Weight Loss Coaching to Change Body Composition

You believe: I want to lose 20lbs

We believe: You want to LOOK like you’ve lost 20lbs.  

Bold statement right? We know. And now that we have you thinking critically about what you actually want, we think you might be a bit more receptive to what we have to say about fat loss, muscle gain, scale weight and body composition. Buckle up, here we go. 

Most people will use their scale weight to determine their weight loss progress. We believe this is a mistake and can lead to confusion and frustration that makes you want to swear, kick, scream, and pull your hair out. There is a HUGE misconception that your scale weight is the only way to tell if you’re losing fat. 

Why do we put so much faith in one tiny device? 

A scale is a device designed to measure pure weight. It’s job is not to distinguish what TYPE of weight, just the total amount of you in all your glory.  It doesn’t tell us anything about your composition: how dense your bones are, what % of your weight is muscle mass and fat mass, etc. Yet every time we use it, we automatically  assume the scale is this “all knowing” entity and displays a number which we immediately equate to fat gain or fat loss, and sometimes sadly, our self-worth.

Elements of Body Composition

Without getting to “science-y” the majority of your body weight is comprised of the following: 

  • Water
  • Bone 
  • Muscle Mass
  • Fat 

Factors Affecting Your Scale Weight

How this affects your scale weight:  

  • Carbohydrate intake may cause changes in stored water and stored energy (glycogen). *note: this DOES NOT mean carbs are “bad”. They just require water to be stored. 
  • The “whoosh effect” (link)
  • Hydration status: are you dehydrated? *note: dehydration does not equal fat loss
  • Sodium status 
  • Stress 
  • Menstruation
  • Digestion: how full is your tummy? 
  • Poop: how regular are you? 

So, what have we learned so far? 

  1. Just because your scale weight hasn’t changed doesn’t mean that body fat hasn’t been lost.
  2. Just because your scale weight increased doesn’t mean that you’ve gained fat. 

 Still with us? Awesome. Let’s get to the good stuff:

When we start working with new clients, one of the first discussions we have is about how we intended to measure and monitor their progress. We call this “biofeedback”. 

Here’s what we’re looking for: 

*Hunger- Is it higher or lower on certain days or time of day? 

*Sleep- how many hours are you averaging per night? Are you prioritizing sleep? Pro tip: Sleep is the most  under-rated performance enhancing “supplement” there is. If you want to lose fat and/or gain muscle sleep (7-9 hours per night) needs to be a priority. 

*Energy- are you waking up feeling refreshed? Are you experiencing energy dips throughout the day? 

*Exercise- do you look forward to it? Do you feel better or worse after your exercise session? Are you making progress (running faster, getting stronger) 

*Clothes- how are they fitting? 

These are just 5 examples that we take more seriously than your scale weight.

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