When talking about fitness and nutrition, this is the most common phrase for women. I am just as guilty as anyone, and I know better. It is true that many overweight individuals (both men and women alike) need to lose drastic amounts of weight for health reasons, but many who utter this phrase want to lose body fat, not weight.

So, what’s the difference? If weight goes down, doesn’t body fat follow? Yes, but not always. An exercise routine that includes cardio and resistance training increases muscle while eliminating body fat. The overall effect is a tighter, more toned physique, but body weight could stay the same (or even increase).

Therefore, the obsession with numbers on a scale is unfounded. You can greatly improve appearance, enhance fitness levels, and eliminate unwanted fat all while maintaining a constant weight. Instead of only focusing on the numbers on the scale, focus on a combination – body fat measurements, weight, and image in the mirror.

My biggest “crime” lately has been this obsession with the numbers on the scale. In a previous post I told you that I went out and bought a scale because the one at the gym was clearly “off”. I know better, but to reaffirm…again, the numbers on the scale are of little importance in the short run. I hear too many women (including me) expressing genuine concern over a fluctuation of two or three pounds in bodyweight. There are so many factors, none of which have to do with “getting fatter,” that could have caused such a minor gain, so there is no need for panic.

Weigh yourself at the same time every day because the difference in weight between stepping on the scale first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and stepping on the scale after dinner can be quite noticeable. This difference, however, is normal and cyclical.Water weight can also be a culprit of minor differences, and this too has nothing to do with a permanent weight gain. Therefore, the scale should only be consulted about once a week and the long-run changes are what matter.

I am going into “scale rehab”, so hopefully I will get over this stupid obsession!

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