The WRONG way to track weight loss

weight loss tracker

Not the best way to measure fat loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a consultation with a woman today and she was VERY upset about her weight.

 

This is nothing out of the ordinary for me as I have heard this countless times in the past. What was exceptional is that to the average person this woman looked like she was in very good shape!

 

She was a person who worked out on a consistent basis, watched what she ate and took good care of herself.

 

However, after stepping onto the scale this morning she came to the conclusion that she was “fat” and needed to lose more weight.

 

It may sound strange but truth be told I don’t really care that much about how much a client weighs.

 

Yes, if they are morbidly obese then of course weight matters and the goal when working with these folks is to strip off as much scale weight as possible.

 

However, I don’t often work with people who are morbidly obese.

 

The typical person that I work with wants to lose between 10 and 20 pounds of body fat AND wants to improve the shape of their body.

 

However the problem is that everyone tends to think about fat loss only in terms of weight loss and this is the wrong approach.

 

Thinking only about weight loss leads you down the path of “scale obsession” and causes you to commit the cardinal sin of body transformation- sacrificing muscle mass in the pursuit of weight loss.

 

While I do believe that you should monitor your weight here are 4 additional methods that you should use if you want to build a healthy, lean body:

 

Percent Body Fat

This is the one method that tells you what is really happening when you are losing (or gaining) weight.  Knowing your percent body fat will let you know if the weight you have lost is fat (good) or muscle (bad).

There are several ways that you can find out your body fat percentage. Skin fold callipers, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and body fat scales are a few. If you want to check yours online then here is a link to a free body fat percentage calculator you can use.

 

 

Measurements

This is one of my favourites as it is very accurate when performed correctly. Simply measure and record your shoulders, chest, arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves. Re-measure every couple weeks to see what’s happening. Generally speaking your waist will reduce first while areas such as your arms may take a bit longer to see any changes. Be sure to use a tailor style measuring tape and not something from your fathers tool box (I have seen this- I am not kidding).

 

 

Energy Levels

This is something that most people overlook. Your body fat does not exist in a vacuum. When your body composition is improving (more muscle/less fat) then your health and energy should be improving too. Unfit people have less energy than fit people. If your energy levels are not improving then you should look at your nutrition habits and recovery (I wrote about the best muscle recovery tips here).

 

Strength Levels

This is similar to your energy levels. A good way to see if things are progressing with your workouts is if you are getting stronger. You should be consistently increasing your strength in all of your compound lifts. The strength gains don’t have to be huge- simply lifting 5 pounds more than last month is great progress and should be celebrated. Don’t fall into the trap of always lifting the same weight as this is a sure fire way to limit your progress. This is why keeping a workout diary is so important.

 

That which is measured improves

This is a well known axiom often quoted in business textbooks and it applies to everything. Start measuring your fitness and body composition progress using these simple techniques and you will be quickly reaping the benefits.

 

Bruce

This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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About

bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

7 Responses to “The WRONG way to track weight loss”

  1. Maria says:

    Great post! I agree with you about the scale – irrespective of the number, unless very obese, you should go by other factors.

  2. Jane says:

    this is great info. People are so concerned about their weight, but there is so much more that needs to be considered.

  3. Rose says:

    Totally agree; I personally never go by weight

  4. As you age, the body fat p.c. that you’re going to be holding onto is going to rise proportionately. That is why it’s necessary for you to take a look at one of these charts, as the perfect fat p.c. for somebody that’s 10 years younger than you is going to be less than what yours is.

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