Have you been celebrating quick weight loss on the scale?
Maybe you shouldn’t be…
Because those extremes you’re going to so that you can see the pounds fly off are actually sabotaging your results.
It’s also why you feel like you have to starve yourself to get back down to your goal weight and the process just gets harder and harder.
The sucky truth is…your hard work, trying to do more, is actually hindering your progress.
And no one wants to work hard not to see the results they deserve!
Most of us want to to do less work and get leaner and look more defined.
We want to lose FAT not muscle.
But when we strive for faster results on the scale, we sacrifice more muscle in the process.
Muscle that gets harder to regain and retain as we get older.
So if you want to lose fat…
It may be time to ditch the scale.
That’s why I also want to go over ways to tell body recomp is truly happening – that you’re losing fat while retaining and even GAINING lean muscle…
But first it’s key we understand why the scale is a horrible measure of fat loss and why seeing fast changes to it probably shows our hard work is working against us.
Because so many of us have defined “being in shape,” defined what our ideal aesthetic is in relation to a number on a scale.
And letting that number go at times isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if we even want to look leaner than ever before…
WHY THE SCALE IS HOLDING YOU BACK:
Because being solely focused on the scale changing often leads to us doing extreme dieting and training practices.
Ones that not only set us up for failure because they aren’t sustainable…
But also ones that hurt our metabolism, create hormonal imbalances and lead to us losing more muscle than fat.
And while, yes, in the fat loss process, as we strive to get lean, some muscle mass may be lost…
We CAN gain more control over what we’re losing, muscle or fat, by how we adjust our diet and our workouts.
This means not creating an extreme calorie deficit or trying to add in extra workout sessions.
When we don’t have enough energy coming in, our body will find internal sources.
This is why we do need a calorie deficit for weight loss.
Less energy coming in, our body used what is stored.
And of course we’d love our body to use our fat as fuel first.
But when we don’t focus on macros and we slash our calories super low, the opposite is going to happen.
Instead of turning to our fat as fuel, our body will utilize muscle.
It does this because breaking down muscle not only provides us with the fuel we need, it also SAVES us on the energy we require to survive.
Because muscle requires more energy to be maintained than our fat stores do.
So from a survival standpoint, it makes sense to use a bit of muscle first as fuel and keep the fat stores for later.
This is why metabolic adaptations occur. We lose lean muscle because of our dieting practices and therefore burn fewer calories at rest!
That’s why if we only focus on losing fast on the scale, there’s a great chance the weight we’re dropping isn’t fat, but instead MUSCLE as our body seeks to provide energy for the most important functions.
So it’s time to step off the scale, stop the extreme calorie deficits and focus on tracking progress in these ways.
5 Signs You’re Actually Burning FAT (and not muscle)
1: You’re losing inches as the scale isn’t budging.
You measure and you’ve lost inches…
But then you step on the scale and your weight hasn’t changed.
You’re frustrated because you’ve been so good all week!
You think to yourself, “I’ll just lower my calories further or cut out more of (insert food you’ve decided is bad here)”?
Losing inches while the scale isn’t budging shows you’re actually achieving AMAZING body recomp.
So don’t sabotage it by trying to do more!
How is this possible though that you can be leaning down without the scale changing?
Some of us have heard muscle weighs more than fat, but that’s a slight misphrasing of what is going on.
Because 1lbs of muscle weighs the same as 1lbs of fat.
But 1 pound of muscle takes up a whole heck of a lot less space. So if you’re eating to fuel your training, you may GAIN muscle as you lose fat.
Gain 1lbs of muscle as you lose 1lbs of fat, and you’re going to look leaner yet weigh the same.
So while it may be frustrating to not see that scale change, this can actually be a sign that not only are you losing fat, you’re not doing so at the cost to your lean muscle mass.
And this will help you ultimately reach your goal, not create metabolic adaptations and therefore be stronger and able to sustain your results more easily!
2: Your clothes are fitting better.
If you aren’t measuring, but your clothes are fitting better while the scale isn’t changing, you body is telling you the same thing…
You’re losing fat and not sacrificing your muscle!
