Fasting Journal 5: The bathroom scales - friend or foe?
Probably one of the worst measuring tools for fat loss is the scales. Oh it will measure your weight alright, but it won't accurately tell you how much of that weight is body fat. And we're after losing excess body fat.
For the purposes of this online journal I'm choosing to weigh in daily to serve as an example of the inevitable ups and downs I'm facing. Hopefully it will show you just how undependable the scales are.
Have you ever done everything right? Ate on plan, exercised like a lunatic only to gain a pound or two the next day? How frustrating was that for you? Bet your feelings were pretty low.
Instead of celebrating your successful day of eating right and moving more, you started a new day on a downer. And maybe even lost a little hope. Perhaps soothed your low feelings with food... after all, what's the point in even trying if you're only going to gain weight, right?
Here's the problem. Sometimes we retain fluids. For whatever reason, our body hangs on to fluids. Maybe it's hormonal, maybe it's muscle repair, maybe it's trauma, maybe your monthly cycle (if you're a woman)....What's up with all of this?!
What's up is that it's normal. Hear that? Fluid retention is a natural occurring thing that happens in our bodies. It serves a purpose.
For example, most people will gain 3-5 pounds of fluid after a day-surgery. Imagine that! You've fasted prior to the surgery. You get home and sleep a day or two away, barely eating more than a bit of chicken soup and you gain weight. What the...?
I had a friend gain 5 pounds just a day after a minor car crash when she was injured with non-life threatening injuries. She had not eaten a thing that day and she gained 5 pounds. I could see it in her face. She was puffy all over.
Exercise can do the same thing... Your body hangs on to fluid for repair and maintenance. When you exercise you create tiny tears in the muscles. When those tears heal you build muscle. For the healing to happen fluid has to go to the areas that have been "damaged". So you gain weight. You don't gain fat weight you gain fluid weight. It's a huge difference.
I always get a chuckle out of this one because IT'S SO NOT TRUE! It sounds good but it's all wrong.
1LB of muscle is exactly the same weight as 1LB of fat. A pound is a pound! Just because it's made up of a different material doesn't change that fact. A pound of strawberries is the same weight as a pound of butter. A pound is a pound.
I think what's being said is that a pound of muscle looks different on the body than a pound of fat. You will look leaner with an extra 10 pounds of muscle than you will with an extra 10 pounds of fat. So perhaps "looking leaner" gives the illusion of weighing less and that's why people keep saying that muscle weighs more than fat. Stop saying that.
Your best measuring tools are a tape measure and how your clothing fits. I recommend that you measure the following areas of your body once a month. Keep track in a journal.
- Upper right and/or left arm
- Chest at the widest part
- Chest under the boobs if you're big busted
- Waist at the belly button
- Hips at the widest part
- Upper right and/or left thigh
If you want to, you can skip weighing and measuring and just go by the feel of your clothes. Can you slip your jeans on easily, fresh out of the dryer? That's always a good Non Scale Victory. When you can just slip on your clothes without tugging and stretching them, that's such a thrill.
Are your shirts or blouses getting too loose? Are the waistbands in your pants feeling much looser? Your bra cups, is there room in there when there was none before? Are your shoes looser fitting (yes, you can lose shoe sizes!). Pay close attention to these small details. These are the true measures of fat loss.
As you read in Day 2, I had a bunch of tests done. So I thought I'd go the distance and get a full body scan. A scan that will tell me with complete accuracy where my fat is and how much of it I have.
So tomorrow I'll chat about my decision to get a DEXA Scan. Stay tuned!
Start Weight: 154
Today's Weight: 150.8 (-3.2), no change from yesterday
2 slices bacon
2 large eggs
3 asparagus spears
1/2 tbsp bacon grease
2 tbsp Kimchi
servings of Easy Taco Pie*
5 grape tomatoes
1.5 Mini Guacamole
2 tbsp sour cream
Net Carbs: 14.42g
57% Fat, 35% Protein, 8% Carbs
Chew on This:
· Weighing daily is often an exercise in frustration.
· If you must, track your weight weekly and/or monthly
· Taking measurements is the best indicator of fat loss
*The recipe for the Easy Taco Pie and other amazing recipes came from this book, The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen by Carolyn Ketchum. I use it often when I'm not doing my own thing.
As for the scales I use, I own an older version of this Tanita. Mine is more than 10 years old and works like a charm. I've tested it and it's as accurate as my doctor's scales. It measures water weight and body fat. I don't know how accurate these measurements are so I don't really use that feature much.
And here's a really good tape for taking your measurements. You can always use your dressmaking tape instead if you have one.
That's it for my fasting journal 5. Read about DEXA Scans in tomorrow's journal here.
Are you trying Time Restricted Feeding or thinking about it? Share your thoughts here!
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