Obsessing about numbers on the scale?

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Obsessing about numbers on the scale?
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 5:15pm
This seems to keep coming up again & again. I just covered this recently in a post below about muscle development, but I suppose I need to cover this on it's own.

Muscle weighs significantly more than fat. When you exercise & develop muscle you can trim down and gain firmness & definition w/o losing weight, you may even gain it. A lb. of muscle is roughly the size of a softball, whereas a lb. of fat is approx. the size of a football. Same weight - different size.

A scale tells you your TOTAL weight, not your body composition. So, if you're eating right, working out, you see changes in the mirror & your clothes are fitting better, why would it matter what the scale says? It CANNOT tell you how much fat you're losing - only weight. Plus, scales often weigh inaccurately.

As for that height/weight chart we all put so much stock in, it was developed decades ago by adjusters at an insurance company. It is inaccurate & overly general. Different physiques are going to carry weight differently, too. Just to illustrate my point I am 5'. According to popular wisdom I should weigh between 108-112lbs. I weigh between 120-125 lbs. Does that make me overFAT? My body fat % is around 18-19% & I wear size 6-8, so I'm guessing not. However, a year ago I weighed 3lbs. more but my BF% was around 22% & I wore size 10. Could 3lbs. of fat make that much difference? No, because I lost more than 3bs. of fat, but gained muscle, resulting in only 3 lbs. of weight loss. Personally & professionally I have little use for the scale. I find it causes more harm than good. People lay too much importance on numbers.

There is a difference between weight loss & fat loss. Recognizing that and finding better ways to track your progress will go a long weigh to helping you achieve your goals.

Good luck & take care.