But what the heck! Even after two months of hard work, the weighing scale showed only a 500 grams drop. How cheeky can that be! It was not just a day’s woe-story, but an everyday misery. Exasperated, she finally dumped the ‘star-crossed, ill-omened’ agony scale and got on with her life, the ‘who-the-hell-cares’ life that she had led during her ‘pre-heartbreak’ days.
This love and hate relationship with the weighing scale is not unique to Teena. I have been on that misery trip myself a few moons ago, and I know for a fact that many of you feel it’s your own life story. So, here’s the full dope on the mystery. I assure you you’ll be a happier person at the end of this piece of enlightenment.
Weight loss is often presumed to be synonymous with fat loss. Nothing can be further from the truth. Weight loss in grams or kilos indicates loss of body mass which could be a result of either water loss, fat loss, muscle mass loss, bone loss, fasting or not drinking enough fluids, or a combination of two or more of these. But the inch loss is a more reliable indicator of fat loss, provided, a good diet and exercise regime is being followed. While both weight loss and inch loss are essential components of a weight loss plan, the two are distinct from each other and may not always coexist.
What I am trying to convey is that a person may lose a few inches but may not seem lighter on the weighing scale. In fact, sometimes people may find themselves heavier on the scale despite substantial inch loss. So, here’s the answer to the ‘why’. If you start following a nutritious diet for fat loss and back it up with strength training, there may be an increase in the muscle mass and a reduction in inches that makes the body look slimmer, but the weight may either remain the same or sometimes even move northwards a little. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. Fat spreads more like a blubber but weighs much lesser. Having more muscle also means burning more calories and acquiring a more efficient metabolism, which again signifies that more fat calories are being torched.
Teena had failed to comprehend the fact that she was moving in the right direction by losing quite a few inches in the right places within a span of just two months. Her tryst with the weighing scale was not telling her the whole truth. She was losing body fat (which was what she desired) but was putting on muscle mass (which is actually a good place to be in).
When one is really overweight or obese, one can shed both, kilos and inches comparatively faster at the initial stages of a proper diet and exercise regime and reach a healthy weight range in due course. This is because one may be gaining muscle mass as desired, but losing body fat at a much higher rate, which is an ideal situation. Strength training leads to more inch loss while cardiovascular exercises lead to more kilo loss. If the above account sounds like Greek and Latin to you, worry not! Just ignore the scale and smile if:
You have dropped clothing size without losing any or much weight.
Your body looks more toned and your skin feels tighter than before.
Now, to maintain this inch loss and stay steady on the fat-loss path, you need to:
Make sure that your input (food) is less than your output (exercise). To accelerate fat-loss, eat fewer calories or increase the time/intensity of exercise.
Follow a combination of strength training exercises and cardiovascular exercises regularly.
Take your measurements regularly around the following areas and make a note of it every time with date: chest, waist, stomach, hips, thighs and triceps