Are you trying to lose weight? If so, there’s nothing wrong with that. But what most people forget is that your body weight is a reflection of your lifestyle. For the body you want in the long-term, here’s why weight loss shouldn’t be your primary goal and what should be instead.
Weight Loss is a Slow Process
As humans, we respond to instant feedback! Whether it’s positive or negative, we want results fast. When we don’t get that, we naturally lose motivation to chase our goals. There’s nothing wrong with that, but weight loss is a slow process! Losing weight requires patience, time and consistent healthy habits. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix but you CAN get where you want to be.
Weight Loss is Non-Linear
Your body is not a machine! If you put less fuel in the tank, and run for longer, you won’t automatically weigh less. Yes, to lose weight you need to create a deficit but there are other things such as metabolism, stress and sleep patterns that also factor into the equation. Even with a perfectly consistent routine, you might lose some weight one week, no weight the next and then a heap the week after that.
Your Body Weight Naturally Fluctuates
As well as weight loss not being a linear process, your body weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day, every single day. This is especially true for women because of your hormones. How much water you’ve had, your salt intake, the amount of food in your belly, and how hard you’ve been exercising, all influence the number when you step on the scales. When it comes to weight loss, it’s the overall trends that are important, not if you’re half a pound heavier than you were yesterday.
Muscle Weighs a Lot but Looks Great Too
If you’re working out and eating well, chances are you’re going to build some muscle. That’s great for a lot of reasons but one of those is that it gives you a nice, strong, lean figure. However, muscle weighs 4 times as much as fat does! Even if you’ve got less body fat, your actual weight might be the same or even more than it originally was on the scale.
Focusing on the Scales Can Create an Unhealthy Mindset
While it is good to weight yourself every now and then (as well as taking other measurements), frequent weighing is often just a source of stress and self-loathing. As I’ve just shown, your weight on any one day might not even be a true indication of where you’re at on your weight loss journey. So why spend the day hating yourself because it might have been the 2 squares of chocolate you ‘shouldn’t’ have eaten yesterday that made your weight go up overnight.
Your Happiness Shouldn’t Be Defined by A Number
We often tell ourselves that we’ll be happy once we reach our target weight or when we can wear a smaller size of jeans but, why can’t you just be happy right now? Your weight should NEVER be a measure of your self-worth! Life’s WAY too short to not enjoy those ‘fat days’ as well. Instead of waiting until ‘one day’, just decide to be happy right now.
Focus on Creating Healthy Habits
Focusing purely on weight loss can be discouraging and make it more likely that you’ll stray from the healthy habits that are actually moving you in the right direction. Instead of focusing on the scales, set goals that are based on creating consistency in your healthy habits. If you fall in love with living a healthy lifestyle, your body will be a natural reflection of that.
Some ideas to get you started include:
- Making time for a workout 3 times a week
- Getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night
- Being stronger and able to lift more weight
- Replacing one fast food meal each week with a home cooked one
- Cycling to work instead of driving
- Meal prepping your weeks worth of food on Sundays
- Finding ways to enjoy your veggies so you eat more of them
- Learning to eat mindfully
Keep an eye out for my next article for more information on how to set non-scale fitness goals. You can also subscribe to my newsletter below for regular updates!