Get Off the Scale

One of the most common questions I get as a Beachbody Coach:

“I just started working out and I am following the nutrition plan and doing all the workouts and I am gaining weight…what’s going on?”

Now, would you be ok gaining weight if you got results like this?

There are both physiological and mental processes going on and I will explain both, but my quick answer is- GET OFF THE SCALE, keep pushing play and take your 30, 60 and 90 day pictures.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

We are all at different stages of health when we start our fitness journey–some are looking to spice up their existing workouts and some are trying to get off the couch and get moving again.

Keep in mind, everyone’s body reacts and adapts to different stimuli at different rates.  Where one person might shed tons of fat at first, someone else might start building muscle right away.

Our body needs fuel to perform, so trust in the formula and make sure you eating enough calories per day to help your body make a change.  Contrary to popular belief, reducing calories too low will actually stall your results.

The Physiological Effect

We have to keep the end goal in mind and realize that Beachbody has put together some amazing products and they aren’t 2 or 3 week programs, they are 6090 day programs.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither was/is your body.

Focus on where will you be when you’ve gone through the workout program in its entirety.  

Many of these programs are designed to see the most dramatic results in the last phase–so buckle up and enjoy the journey.

It is common when starting an exercise program to see an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale–this is typically due to the delayed onset of muscle soreness or DOMS.  When we put strain on our muscles through our workouts, we cause microscopic tears in the muscle tissue and our nervous system kicks in to repair our body and keep it functioning at normal levels.

This burn or soreness we feel is a good thing, but as the body takes over to protect the tissue, we often times retain fluid around the slightly swollen/inflamed tissue in order for it to repair.  The fluid retention can result in a temporary weight gain at the beginning of a workout program.

Remember, this can take place whether you experience soreness or not, it’s simply the body reacting to “the shock” of you fatiguing your body.

Have no fear, weight gain when starting a workout program is totally normal and completely temporary.  So keep pushing play and focus on the finish line.

The Psychological Effect

Very often we begin workout programs to lose weight and this is a great motivator, but can also be our biggest hindrance.  We want to see immediate results on the scale and often times we do–both in a positive and negative direction.  The best advice I can give you is to stop focusing on the scale and start focusing on the changes that are happening.

It is a common myth that muscle weight more than fat.  In fact, 1 pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as 1 pound of fat, it just takes up less space because it’s more dense and compact.

Many times we are losing fat while gaining muscle so there will be zero change in what you see on the scale, but actually you are revving up your metabolism to lose more weight by building this muscle.

Why is that you ask?  It takes the more energy for the body to maintain muscle than it does fat.  So the more muscle you build/have, the harder your body works and thus burns more calories and thus you lose more weight.

Keep in mind you don’t have to be a big bodybuilder to build muscle, we can build lean muscle just by doing our workouts and putting the right things into our bodies.

Conclusion

So where do you go from here?  Keep pushing play and TAKE pictures of your progress, I know you are stopping at mirrors all the time to check yourself out, so take out your phone and snap a picture and compare it side by side to others.  This will give you an objective view of how your results are coming along and will allow you to see the changes happening to your body.

Changes that are more important than the number on the scale:

  • Are you clothes looser
  • Do you see changes happening to your body structure
  • Do you feel sore muscles that you didn’t know you had
  • Do you need to pull your belt tighter
  • Do you have more energy
  • Can you get through the workouts better
  • Are you feeling more confident

 

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