YMCA of Southern Nevada

Why Losing Weight Involves More than Just What the Scale Shows

Focus on These Things When Trying to Lose Weight

Weight loss is a comprehensive process that involves burning fat, building muscle and improving your overall health. Many people gauge their weight loss progress on what the scale says. However, some weight loss professionals recommend not to weigh yourself too often, as the number you see may not tell the whole story.

Why the Stepping on the Scale Is Only One Part of the Equation

Muscle Is Denser than Fat

Density refers to how much substance a material contains in relation to how much space it takes up. Your muscles are dense because they contain much more substance within a small space. On the other hand, fat contains less substance but takes up a lot of space in your body. When looking to lose weight, your aim should be to burn fat and build muscle. People who lose fat end up with a better body shape, a healthier diet and a happier mood, but the scale doesn’t always accurately represent this.

Your Diet also Plays a Role

An important part of weight loss is developing and maintaining a proper diet. A proper diet is a lifestyle change that will take time and effort to get used to. However, getting it right will result in your body burning fat and increasing its metabolism. This means if you eat healthy and nutritious foods, such as leafy greens, proteins and fruits, you’ll slowly program your body to break down fat deposits so you can get back in shape.

Your Weight Will Fluctuate During the Process

What happens when you add more items into your grocery bag while shopping? It will get heavier. When you remove items, it will get lighter. The same philosophy applies to our bodies. If you weigh yourself soon after having a meal, the scale will show a higher number. And if you step on the scale after fasting the whole day or when you first wake up in the morning, the number will be lower.

For these reasons, the number the scale shows is not always an accurate representation of your weight. Rather than tracking specific numbers and how they fluctuate from one day to the next, focus on the bigger picture. Eat healthy, remain physically active and monitor your fat-to-muscle ratio. If you’re looking to start a new fitness regimen, there are a variety of group fitness classes at the Y. Stop by one of our locations to learn more.

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