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The problem with "scale weight"

As summer nears, we're bombarded with a lot of imagery about "beach bodies" and getting "in beach shape" for the nicer weather. Actually, thanks to Instagram and social media in general, we're pretty much hit with that sort of stuff on a daily basis.

While reducing body fat in a sensible and sustainable way is a good goal for overall health and performance, most of us rely too much on simple scale weight as a measure of progress. Not only does a scale show you just one number, that number can fluctuate a lot depending on what type of nutrition plan or training program you are following.


Simply pursuing a lower scale weight can also lead to problems in terms of losing muscle mass. Since all you see is your mass change, you don't know if you're losing fat, muscle, or both! Some information indicates that up to 25% of weight loss can be from muscle tissue if proper nutrition and training protocols aren't followed... OR if your calories are way too low.


Losing muscle mass is problematic for fat loss goals since muscle is metabolically active tissue - it actually takes calories every day to maintain. Therefore, keeping as much muscle on our bodies as possible while we reduce bodyfat is a very important part of maintaining a healthy metabolism long term.


Below, I've got an example of what an "ideal" scenario for fat loss looks like. This output is from the X ONE Pro machine and the measurements were taken about a month apart. The client's weight changed by 2.64lb (see graph below), which is a modest amount for 4 weeks (we often aim for 1lb per week of fat loss), and if they were to simply look at that number, they might be discouraged that the rate is relatively slow.


It turns out though that the clients muscle mass (mmass) has gone up as their fat mass has gone down... which really shows that it IS possible to add muscle while losing fat. This client isn't doing heavy strength training, which may well have increased their muscle tissue even more.


You can also see from the loss of fat and gain of muscle, that their bodyfat percent (Bf%) has dropped. The graph below really shows these changes in relation to each other, and this type of feedback leads to a pretty happy and motivated client!




So if you're looking to get a bit more insight into your body composition, the X ONE Pro scan is a great option. It can really help inform your training and nutrition and enhance your motivation more than simply relying on a scale.


Want to get some guidance for your nutrition plan? Head over to our Vic City Nutrition page for more info.


Cam

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