Forget the Numbers!
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
More specifically, forget the numbers on the scale! Weight loss is probably the number one reason for anyone to start going to the gym, and it’s also the number one reason people quit. Weight loss isn’t an exact science, as much as the advertisements would have you believe. You can do everything right and still not see the number on the scale go down. That’s ok, though, because there’s so much more going on!
This is a Crossfit focused blog, so I’m writing with the assumption that the hypothetical weight loss plan we’re talking about is accompanied by regular Crossfit training. So, you got on the scale everyday for a week straight and the number hasn’t really changed. It can be discouraging, I’ll admit. It happens to all of us, but it doesn’t mean we’re spinning our wheels. There are other things we can, and need to, focus on when measuring our progress.
Clothing sizes… You know those pants you tried on last week and they were still too tight? Well, you haven’t lost a pound since, according to the scale, but try them on again anyway. I’d bet money you’re in for a surprise. Our clothes, and the way they fit, are the single best indicator of weight loss progress. The scale may not say you’ve lost weight but when your shirt hangs a little more freely or your belt has to be pulled just a little bit tighter, you’ll know!
That brings us to the next point; If you haven’t actually lost any weight, that is to say you still weigh as much as you did last week, why do your clothes fit differently? That’s because while you’ve lost fat you’ve also gained muscle. In addition to your clothes fitting differently you’ll also start to notice definition in your body where there previously was none. You’ll start to actually *see* muscles you’ve always known were there but could never actually see. As you drop that useless fat you’re going to build very useful muscle and that is why you’ll get a “false” reading from the scale. Technically, you do still weigh the same, but you’re carrying around a little less fat and a little more muscle!
Your performance in the gym, and in everyday life, is going to change as well, and you might not notice it at first. Your workouts might start to go a bit faster, your sets might get bigger, the weights might get heavier, or it could be things in your everyday life you’ll notice! Maybe climbing stairs has gotten easier or running around after your kids isn’t as draining. Or maybe that bag of dog food just isn’t as heavy and awkward as it used to be…
The scale is a fantastic tool to use to measure your progress when you first start out, but it’s subject to diminishing returns. When you get your nutrition dialed in and you really become dedicated to your fitness and your well being there is so much more that happens besides just losing weight. Most of us don’t even care about the scale anymore, we understand weight is nothing but a number on a scale and we know we can do so much more than what the scale says we can. And we know you can, too!