Take a look of the picture on your right, what do you see?  That is 5 pounds of fat verses 5 pounds of muscle.  You might have read that muscle weights more than fat but do we really know what that means?

You need to read this if you are someone that weights themselves regularly as a way to stay on track with your weight loss goals or to maintain a healthy body weight.  The scale does not give you an accurate picture of your body weight alone.  It is time to ditch the scale!

Nothing is more frustrating then cleaning up your diet and incorporating new exercise routines, yet watching the numbers on the scale either stay the same or even increase!  Most people tend to give up and go back to their unhealthy lifestyle instead.  Because after all what is the point?

Age related muscle loss.

Our muscle mass peaks around age 30.  After that if we do not use our muscles (or incorporate resistant training exercises for example), we lose muscle at a rate of 3-5% per decade after that.  This is why you can eat the exact same diet for years and actually put on weight.  Both on numbers on the scale AND inches on your body.

Your muscles that are not being used slowly breakdown and turn into fat.  Again if you reference the picture in this post, imagine what 5 pounds of muscle looks like on your body compared to 5 pounds of fat.

It is time to ditch the scale.

When I was in university many moons ago I really wanted to start making changes to one how I looked and felt.  I was carrying extra body weight- mostly from overeating and hardly moving.  I decided to sign up for a weight loss program through Herbal Magic (may I add with money I did not really have).

I attribute Herbal Magic with jump starting my weight loss goals but for me it was not setting myself for long-term success because I felt dependent on buying their supplements for the rest of my life.  Also I felt like I could only stick to their program as long I did not socialize and there were no holidays.

I successfully lost 15 lbs on the program and lost two dress sizes.  I was feeling really good.  But you want to hear something crazy?  When I start to incorporate weight training- mostly just using my body weight I actually started to change my body composition.  I drop another couple of dress sizes, however, according to the scale I put on weight.  It is confusing at first and definitely misleading.  But after some reading I realize it was muscle weight, not fat.  So decided to finally ditch the scale.

Where to begin?

I suggest you avoid weighing yourself all together, at least in the beginning until you start to feel results in how your clothing feels.  I use my clothing as a guideline of keeping my body weight on track.

Do you have an old pair of jeans you are dying to fit in?  Or maybe there is this new outfit you bought in a smaller size.  Set a realistic goal of trying on this item every few weeks or once a month.  Ideally you want this article of clothing to only be a size or two smaller.  Setting the initial goal of going from a size 16 to a size 2 is harder to stay motivated in the long-term since it will take a longer period of time to get there.  After all you are not looking for a quick fix but rather long-term maintaining of your ideal weight.

I feel your pain.  As someone who has struggled with their weight for all their lives I totally understand.  We need to change our perspective on weight loss and look for long-term success, rather than a quick fix.