I’m sure you’ve heard people looking for the quick fix or an edge to weight lose before. Heck, you might even be the person looking.  It’s interesting to hear what people’s expectations are when they start a fitness program, a diet and or even a nutritional system that they expect quick change over night.  It’s also surprising how quickly someone fails or quits just because they don’t see the scale drop within a week or two.

Here’s a thought… How about first try to change the bad habits that led them to this point in life. I feel the reason people don’t, in my opinion, is that we are lazy and a creature of habit.  We have grown up always looking to take the easy road with fastest results.  This creates the skewed reality when it comes to healthy weight loss goals and expectations.

Changes in body weight does offer some insight into your health. For example, if you’re significantly overweight or obese, losing as little as 10 percent of your starting weight would be a huge significant change in your overall health. Whether you measure inches or pounds, is up to you, but you’ll see a reduction in both your body weight and size over a period of time, although not always at the same time.  This is where the general public fails…our expectation vs. short term reality towards long term quality of life.

Measuring Your Weight Loss By A Scale Alone – BAD IDEA

Where measuring weight alone falls short is when some people lose inches first before seeing any scale number drop.  If your goal is to focus more on the pounds lost by seeing a specific number of the scale drop, you’re ignoring other factors that affect your health.  Even if you achieve your goal weight, you could still have unhealthy body fat. The theory behind the number on a scale is a clear representation to a healthy lifestyle change is just not true. Of course it helps, but it’s not a perfect formula to base your whole progress off of and in fact usually is the one main factor that you or someone you know quits.

Gut Check Moment:  How many times have you tried to lose weight and failed? Let’s take it a step further… How many times did you stop after the first week, a month or even three months just because you didn’t see the scale drop “enough” to feel as if your efforts were getting you closer to your goal (the goal being loss in weight based on the scale)?  I bet some of you can relate to this and you wouldn’t be alone. I once believed that was the factor as well when I was just getting started in fitness.

Measuring Inches First – GOOD IDEA

Measuring inches shows the visible results of weight loss.  A good indications would be how well your clothes fit. If your clothes start to fit better or looser then you must be losing weight?  Well… no.  It will help indicate a change, but you might see the inches come off before you actually see the scale drop.  This is why I believe measuring inches first is the best practice, because when you start to see your measurements drop, the weight will eventually follow; for some sooner than others.

Muscle is more dense than fat

Did you know that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat? It’s true.  That means you might lose inches as you drop in body fat, but you could also gain muscle.  This could also effect your perspective even if you don’t see a significant reduction on the scale.

Good Practice: 80/20 RULE

  • 80% focus on drop in inches / 20% focus towards the weight on scale.
    • TIP: Focus on inches for at least the first 30 to 60 days and just glance at the scale during your progress.
  • 80% focus on healthy diet and nutrition / 20% focus towards fitness.
    • You also want to make sure what you’re eating is actually healthy for you. What you eat is more important than how you workout. Have you ever heard someone say I’m “FAT STRONG”? It’s an actual thing, but that is for a different discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on this topic.  What I wrote is of my opinion based from what I’ve learned, read, saw, and did over the years when helping individuals gain back their life in a healthy way.  You might have a different take on this topic and I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Feel free to comment below so that we all can learn together.