It’s no secret that countless people are fighting a long-term battle against body fat. But there’s an equally big struggle the masses deal with on a daily basis: slaying down those numbers on the scale.
I’ve come across so many people who start a workout regimen and then constantly check the scale to see if the numbers have changed. Often, it doesn’t happen fast enough. This can be discouraging. But it can also be deceiving.
Think of it like this: If you burn off 10 pounds of body fat but gain 10 pounds of muscle, you’re going to weigh exactly the same amount. But I guarantee your body shape will be very different. Muscle is denser than fat—which means it takes up less space.
One thing I always like to always tell my clients is to use the mirror as your scale. The mirror never lies. I recommend checking out your reflection regularly, along with taking measurements. You could also try using a body fat caliper, which is an easy way to get a true reading of your progress.
It’s still a good idea to check the scale regularly, just be sure to check first thing in the morning on an empty stomach because weight fluctuates throughout the day. Always take your measurements and check your body fat at the same time of day, too.
Remember, if you use body fat calibers, do it before a workout, not after. Your skin will be tighter to the muscle post-workout so readings won’t be as accurate.
Get fitness and sports nutrition tips from personal trainer Deniz Duygulu, an International Federation of BodyBuilders Men’s Physique pro athlete. Like Deniz on Facebook to watch videos demonstrating correct form and for advice on fueling effectively.