Most Common Mistakes Series - Only tracking weight
When people set out to lose “weight” they’re already on the back foot slightly because their focus is on the wrong thing.
Yes, if you’re 30 stone, weight loss IS important, but really, it’s not about weight at all, it’s about FAT loss.
Weight has always been the easiest metric to track and is commonly mistaken for fat loss.
We all have that idea in the back of our heads that “if I weighed X amount, I’d fit into those jeans…” or would look a certain way. We see someone who looks good, see what they weigh and assume if we weighed the same as them, we’d look the same, but this simply isn’t true.
When we weigh ourselves, we’re weighing everything – fat, muscle, bone, organs, what we’ve eaten that day, what we’ve drunk…
So any one of these things can, and will change your weight.
Measuring your progress by weighing yourself is deceptive. You’ll likely weigh more in the evenings than in the mornings, it’ll fluctuate daily as well as weekly and monthly. It can, over time, give you an idea if you’re heading in the right general direction, but nothing more accurate than that.
It won’t tell you if the weight you’re losing (or gaining) is coming from fat, muscle, or water retention.
Whatever your goal, I urge you to track more than just your weight.
Because of the constant fluctuation in weight, you could be making great progress, but not see it because your weight hasn’t changed – this could lead you to change your program unnecessarily – why would you change it if it’s working?!
Similarly, you could think you’re doing great because your weight is doing what you want it to, but in reality, you could be getting weaker, losing muscle mass and retaining fat tissue. If you’re only monitoring your weight, you’ll likely keep doing what you’re doing because you think it’s working! Even if you’re struggling, feeling shit, and weaker than when you started.
Anyone encouraging you to use “weight” as your marker for success is doing you a huge injustice, and sadly, many, many “weight loss groups” do just this.
Until people realise that weight isn’t what needs tracking, these big companies will continue to sell “weight” loss with great success and profit. Their customers may also continue to lose “weight” yet see their health slowly deteriorate as they’re focussing solely on weight, and not the many other important factors that need to be monitored alongside it.
Tracking weight alone is useless, and even dangerous.
By all means track your weight if you want to, but be sure to track the important stuff with it – body fat levels, lean mass, blood pressure, how you feel, how you look, your strength, your energy levels, blood pressure, mood, sleep, cravings, cholesterol, body measurements… you name it, you can track it.
You don’t have to track everything, but once you’ve decided on your main goal (HINT: Weight loss shouldn’t be your goal!), work out which metrics relate most directly to that.
If you think you want to lose weight, think about it…
What you actually want to lose is FAT. Weight loss is a side effect of losing bodyfat.
If you only track weight though, you could maintain your current bodyfat levels and lose valuable muscle tissue – something to avoid at all costs!
So instead (or at least as well as), track your measurements, take photos, and if you can accurately measure your body fat levels – do that!
If weight isn’t changing, but everything else is moving in the right direction – it’s working! Don’t change things because of weight!
I’ve seen it so often over my entire career and it’s a mistake the majority of people still seem to be making all the time. It’s been drilled into us for years and it’s going to be a hard habit to get out of, but please, avoid using weight as your goal and only measure of progress.
If you look great and feel great, who cares what you weigh?!
As always, if you need help with your training and nutrition for FAT loss or muscle gain, fitness, health, and want to look and feel better – get in touch and maybe we can work together 😊
Take a look at the website and fill out the Application Form if you want a (no obligation) chat about working with me.
I look forward to hearing from you.