Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions every year have to do with losing weight, eating healthier, and/or changing lifestyles. If you’re setting one of these goals this year, good for you! A new year is the perfect time to work hard towards the new you.
What’s a good way of getting started?
Step off the scale.
But… How will you know when you’re losing weight?
Well, it’s time to finally trust yourself. Now first, let me agree that yes, weighing yourself periodically can be helpful in tracking progress and weight-loss goals. But NO ONE should be weighing themselves every single day. The number on a scale is NOT the best way of measuring your fitness. Your body flucuates pound for pound everyday (ever notice how you “lose weight” in your sleep?) and watching the numbers will really start to drive you crazy.
Stop the obsession: Weigh yourself once a week, at most. This will keep you from overanalyzing and obsessing over the numbers on the scale, and will actually give you a fair chance of being accountable and in-tune with your body. FACT: It takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain one pound of body fat. So stop fretting about every pound or two; if you’re eating healthy and exercising, it’s most likely water-retention (because you’re hydrated!) and not a pound of fat.
Crazy, right? No, muscle does NOT weigh more than fat. Five pounds is five pounds no matter how you weigh it. But it sure can look different! Muscle is dense and much more condensed than fat. If you’re changing your body composition (building muscle and losing fat), it’s possible and perfectly normal to see increasing numbers on the scale while decreasing the size of your pants. That big, yellow lump? Five pounds of fat takes up a lot more room than five pounds of lean muscle. This is why, for example, a woman could weigh 130 pounds and be a size 4, or could weigh 130 pounds and be a size 8 or 10.
A good New Year’s Resolution? Changing your lifestyle WITHOUT worrying about the numbers on the scale. Be your own judge. Start feeling the extra energy that you have when you’re not crashing from sugary foods, and add a little protein and fiber to your diet. You’ll be amazed at how truly different you feel once you start treating your body right.