Stop weighing yourself. There, we said it. Put the “sad step”, as fitness guru Joe Wicks likes to call it, to one side and forget about it. Why? Think about it – fixating on a number on the scale takes your attention away from five other very important forms of measurement, but before we get into that, let’s talk about why the number on the scale is damaging your outlook on a healthy body.
For starters, it can often lie to you. There are so many factors that can affect your weight! You might retain more water one day, or eat a slightly bigger meal, and your weight will increase. Second to that, you need to remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re in the gym lifting weights every week, it’s likely that you will eventually reach a point where you won’t continue to lose physical weight – you may even begin to put weight on. It might sound terrifying, but it’s likely that you’ll actually be a hell of a lot leaner and that pesky extra body fat will be gone.
Scale Swap No.1: Get yourself a measuring tape
This is one of the best ways to assess and measure change. When you set out on your fitness journey, the first thing you should do is jot down your arm, chest, waist, thigh and hip measurements. Then, every month or so, take the measurements again to see how far you’ve come. You could easily lose five or six inches in a matter of weeks, yet with minimal change on the scale.
Scale swap No.2: Take a minute to try on those jeans you thought would never fit again
Got a pair of jeans in the back of the wardrobe that you hid in anger a while back after discovering they didn’t fit? Retrieve them from the depths of your cupboard, and try them on. You might be surprised at how they fit, regardless of what the scale has to say. The same goes for dresses, coats, t-shirts – even underwear. Just try it, and you’ll soon see that those 6am cardio sessions have paid off.
Scale swap No.3: Look in the mirror
Many people often see themselves in a negative light when they look in the mirror, so this might not be the best option for everybody, but you won’t know unless you give yourself the time of day. Next time you’re passing a mirror as you head out for the evening, or even as you’re heading to the shower, look at your figure and assess the progress. A positive mind will allow you to see more than a negative mind will.
Scale swap No.4: Take photos
A step up from our above point, take progress photos. Take a picture on day one, and do the same again four weeks’ down the line. Put the two together in a funky collage App and see the results for yourself. If you’ve stayed on track with your eating and worked your butt off in the gym, you’ll be amazed at what you see.
Scale swap No.5: Ask yourself how you feel every day
Put the measurements aside totally for a second. How do you feel every day? Are you energised? Are you motivated? Are you happy? If you’re even one of those things, then that is the only reason you need to stay far away from the scales. If a number, that may not even be correct, has the power to bring your mood down in an instant – why let it?
We understand that if you have a significant amount of weight you want to lose then perhaps scales are initially required, whether it be for monitoring or medical reasons, or both, but those who don’t ought to stay far away from them. There’s a world beyond the scales, and you’ll love yourself an awful lot more the minute you stop defining yourself by a number.
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