You just wrapped up another sweaty workout session, and you are feeling great! But there’s only one problem… when you step on that scale, the number isn’t going down! In fact, it might even be creeping up! Yikes!
Take a deep breath and don’t panic! But more importantly, don’t let this discourage you from all your efforts to get in better shape!
The short and quick answer to this problem is simple: you are gaining muscle. Let’s dig deeper and find out what is really going on and why you should not let those numbers on your scale be the sole indicator you are using to track your health.
Build Muscle to Reduce Fat
Both cardio and resistance training will help the body build muscles and reduce fat. If you are not seeing any decrease in your weight, it does not mean that your workouts are going to waste! It is very much possible to get visibly slimmer without seeing a significant drop in your total body weight.
The reason is that muscle tissue has a higher density than fat. Meaning if you compare an equal mass of fat and muscle, the muscle will weight the same and the fat, but it will take up less space.
To give you a visual, let’s take this concept to the extreme with a different example.
You have two piles in front of you 1 pound of rocks and 1 pound of feathers. You are going to need a massive pile of feathers for them to weight 1 pound! However, the pile of rocks has a higher density, and weight more to the pile of 1 pound is very small.
While they both weight 1lbs, they are significantly different in size.
The Truth Behind the Scale Myth
This is why your weight in lbs, is NOT a good indicator of your fitness level, health, or anything along those lines.
1 pound of Fat WEIGHS the same as 1` pound of fat. That is basic physics, 1 pound, will always equal 1 pound, regardless of what that 1 pound is made of.
HOWEVER, That 1lb of fat takes up about FOUR TIMES the space of 1lb of muscle tissue!
So, back to where we started – just because the scale isn’t moving in the “right” direction, does not mean it’s time to call it quits. But it might be the time to put the scale aside or swap it out for a scale that will give you a better indicator of your health, not just your physical weight.
Get “Smart” with Smart Scales
“Smart” scales are changing the way we can measure our health and progress toward our fitness goals. Weight, muscle mass, fat mass, bone density are all important indicators to measure your health, but you only get that big picture if you use those indicators together and now you can! Fitness trackers and smart scales are becoming more advanced giving us access to unlimited amounts of data.
However, there comes a point where the data just becomes too overwhelming. Given that our body goes through cycles and normal fluctuations day to day, a single reading can bring us to the wrong conclusion.
If you see your step on a scale and see your weight decrease by 2lbs, you feel great and feel as though you are doing something right! But the next time you step on a scale and see the number increase my 2lb, you feel bad and feel as though you are doing something wrong. This becomes confusing and we start dreading thinking about what will happen the next time we step foot on a scale.
A scale without numbers?
So how do we get rid of scale anxiety and translate the data from smart scale measurements into something positive and helpful? What about a scale with NO numbers?
Crazy right?! That’s what I initially thought too! But with the Shapa smart scale, a scale with NO numbers, your data is tracked on the app, and the feedback you get is a based on your immediate health goals and how your weight/health has been trending.
You can read more on how the Shapa scale is changing the way we measure our health by reading this Shapa Scale review, or you can take a quick quiz to see if this is the right smart scale for your health and fitness goals!