Are you obsessed with your weight? Do you weigh yourself on a daily basis or close to it? If you do – STOP! Success is not measured solely by the numbers on a scale. Does the scale have any role in helping you reach your goals? Yes, but it is just one of many tools you can use to measure success. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the least helpful tools.
If you think you have a weight obsessed personality, here are better ways to measure your progress:
- Look in the mirror. Do you look better? Sometimes it can be difficult to notice small changes in the mirror because we see ourselves so frequently. But it can be one of the easiest and most gratifying measurement tools.
- Use a tape measure. Measure yourself with a MyoTape body tape measure. Measure the circumference of your waist, hips, arms, legs, and chest.
- Use body fat calipers. Take skin-fold measurements on your abs, obliques, triceps, back, legs, and chest. If these numbers are getting smaller on a weekly basis, you know you’re losing fat. All you need is a pair of body fat calipers to get the job done. Then read about how to take body fat measurements.
- Take progress pictures. Snapping some photos every couple of weeks under the same lighting is a great way to notice changes. Those small changes are much more noticeable when you have before and after pictures side by side on your computer.
The Scale is Not Your Friend
The reason a scale is not a good measuring tool is because your weight might not be going down, but you can still be losing fat. This happens when you both lose fat and and gain muscle at the same time. In other words, it does not measure body composition, which is more important than weight.
For example, somebody who is 180lbs at 20% body fat carries 36lbs of fat. Let’s pretend that after months of working out he weighs himself again, but this time he’s still 180lbs. The scale would seem to suggest that he just wasted months of hard work because he didn’t lose any weight.
What the scale doesn’t show you is that his body fat percentage dropped to 15%. So now he’s only carrying 30lbs of fat on him. That’s a loss of 6lbs of fat, and a gain of 6lbs of muscle! Having that additional information is enough to take you from discouragement from seeing no weight change to encouragement now that you know your hard work is paying off.
Other Measurement Methods Work Better
More than likely all 4 of the better ways to measure success have shown progress. Not only can he see in the mirror that his body is more muscular and his muscles are showing more definition, but the skin-fold measurements are all going down and the tape measure measurements are all showing that his waist and hips are smaller. His clothes probably fit looser and he probably has gone down a couple of notches on his belt too.
Don’t become obsessed with weight. It is only one of many tools you can use to measure your progress with. Stay off the scale and give one or more of the alternate measuring techniques a try.