Keeping close track of your progress in health and fitness is always important, but many people tend to take certain values and figures a little too seriously. A perfect example of this is that number you see on the scale when you weigh in. Here’s why.
The Numbers Phenomenon
More often than you’d think, numbers can be misleading when they’re taken literally. Whether it’s calorie indications on a food label or the number of pounds a trendy diet promises to help you lose, much of popular fitness culture is focused on expressing success and gaining gratification from numbers. The truth is, however, that you’re much better off using them to give you a general sense of what needs improving and how to direct your decisionmaking.
Why the Scale is Overrated
Every time you weigh in, there are many factors contributing to what number you get. Scales are not scientifically precise instruments, so being discouraged by gains in tiny increments will only serve to keep your spirits down. The weight of your body is a very complex thing, affected by everything from stress to water retained from a high-sodium meal. Most scales will not take into account your water weight or your ratio of lean muscle to body fat (and those which claim to are often very imprecise). Most importantly, a scale should have no bearing on your sense of accomplishment! If you’ve significantly improved your lifestyle choices, diet, and exercise habits, that number is too arbitrary to invalidate hard work.
Better Measurements of Success
So, if the scale readout isn’t a good way to feel motivated, what is? One common recommendation is to use clothing sizes and monthly body fat percentage measurements to set goals and keep tabs on progress. If there is a visible difference in how you look, go by this rather than a scale. It’s quite common for people to make leaps and bounds in fitness and feel great about how they look only to be discouraged by a number that isn’t indicative of their improvement. Last but not least, go by how you feel. Do you have more energy, stamina, and confidence throughout the day? This is the best sign there is. Follow that wave and keep it up!
Are you keeping an eye on progress in ways that matter? Take things to the next level with Vitality’s Bootcamp program! Give us a call today at (587) 777-3378 to learn more.