I even love having clients keep a specific pair of pants or a clothing item that is just a bit too tight around the areas they want to lose from as reference.
Each week or so they try this on to see how it fits, even taking pictures in it to help them judge.
But as you feel that waist get looser on those pair of jeans, you know you’re losing fat even if that scale isn’t changing.
And sometimes using clothing to judge is easier than measuring because it is easy to not get the measuring tape in the same exact spot!
3: You’re feeling fitter in your workouts.
But what if you aren’t feeling your clothes fit looser yet?
What if the areas you want to shrink, like your waist measurement, aren’t changing?
Often our most stubborn areas, the ones we want to lose from most, are the last ones to change.
We lose from areas we don’t care about, and therefore don’t even measure, first.
This is why even tracking progress in your workouts is important.
Not only does this keep you in the habit of staying focused and intentional with your training to allow results time to snowball, but it allows you to see you’re on the right track toward body recomp.
Think about how you often feel when you slash your calories super low and try to out exercise your diet to lose weight…
You feel burned out right? Tired with baby weights?
Like your workouts are sometimes a battle and like your lifts start to drop?
Your energy just isn’t there.
And you start to feel like your hard work isn’t paying off.
But if we are focused on a smaller calorie deficit, clear progression and macros to see body recomp, we often see our strength and fitness IMPROVE.
We feel better in our training.
Like we are able to tackle more and do it more easily.
This is a sign we’re building muscle in our training.
And if the scale isn’t changing, that means we’re also losing fat!
So track your progress in your workouts to see those muscle gains and help yourself even want to stay more consistent with other healthy habits.
The more ways we measure success, the more ways we have to be successful!
4: You’re seeing definition in the mirror…even if it is areas you don’t care about as much.
That’s also why I like having clients take progress pictures.
This is a great way to see that definition popping out and the muscle gains we’re seeing from our strength improvements in the gym.
We just have to remember that lighting plays a factor. So make sure to take pictures in the same place consistently to compare.
And then make sure to take a variety of angles and pictures of areas you don’t “care” about.
Because often we will lose from everywhere besides where we want first.
In this process of losing from everywhere else, it can even feel like our trouble spots look worse.
So be conscious of this if you are tracking your progress pictures.
If an area looks worse, this doesn’t mean you gained fat and lost muscle. You just have to recognize another area around it got SMALLER.
Progress pictures, while not as objective as measurements or a item of clothing, because you can FEEL like you don’t look as good, are a great indicator of fat loss as we not only retain but gain lean muscle.
You may see increases more easily in areas you’ve even wanted to build when you flex for the photos!
So especially if you even want to GAIN a bit of muscle as you lose fat, progress photos can be a great way to monitor body recomp.
5: You’re gaining on the scale but measurements, clothing and progress pictures show a leaner physique.
And while many of us have heard you can’t build muscle as you lose fat because you can’t build muscle in a deficit, this isn’t fully true.
It is why strength workouts and especially a focus on protein is so key.
But this is also why we can’t get just solely focused on a goal weight…
Because we may be losing fat as the scale even goes up.
Yup. You can lose inches and see the scale increase.
You may actually LOOK LEANER, and people may even ask if you’ve lost weight, while weighing more.
This can happen because you’re eating enough to fuel that muscle growth and build 2lbs of muscle as you even lose 1 pound of fat.
And the more muscle you build, the more you may see that metabolic rate increase. And what was once a small deficit may get bigger.
So you may even have to end up eating more to fuel that muscle growth to see the scale increase as you ultimately lose more and more fat.
This is why those measurements, pictures or use of clothing to track is so key outside of just using the scale.
Because had you not had those other methods to see that fat loss occurring, you may have given up seeing the jump up on the scale even though that jump showed you were actually achieving even better results than you thought possible.
As hard as it is to let go of the scale, to forget your goal weight even if you have more weight you want to lose…
It may be the secret to you getting better results and a leaner, stronger body than you’ve ever had before.
And it sets you up to be functional fit till your final day on this planet!
Ready to learn how to dial in your workouts and your diet to work together so you can build your leanest, strongest body no matter your age?
Check out my 3-Step Recipe For Results HERE.