Client, “DAN! Code Red! My scale jumped two pounds overnight! I need to pull calories”!
Dan, “HOLD PLEASE! Did you eat anything off plan or miss workouts yesterday”?
Client, “I missed my workout and went out to eat last night but ate healthy”…
Dan, “No Worries! Jump back on track today and stay the course”.
Client, “You crazy! I’m joining Jenny Craig”!
Okay, I added the last line…
This may seem a little far fetched but, it isn’t. Many first timers that we work with go through something just like this from time to time. Today’s dieting industry has too many people focused solely on scale weight. This causes too many people to react almost daily to what the scale says.
Their montra: “If the scale isn’t going down do something, anything, today to get it to move”.
The weight loss industry (don’t get me started) has people so focused on total weight that they try the craziest things on the planet just to get the scale to move.
Common sense tells us that if I gain two pounds overnight the total amount I gained isn’t all body fat. However, today’s gurus have the masses believing that it is fat and that they should react NOW!
As you track your results each week, keep a sharp eye on your fat mass as well as your lean mass. This trend needs to be consistently tracked over time. Your fat mass should be continuously going down and your lean mass should be holding or slightly increasing.
Your trend over time will indicate the effectiveness of your program. If you lose 2 pounds in a week you need to determine what that 2 pounds is, fat mass or lean mass. If you lost 1.5 pounds of fat and .5 pounds of lean mass that’s a decent week. Slightly increase your calories the next week to make up for the lean mass you lost. If you lost 1.5 pounds of lean mass and .5 pounds of fat mass that’s UNACCEPTABLE! You would need to increase your calories the next week 300-600 a day to make up for the lean mass lost.
It is fine to have an occasional drop of lean mass now and then. That’s normal because we need to be in a caloric deficit to burn fat, right? Just don’t let lean loss be a common occurrence. If it is, your doomed and setting yourself up for relapse gain.
Water can affect your weight in both directions. There are a number of factors that can influence your fluid mass. If you consume a higher than normal amount of carbs, sodium and fluids your scale will jump due to the increase of fluids and food volume. If you’re dehydrated and pulled carbs, sodium and fluids then your scale will drop (sounds like a lot of the diets out there, right?). If you’re tracking your numbers regularly you will be able to identify what the gain or loss is without much problem.
If you put in the work consistently and focus on the trend you will see progress every week. Never let a quick flux of the scale, either way, determine your course. Steady, weekly progress should always be your goal. Some weeks you will lose a good amount of body fat while others you may only lose a little.
You will undoubtedly have “off” weeks with little to no progress. These are not bad weeks. They are recovery weeks. Your body will need breaks. You can’t constantly hammer your body without giving it a little rest and recovery. Learning to read and adjust to your body is all part off the fun.
Your goal should be to come to an understanding of what your body needs. Sometimes a gain is the best thing for your brain as well as your body.
NEVER EVER let an off week or quick weight fluctuations discourage you or cause you to react like chicken little.
The sky is not falling so, remember that there are no failures, only feedback. The only time you will ever fail is if you give up.
Track what your body is doing over time.
Adjust your approach based off your results not daily scale fluctuations.
Stay focused on your goals.
Never let anyone or anything alter your determination and drive.
Set your course and consistently work hard on the fundamentals day in and day out.
Stay persistent and discover your ELITE.