPal app and begin practicing the skill of food tracking. It’s not just about eating healthy, it’s also about eating accurately.
The scale isn’t the end-all-be-all.
First, those daily fluctuations you’re stressing about are often better indicators of water, salt, poop and your period than of fat loss or gain.
Second, remember our friend “Jen” who began strength training weighing 132 pounds, got strong AF at compound lifts and therefore gained muscle, lost 7% body fat, looked and felt better than ever all while staying at the same body weight? Building more muscle can transform your body without losing drastic amounts of weight.
This is why taking progress pictures, body circumference measurements, tracking strength gains and then taking averages of scale weight are far more accurate ways to track progress than scale weight alone. (Here’s how.)
Because…6 months from now, do you want to be saying the same thing? Or do you want to be saying “Oh wow, I’m so glad I started monitoring and managing the variables I needed to change with more accuracy so that I could get the results I want!”?