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Stay Off the Damn Scale!

You will eventually drive yourself crazy by daily weighing. And seriously, before and after your workout? ¬ Do you really think you burned 7000 calories during your workout if you dropped two pounds on the scale? If you can't work out without checking the scale, at least, familiarize yourself with the factors that are influencing its reading.

Water Retention

Excess salt can play a big role in water retention. One single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, you should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it is easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky little devil. You expect it to be most highly concentrated in chips, nuts, and crackers, yet a half cup of pudding has nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, (460 mg in the pudding compared to 123 mg in the nuts). The more highly processed the food is, the more likely it will be chock full of sodium.

FYI for Water Fanatics

It’s a healthy habit drinking several liters of water a day, but beware! Because you are so well hydrated, you retain very little water, which is great. But, if you cut back for a day or two your body will hold onto excess water and make the weight on the scale go up – sometimes several pounds. Don’t worry though, just a couple days of getting back into the water routine will return your weight to normal.

Glycogen Storage

Glycogen also affects the number on the scale. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored in the muscles. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and is packaged with 3-4 pounds of water. Your glycogen supply shrinks if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. So with this depletion goes 3-4 pounds of water. So its normal to fluctuate up or down a few pounds with no change in activity or calorie intake. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, but the scale can’t determine that.
Changes in Lean Body Mass
Muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, if you are gaining muscle and losing body fat you may not fluctuate as much as you would expect. But more muscle means less fat by volume, which means a healthier you.

So what can you do?

Weigh yourself once every two weeks. Do it first thing in the morning. Eating first is like putting a bunch of rocks in your pockets. The scale doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and anything else in your body. So when you weight, that doesn’t mean you lost fat. The scale has no way of telling you what you have lost or gained. Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate, (congratulations you just got fatter!). Muscle burns fat, the more you have the more fat you burn. Your best bet is to use the number on the scale as just one measuring tool for your weight loss. If you are truly want to know if your workouts are effective, you need to know your circumference measurements, body fat percentage, pounds of lean body mass (LBM) and body fat and your weight.

Diverge Personal Training Gym opened in 2008, yet it has had its roots within the Hillcrest neighborhood for over 10 years. The co-owners Brian White and Derek Heintz have been helping the community with their fitness goals since 1998. They have created a fun and distinct training facility that fuses both traditional and modern styles of training. They continually push the boundaries of fitness and weight loss.