Why we should ignore the scales?
Why we should ignore the scales.
Aka the naughty step. So let’s start by getting straight to the point. When 99.99% of us decide we want to ‘lose weight’ what we really mean is ‘feel better about the way we look’ which becomes relative to terms like ‘decrease body fat’ and ‘increase muscle.’ The scales that measure our weight as an entirety cannot give us this information, the mirror can, the mirror does and from now on the mirror will. If you increase muscle mass whilst decreasing body fat then the scale will not tell you this, but that number on the scale isn’t relative to your overall goal. Perhaps you did set a goal of losing five kilos? But that’s because you’re after a particular body image. If I offered you your exact desired body image but you will weigh the same you do now or your desired weight target but far from the image you desire, which one would you choose? The former? Well of course because that is the overall goal, and this is what the mirror tells us. The mirror will tell you with 100% honesty so here is a good rule, keep the mirror checking to the same day once a week, the same time, use the same mirror and have consumed the same/no food. Take the lighting into consideration also, we all know what a game changer that can be! The scale is a measurement of weight and only a measurement of weight. If you’re a professional athlete who competes in a weight class sport then by all means you shall need to keep an eye on that scale, but that’s the 0.01%. For the rest of us lets rely on that shiny chrome frame that we have many of in our homes and the feedback from the people around us.
I could also imagine a few readers have also had this just go through their head, “well I do want to decrease body fat but I don’t want to increase muscle mass” and I would like to clear up some things. I shall aim this at why women should be lifting weights and striving for the same goals in life for wellness of health and longevity. As a female you do not produce the same amount of testosterone as men, the main ingredient for the body’s response to increasing muscle mass, basically saying that you’re not going to get ‘bulky’ or get that bodybuilder look. You will increase some muscle mass but not to that degree and let’s also consider why building muscle is great for you, it will increase your basic metabolic rate. This is the amount of energy you burn at complete rest, sitting on the sofa/sleeping. Increasing this will mean you can eat more and worry less! As for the ‘bulky’ percentage these individuals have superior genetics, they are spending years doing specific hypertrophy (muscle building) training and consume a surplus of food to allow them to gain weight (notice weight not just muscle) and even then a lot of the females still do not look ‘bulky.’ Simply down to what your body is made up of being female. In regards to lifting weights, this is a functional way to train your body for life. If you do not practice lifting external objects at maximum loads then what happens the day you might need to? Let’s say a loved one is trapped under a heavy object, you need to move objects to save this persons life and then potentially carry them away from danger and your adrenaline is not enough to pull you through. It’s unlikely but it does happen to a very small percentage and we don’t decide where that percentage falls.
Let’s take away from this, we should all lift weights for life and stay away from the naughty step.