Primarily Paleo

A path to wellbeing

Say goodbye to your scale

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There’s nothing more frustrating for those who are looking to see body composition changes than getting on the scale every day and seeing it move in the wrong direction or not move at all. Further, the number on the scale shouldn’t be an overall indicator of your health. Our bodies are two thirds water. The amount of water in your body on any given day can be higher or lower and that is reflected on the bathroom scale. This is especially true for those who work out regularly, especially with weights. Sore muscles are inflamed and swollen (with extra water) which is then recorded on the scale. Strength training not only makes your muscles get denser, but also strengthens bones and the supporting tissue around the joints. All of this records a higher number on the scale and it doesn’t reflect how you actually look.

I recommend taking a before picture when looking to evaluate body composition changes. Sometimes we forget what we looked like three months ago or we don’t believe we look different even after a handful of people comment on the changes. Taking body measurements is another great tool to see changes from diet and exercise. It is also really motivating to lose three inches from your belly. The other tried and true method of seeing weight loss is by having more space in your clothes or having to add notches to your belt.

If you are trying to lose weight and there’s a target number in your head, do yourself a favor and stay off the scale. It isn’t the most accurate tool to evaluate your hard work. Have faith, it is possible to be ‘heavy’ and still fit into your skinny jeans.

One Comment

  1. This is such valuable advice. When I started eating paleo in February, I contemplated getting a scale and decided, since I was committed to eating paleo not just to lose weight but to feel better, that I might just end up frustrated if I did, because I would tie all my success to the number on the scale. Ultimately I bought a journal and a body measuring tape instead. In the journal, I log not just what my measurements are, but how I’m feeling from day to day. Since February, I’ve lost nearly 6 inches off my waist, 5 off my hips, 4 off my bust, and an inch or two each from my arms, thighs, and calves. I’m sure a lot of that in the beginning was water retention being shed once my sodium became reduced, but the rest is pure fat.

    But what I was also able to measure with the journal went so far beyond body composition. I noticed I hadn’t had one of my “lazy days” in a while (days when it seemed like too much effort to get off the couch were more frequent than I’d like to admit), I hadn’t had many digestive issues, and my arthritis in my knees only bothered me a couple days a week (usually days when I was forced by work to be more sedentary than I’d like) rather than every minute of every day.

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