Anyone who wants to achieve weight loss has probably battled with their scale more than once.
If you’re like many other people trying to shed those last few stubborn pounds that won’t seem to go away, you probably have felt like throwing your scale out the window, along with all your diet foods and exercise equipment.
Many people plateau at some point in their weight loss journey and reach a point where they stop losing pounds. For someone focused only on losing pounds, this can be very frustrating.
Why Do People Plateau?
Sometimes our bodies need a harder workout or a few less calories to continue with weight loss. But what is far more common is the muscle weight problem. For someone who is going the healthy route and is exercising and eating healthy, they will be gaining muscle mass as well as losing fat. At some point the fat they are losing starts to equal the muscle they are gaining, and the scale stops moving. They start to feel frustrated that despite their best efforts, they have stopped losing weight. But the reality is that they are losing fat, but gaining muscle. This is why only monitoring your pounds is not the most effective way to measure your weight loss success; you need to measure inches too.
Muscle Weighs More Than Fat
When your muscle mass is increasing in weight and causes you to plateau, your physical appearance will still show the signs of your successful weight loss. Working out will make your body leaner, thinner, and more toned. So if you start tracking inches as well as pounds, then when you start to plateau, you can see more accurately what your real weight loss status is. If your weight is staying the same but your body is looking thinner and more toned, isn’t that still a great result?
Set The Right Weight Loss Goal
Many people start their diet or lifestyle change with the idea that they want to lose a specific number of pounds. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be an unrealistic goal in real life, especially if you pick a number that doesn’t work for your body. For example, someone who is barely 5 feet tall will probably be overweight at 150 pounds, but a person who stands over 6 feet tall may be actually too thin at 150 pounds. Some women who are of similar heights can look very different at the same weight because of the way their body distributes it. What’s a healthy weight for you? Find out at Weight Watchers Online
Healthy Fitness Goals
So when deciding how many pounds you want to lose, don’t be too specific and put more focus on how many dress sizes you want to lose. If you’re a size 12 and you want to be a size 8, make that your goal instead of losing pounds, because when working out regularly, your weight loss might not reflect your size lost. If your goal is to weigh the same as your friend or a celebrity, your priorities are unhealthy and off-target; you need to look good for you, and in a way that works for your specific body. We’re all different; there is no cookie cutter weight number.
Track Inches and Pounds Lost
Monitoring your weight loss and inches lost will give you a more accurate showing the true results of your weight loss efforts. So during those times where the scale isn’t telling you much, the inches can show just how much progress you are really making. Start tracking your weight loss and inches lost each week, and don’t let yourself get discouraged when the scale doesn’t seem to be moving. Since exercising is vital to a healthy lifestyle and for effective, long term weight loss, you’re bound to have a plateau stage at least once or twice.