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Is The Number On The Scale Really That Important?

Is The Number On The Scale Really That Important?
Family, Self

Your Weight Does Not Tell The Whole Story

The scale and you

Measuring your weight is the most common way to assess changes in your body, but bear in mind this isn’t just a numbers game. Have you ever heard the claim that a pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat? Completely false! A pound is a pound, whether it’s sand, feathers, or flour. Muscle has a much greater density than fat; a pound of fat takes up about four times the space of muscle tissue. This explains why it’s possible to look and feel slimmer even if your body weight stays the same and the scale doesn’t reflect a significant weight loss.

Don’t wait until you are a certain weight to be happy. Remember numbers don’t tell the whole story. You are modifying long-lived habits to improve your overall health and wellness; the weight will come off naturally with better food choices and increased activity.

You can purchase a simple and accurate digital scale at your local retailer for around $30. Use the scale as one way to begin to track your progress and as a mechanism to keep you honest to you.

As suggested when recording girth measurements weigh yourself at the same time of the day and first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to maintain accuracy. Weighing yourself any time other than that can throw things completely off because of normal bodily functions and routine personal habits.

The frequency at which you weigh yourself is up to you. Some people like to weigh themselves daily. It helps keep them motivated and accountable; they require the daily reminder in order to stay on their plan for healthy eating and incorporating more exercise into their routine. For others a daily weigh-in can be discouraging as it may magnify normal and minor fluctuations caused by water retention or the lack of bowel movement and lead to an unhealthy obsession with the scale.

Only you can decide how often to weigh yourself and what works best for you. Weighing yourself is only one of the many useful tools for tracking your wellness goals. And no matter how good your tools, they aren’t what get you the results, following your plan consistently is.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Research has shown that BMI is highly correlated with the gold-standard approach for measuring body fat. BMI interprets relative height to weight ratio and is a simple way to screen who might be at greater risk of health problems due to their weight.

BMI can be inaccurate for people who are very fit or athletic because their high muscle mass can list them as overweight, even though their body fat percentages are healthy. Taking that into consideration it is an excellent tool for the general population as most people are not athletes, and for most people, BMI is a very good gauge of their level of body fat.

Click here to easily determine your BMI.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH BMI STANDARDS

Underweight   Less than 18.5

Normal            18.5 – 24.9

Overweight     25.0 – 29.9

Obese              30.0 or greater

Remember, the number on the scale is just that, a number; don't let it define who you are or determine you self-worth. It will not tell you what a great person you are or how much your family and friends love you. You have the power to choose happiness, go out and get it now!

Judy Molinaro is a wellness coach and master yoga instructor. For more information on practical solutions to your health, buy her wellness guide, Eat Like You Give A Damn. To receive valuable fitness tips, subscribe to Judy's monthly newsletter, or follow her on Facebook.

This article was originally published at Fit You Wellness Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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