Do You Hate the Scale?

Do You Hate the Scale?

scale   This is another common weight-loss issue.

Sometimes a pair of blue jeans can be more accurate than a scale. If your clothes are feeling snug, you’ve probably put on a few pounds.  Likewise, if your jeans are feeling a little loose, you’ve probably lost a few pounds.  It’s not very precise, but for some how their clothes fit is all that matters.

You might also want to think about buying a scale that measures body fat percentage as well as weight. This helps you know whether you’re gaining muscle and losing fat even though your actual weight hasn’t changed.

Body fat percentage is actually a better indicator of health.  People with lower levels of body fat burn more calories even when they’re resting because it takes more calories to keep muscle than it does to keep fat.  Ideal body fat percentage depends on whether you are male or female, because women need more body fat than men.  Women should aim for between 18-25 percent body fat.  Men should aim for between 11-18 percent body fat.

A lot of people use body mass index, or BMI, to get an estimate of their body fat percentage.  Other methods include skinfold measurements, underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, air displacement, and DEXA scans.  Currently underwater weighing is considered to be the best standard method, with DEXA being more accurate but expensive, and skinfold measurements more common but less accurate.  Maintaining an ideal body fat percentage will keep you healthier as you age, putting you at less risk of disability.

Since the various methods for measuring body fat are not perfectly accurate, keep in mind that changes in body fat could be due to a particular measurement rather than actual losses. Measurements should be done a couple months apart to help compensate for this.

Keep in mind that all weight loss is not fat loss. The best way to lose body fat is to combine cardiovascular exercise and resistance training with weight loss to limit the loss of lean muscle tissue, which could otherwise account for up to 25 percent of weight lost.

I use the BMI method because it’s easy to use and there are a lot of BMI calculators available online.  You just plug in your weight and your height and it does the calculating for you.  Most sites will also give you a range of underweight, normal, overweight, and obese so you know where you are.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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