Why the scales don’t matter

Nikki LanBlog

Why the scales don't matter PGPT | Mobile Personal Training in London image 2

We like to weigh our clients to track their progress, but it’s not always about what the number is on the scales. That’s why along with weight we check circumference measurements and body fat percentage using callipers. We also use photos which holds so much value as when you compare a before and after photo clients notice a change! This gives the clients a more accurate gage of their progress.

I watched the scales every week

Before I became a personal trainer, I used to weigh myself every week and if I hadn’t lost, I’d get disheartened and this sometimes affected my motivation to go to the gym or to eat well. “What’s the point?” I often thought. I was eating soup every day, running for nearly an hour and going to exercise classes and I still saw flab.

I was never happy with my body

I know from experience that my weight is not the measure of success. I have been as high as 58kg and as light as 45kg, at both of these weights I have not been happy with the way that my body has looked. It wasn’t until I started weight training that I able to look in the mirror and actually feel content with how my physique was looking. I lost body fat and that soft flabby looking stomach I hated so much. I then started to feel shapely, toned and body confident. I no longer looked in the mirror and hated what I saw.

I gained 4kg and couldn’t be happier

I began to learn more about the gym and training and realised that what I was doing just wasn’t working. I noted my measurements including weight and I started incorporating weights into my daily training, lifting weights and pushing myself. I changed my eating and cut back on my carbs, eating 3 meals and snacks…I’d never eaten so many meals…no more soups or fad diets, no more feeling hungry and not enjoying what I was eating and slowly I saw my body start to change. At first I was scared to eat so much food, I have convinced myself that it would make me fat. But my stomach started feeling firmer, my posture improved and felt great. I put myself on the scales and saw that I had put on weight…at this point I didn’t care. I had gone from 44.5kg to 49kg and I couldn’t be happier with my physique. I continued with my new training and eating programme and dropped 9% bodyfat. My fat weight had dropped dramatically and my lean weight had sky rocketed.

I’d never felt better

I felt strong, I looked lean and I was energised. I had ignored the scales, put on weight and for the first time I didn’t care what they said. I’m not saying that you should aim to put on weight, but don’t weigh yourself every day and to get hung up on the number on the scales. Changing your body composition isn’t all about weight.

Does muscle weigh more than fat?

A pound of fat and a pound of muscle of course weigh the same, but as muscle is far denser than fat it therefore takes up less space. Fat takes up 4 times more space than muscle. So technically fat and muscle weigh the same, but in terms of volume fat is by far greater. If you weighed a square inch of fat and a square inch of muscle, of course the muscle would weigh more, which is where this statement of “muscle weighs more than fat” arises. This is why you may not see a great decrease on the scale as begin your training programme.

I found that I was more toned as I gained more and more muscle. I was able to eat more or the same, but because muscle burns more calories I dropped another dress size despite never being hungry. For every 10 pounds of muscle that you put on you will burn 2.5 times more calories at rest than every 10pounds of fat. So instead of burning 20kcals you could burn 50kcals per day.

So, do me a favour, don’t get fixated on the scales. I know from personal experience that they are only one tool amongst many that will aid your fitness journey.

Nikki Lan

For Nikki health and fitness isn’t just a job, it’s a passion and part of her everyday life. With a keen interest in pre and post-natal training Nikki is always looking for new ideas, articles and studies to broaden her already vast knowledge of the subject.

Whether you’re looking to stay active and strong during pregnancy, tone up, or lose weight, Nikki has the tools and dedication you need to achieve your goals.

Latest posts by Nikki Lan (see all)

For Nikki health and fitness isn’t just a job, it’s a passion and part of her everyday life. With a keen interest in pre and post-natal training Nikki is always looking for new ideas, articles and studies to broaden her already vast knowledge of the subject.Whether you’re looking to stay active and strong during pregnancy, tone up, or lose weight, Nikki has the tools and dedication you need to achieve your goals.