Posted on June 18, 2018 by Jenny Cromack

Ditching the Scales!

So many clients walk through the gym doors seeking a drop in the number of the scales. It is great to have a goal, but should you focus on your weight? Sometimes it is worth ditching the scales and making sure we have other, less weight-focused goals. Unfortunately we are all made up slightly differently. Some of us are blessed with the ability to lose weight easily, some can easily pack on the muscle mass, and others struggle with both. Although frustrating this does not mean we cannot achieve success.

The Problem with Body Weight Goals!

When I have clients who are solely focused on the needle on the scales and they don’t notice significant drops, their weight plateaus, or it goes up they then go into meltdown. This meltdown often results in a drop in exercise motivation, missed sessions, and a vulnerability to extreme nutritional habits (e.g., binging, or extreme food restriction). These extreme nutritional habits often throw a spanner into any plans they have for their goal achievement. Individuals then tend to become fixated on weight. Their fixation sends them through peaks and troughs of motivation and commitment because their weight is not showing enough or consistent progress.

Why Weight May Not Change!

There are several factors that may influence weight loss. It may be that your individual biological make up may slow the process. Additionally, you may not be (truly) committed to any exercise or nutritional plans your are on. It may also be a positive and actually it may just be a shift in body composition. In simple terms your weight may stay stable but you body fat can still have dropped and muscle mass increased. This is why it is important to get other measures not just jumping on those scales.


What Else Can You Focus On?

When you sit down with your trainer or to design your next phase of training make sure you include several options for success. These alternative goals will help you gain a sense of achievement and keep you motivated throughout. Weight is still important, but why not take a break from looking at them and focus on one fo the following;

  • Strength Achievements (e.g., 1 repetition max lifts for specific exercises)
  • Run/Exercise Times (e.g., given distances, timed circuits)
  • Exercise Technique (e.g., learning new exercises)
  • Rating of Perceived Exertion (e.g., subjective evaluate the intensity/how you feel during your sessions)
  • Anything that you can measure, track, and means something to you!

By taking your focus from the weight and noticing improvements (often more readily) in these areas you will be less inclined to drop off and sabotage any improvements through self-pity eating or missing sessions. By then focusing on these other health-related goals and then revisting the body measures 6+ weeks down the line I guarentee you will notice a larger improvement than your weekly weigh in. This will then keep you mentally on track and wanting to push on in the next 6-weeks or phase of training.

Now it is time to put it into practice, find an alternative goal and put those scales in the cupboard for 6 weeks then revisit.

Good Luck!