After the endless bouts of frustration, you finally did it! You found a nutrition plan that works wonders, keeping you fueled and satisfied, without wanting to rob a candy shop. Chances are, you’ve even committed to some amazing form of physical activity – no matter if its good old jogging or some new craze like pole fitness, it’s so much fun and makes you feel so good! Hopefully, you’ll drop a couple of sizes really soon.
A few weeks go by, and you finally find the courage to try on that dress you couldn’t squeeze in since high school. Wow – it fits, and you can’t stop dancing in front of the mirror in excitement! But there is one more thing – you dread it, but can’t help wanting to find out how much your weight has changed…so you take a deep breath and jump on the scale. Wait, what?! Maybe it’s broken? Try again…and again…oh no, looks like it’s true. Nothing. Has. Changed. Not even a little. Bear with us, it’s not even the worst case scenario – you may even find a slight increase in numbers.
Experiences similar to this often lead to self-doubt and deep disappointment, along with angrily dropping the newly acquired healthy habits and downing 3 pints of chocolate chip cookie ice cream in a row. We are so deeply wired with the whole idea of ‘weight loss’, that reacting this way instead of using critical thinking only seems natural. Eagerly jumping on a scale is the most popular method of tracking the progress in body improvements. Even the terminology around the matter is mostly weigh-related! “Weight management”, “weight loss”, “drop 10 pounds in a month”…The list goes on and on. As a result, without seeing the scale numbers drop, you are much more likely to conclude that your high school dress has magically stretched over the years, instead of believing you’ve actually achieved something.
But what if we told you that monitoring one’s weight is nothing more than a useful tool for health professionals, just one tiny part of a bigger picture together with many other parameters? See, there are numerous valid reasons of not dropping the weight while still obviously improving appearance! One of the most common ones, especially in the very beginning of the healthy lifestyle journey, is that your weight highly depends on your body composition. If your muscle mass is increasing, your body is likely to shrink – however, as muscle is much heavier than fat, you may not see the actual weight loss, even though you are getting smaller overall!
So what’s the best way to track the progress, you’re asking? Well, in case you want to be super accurate and have a considerable amount of dollars to spare, there are those fancy body composition analyzers available, which will tell you exactly how much of your body is taken over by fat. However, we also have an amazing solution which won’t cost you anything – that is, track your inches! It’s that simple: although it’s not uncommon to lose inches and not lose weight, the loss of weight is almost always accompanied by a loss of inches! So, incorporating circumference measurements in tracking your progress is an all-round win (no pun intended). Turns out that dress didn’t’ lie after all!