Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Scale is Only a Number

How often do you weigh yourself? How reliable is your bathroom scale anyway? Well, it is not the only tool that you can use to measure your exercise progress and it may not even be the best one. Read on and find out if you can trust the numbers.

You have been on a regular exercise program for months and you have been stepping on the scale religiously everyday - the number hasn't moved. What gives? While the scale can be a great indicator to measure our progress, there are many things that it does not tell us. This can result in being discouraged instead of inspired. 

Lets get the skinny on scales.

What Are You Made Of?
An important factor is getting healthy is reducing your overall body fat. When you exercise, you increase your lean muscles mass and you burn fat. Muscle is made of 70% water and is very dense. It is a much heavier tissue than fat. When you replace fat with muscle, the scale may tell you that you have gained weight. However, your size may have decreased as muscles take up much less space than fat.

All Diet, No Exercise
If you drastically reduce your caloric intake , you may notice a drop in the scale. This may sound like a great thing but it's not. Your body may be losing muscle mass. You want to increase muscle to boost your metabolism - so you can burn more calories at rest. Calorie restrictive diets will only provide a temporary results - a healthy diet and exercise will help keep you healthy for life!

Jump On!
If you insist on weighing yourself - do it first thing in the morning, before breakfast. This is when your weight will be at it's lowest (and the most encouraging) It is also most representative of your true weight.

How Do You Measure Up?
There are many other ways to measure the success of your fitness program. You don't need to swear of scales forever, but it is important to think about other factors.

Ask yourself:
How do my clothes fit?
How do I look?
How do I feel about myself?
Has my body changed shape?
Do I have more energy?
Are daily tasks becoming easier?

Stay Healthy,

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