This is a question that I get asked ALL.THE.TIME.
And I get it. I was the girl who would workout, eat good, and get some good sleep, and I would weigh myself every single day! I would find myself very disappointed because sometimes my weight would go up, or there would be very minute changes. One thing you must know is:
THE SCALE IS A BIG FAT LIER.
(for the most part)
The scale is great to give yourself an overall glimpse of how your diet and workout are working for you BUT only as one simple tool, because it does not give you the whole picture of how you are progressing. That number does not represent how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are muscle are on your body at any given moment.
THIS IS WHY I MEASURE.
Body measurements are more trusting and can give me and you a more accurate glance of how you are moving along. It can give us a baseline for body fat percentage, where we can measure every 4 weeks to make sure we are progressing and moving in the right direction. Keep in mind even measurements can vary in ways that are “not desirable” at the moment because it can measure water retention as well as differences in your body composition that is very common in the beginning of a workout program. What matters most is that we keep a general baseline that includes a combination of the scale AND measurements every 4 weeks.
Most people will tell me that their clothes are fitting differently and are looser. THAT is what I am looking for. That tells me that you are not just losing body fat, but you are putting on muscle. I had a client in the past that over 3 months of solid training with me: lost ONLY 3/4 of a pound. Do you know how devastated she was?! THEN we got to measuring. Sure enough she lost 22 overall inches! Can you see now how much the scale is SO not the end all judge here? The scale is just a tool. This woman’s clothes were so loose on her! Those numbers tell me she put on muscle and boy did she get strong! When she saw how many inches she was down, her happiness could fill that gym times ten. She was happy and I was so proud of her.
So getting back to it: you know you can’t spot reduce. Think of yourself like an onion. Every day that you eat good, workout, and sleep good-a SLIVER of that onion comes off your entire body at once. It will take time to get to any problem areas. But it is doable! You just have to stay consistent.
Here’s JUST AN EXAMPLE of what can be typical as far as when you can see results. Of course everyone is different; so please keep that in mind. This represents someone who is watching their food intake and hydrating properly, working out most days of the week, and sleeping well in general every night.
- Week one: Most people start to see some change in the scale (usually up to five pounds) during this week. You’re likely to feel better, but not see major changes in your body.
- Week two: During week two you’re likely to start to see changes in the way your body looks and feels. Exercise starts to feel easier and your clothes will start to feel loose.
- Week three: Week three is when you start to feel momentum in your weight loss journey. If you’ve been consistent in your plan, your body is responding well and you start to feel like the program is successful.
- Week four: By week four it is very possible that you’ve lost enough weight (safely) to be a different clothing size.
Again, remember this is all very relative and different for everybody. I will be talking more about all of this in-depth in the coming weeks and really breaking it down so please stay tuned. Feel free to ask me any questions you would like me to cover in the comments or send me a message via the ‘contact me’ tab on this website.