One of the most common concerns that people have when they want to improve their health, is the number on the scale. But contrary to popular belief, the number on your scale does not actually equate to how healthy you are. Additionally, focusing too much on this number can be detrimental to your weight loss journey. If you have been trying to move forward with weight loss but have been focusing a lot on the scale, then see below to find out why this could actually be harming you rather than helping!
Worrying About Your Weight Can Make You Gain Weight
Research has shown that when people focus more on how much they weigh and on losing weight, this can make them gain more weight in the long run. If you feel fat and think that you are overweight, research has shown that you have a higher likelihood of becoming obese. Focusing too much on your body, on your food, and on your weight can lead to a cycle of self-hatred and stress, and when you experience those emotions or thoughts, then you are more likely to overeat and hinder your success. So, rather than focusing intently on the numbers on the scale and on your weight, it is better to focus on simply improving your health and mobility instead.
Muscle Gain Can Replace Fat Loss
As you start exercising and changing your diet, you will likely begin to gain muscle mass and burn fat at the same time. This routine can cause the numbers on the scale to stay the same, which may lead you to think that your efforts are not working. But this is not true at all! As you start exercising, your body will begin building up muscle which has a high density, but it makes you appear leaner than fat does. So, this will give your body the appearance of being slimmer, but it may not change that number on the scale. That is why focusing too much on the scale can mistakenly make you think that you are not improving your health when you actually are.
Being Thin Doesn't Equate to Being Healthy
There are plenty of examples of extremely thin and light people who are not healthy at all that can prove this point. Just because someone has a slim body and a low body weight, does not mean that they are healthy or that their body is functioning at an optimum level. In fact, being too thin can be extremely harmful to your health. Additionally, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, so focusing too much on achieving a lean body does not equate with attaining beauty. Rather than focusing too much on achieving some "perfect" body shape or "ideal" weight, it is better to focus on improving your health in general instead. Having this kind of mindset will also be much more sustainable in the long term for improving your health as well.
Focus on your waist size. Studies have shown that your waist should be less than 40 inches around for men, and less than 35 inches for women. If it's larger than that, you may want to talk with your doctor about what your next steps are, including losing weight. You can't spot-reduce your waist, or any other part of your body. Also, focusing on body fat instead of weight is a better measurement. I use a RENPHO Body Fat Scale to measure my body fat as well as muscle mass & more. If you need a waist measuring tape, check out this one on Amazon for $4.
Although many people view the number on the scale as the ideal measure of health, it actually is not. So, rather than focusing on the scale too much, try using other measures of health such as your mobility and how you feel instead. And if you feel ready for it, maybe even ditch the scale altogether! Make sure you know your body type & you're not comparing yourself to others!