If you asked Father Christmas for a new set of bathroom scales, then I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you and ask you to
DITCH THE BATHROOM SCALES!
For good! You don't need them I promise.
I know this sounds harsh and perhaps a little scary if you have a set of scales you hold dear but it’s for the best and you will get along just fine without them.
Let me tell you why you don't need them. It’s becoming increasingly clear to most people now through social media, celebrity fitness gurus and hundreds of blogs, fad diets really and truly do not work for a sustained period i.e. the rest of your life.
So what is it we now know? Well it’s pretty plain and simple. The best way to live a healthy and well balanced life is to eat a more plant based diet with fresh produce, organic if possible and to include as much exercise as you are able each week.
Great, right we are all clear on this. eat well, exercise lots. (and I know it’s really not as simple as that which I will write about another time) for now though lets accept this is the way we need to go.
So you are eating a fabulous array of fresh, brightly coloured veg, having some protein in the form of chicken or fish and slow releasing carbs like whole grain rice or sweet potato. You feel great, you are cooking up a storm in the kitchen and you are planning like a boss.
You are getting out to exercise at least 3 times a week, and have even started to enjoy lifting some weights in the gym...
It might be even simpler than this, you had a high sugar diet, but over time you have reduced the sweet stuff and have managed to get out walking more often, so much so that people stop you and tell you how well you look.
There is just one problem... when you get on the bathroom scales they don't really look much different.
What is it about this piece of equipment that has us all possessed and obsessed? We weigh in the morning (after a toilet trip) thinking we weigh the least then. We weigh on a Saturday Morning thinking if we have lost weight by then what we eat on the weekend won't count. We weigh every day in the small glimmer of hope we may have lost even half a pound.
The problem with this mind-set is if the number isn't changing we are going to get really frustrated, this can lead to self-sabotaging thoughts ''well no point being good now, my weight is the same as it was a week ago''. These thoughts are so destructive to our wellness journey that they destabilize and demotivate us.
Let’s get clear on what is going on, then you can truly DITCH THE SCALES and start enjoying the freedom you need to live a balanced life.
The number on that scale is just not the best way for you to measure your progress if you are exercising regularly and eating well. I bet you will be losing INCHES rather than POUNDS but you may not have even realised.
Any kind of exercise from strength training to aerobic, that you do in order to lose weight WILL be burning off the fat BUT you will be building up MUSCLE as well. A pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat but it just takes up less space, so the number on the scale will stay pretty much the same... does it all make sense yet?
Replacing fat with muscle can help with so many issues like, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, poor sleep and give a better quality of life. According to research from the University of New Mexico adding 4 pounds of muscle can burn up to 50 calories per day. Might not seem like much right? But that might be the difference in reaching your overall weight loss goal.
So what can you do instead that is much more satisfying and motivating?
Go and search the house for a tape measure, the kind you use in sewing. If you don't have one go and buy one, they are very inexpensive (lots less than a new set of scales for sure).
Next you measure your waist, hips, thighs, calves & biceps. Sometimes it helps to get someone to do it for you. Record them in a book. Do this once a MONTH only, following your new plan of healthy eating and exercise. This is more of a true picture. Leaving a significant space in between taking measurements will give better results that will keep you raring to go and fully motivated.
The more you begin to tone those muscles the better you will feel. Each month you will spend time looking at those areas’ you are measuring and you will SEE changes. You will stay motivated, you will feel happy at the visual changes you can see and feel. You will no longer feel sad at the number on that scale...
As a guide the waist is the best place to measure for changes, women should be looking to achieve around 35 inches or less, men 40 inches or less.
Another great indicator is your clothes. Do they feel looser than before? If they do then you are on the right path, it’s not a washing disaster after all!
I hope this has made you feel a little differently towards your weight/inch loss journey. Living a healthy balanced life isn't as simple as it sounds, and we can all struggle to stay motivated at times. But if you have at least started to make a change then you are already a winner. Keep it up and keep going.
I'd love to hear your stories on your wellness journey. Have you had years of yo yo dieting? Have you found a great regime that works for you? Have you simply given up and are struggling to get going again? Pop some comments in the box below it will be great to see some new ideas too!
**Starting January 10th 2017, my new 6-week online Sugar Reduction Program. I'm only looking to work with 5 Ladies... hop over here and book your place now ! Its only £60 and there is loads of great content to start you on your journey!
Located in Radcliffe, near Bury, Healthful Hands is ideally located to provide personal health and nutritional coaching and support in the following areas: Ainsworth, Bolton, Blackburn, Bury, Chorley, Farnworth, Haslingden, Heywood, Little Lever, Manchester, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Salford, Swinton, Westhoughton, Whitefield, and throughout Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the North West of England.