If you're reading this post, then I can almost guarantee that you've recently (or sometime in the past) been trying to lose weight. First off lets get some terminology straight. Do you want to lose weight? Or do you want to lose fat? Were you even aware that there was a difference?
Losing weight = losing mass from your body (fat, muscle, water and so on).
Losing fat = losing the excess fat your body may be storing.
Very few people in the world need to lose weight, and of those who think they do, most should actually be striving for fat loss.
As a woman, your body needs fat for several daily functions, this is why our body fat percentages tend to be higher than men. Not because we hold stubborn fat that our bodies can't lose, but because our bodies recognise that we need some visceral fat for basic hormonal functions.
That being said, many of us (myself included) do hold a level of body fat that is in excess to our body's function. This isn't me saying that excess body fat is bad, unnecessary or something that you should strive to eliminate, just that I recognise losing body fat can be an overwhelming goal for many women.
The biggest problem that I have with clients striving to lose body fat is that in the first 8-12 weeks of their journey they are unable to justify to themselves why the numbers on the scale aren't moving. Below, I've listed 5 common reasons why the scale may not be moving in your fat loss journey. Note that these reasons account for losing fat but the scale not moving, if you truly believe you're doing something wrong, send me a message and let's have a chat. 1. Inflammation.
If you've taken up a new fitness routine, this could be you. When you workout, you cause damage to your muscles. Whilst repairing, your body then creates inflammation to protect the area damaged from working out. This is only temporary, but particularly at the beginning of your journey your body will be a little slower to adapt to these changes. If you're concerned about your bodies recovery speed, slow it down a little. Make sure you're getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, take 24-48 hours rest between working out body parts and ensure you're getting the appropriate amount of protein for your body.
2. Glycogen Storage.
This is similar to the point above. When you begin a new fitness routine after time off, or increase the intensity of your workouts, your body will produce more glycogen to store in your muscles/liver. This response is spurred because your body is designed to adapt and it wants to be prepared for future bouts of activity (to provide you with more energy for future workouts).
This one always spurs up a little noise. However, I think most women don't fully understand that whether they have a period or not, their body is still going to go through a monthly cycle. Because the hormonal changes in our bodies are so unique to each individual, it's impossible to say at which point in your cycle you'll feel heavier. For most women, the week before their period and the first few days of a bleed are when they experience the most increase in their weight. If you're weighing-in at this time every month, you're bound to see an inaccurate scale weight.
4. You've lost fat but gained muscle.
It's a known concept by now that muscle is much more dense than fat. By this, I mean that if you lose 1kg of fat and gain 1kg of muscle, you'll appear smaller/tighter but weigh the same weight on the scale (imagine 1kg marshmallows and 1kg of rice, which one takes up more space?). This is a common culprit for my clients. They say they feel great, acknowledge that their measurements are decreasing but still get upset over the number on the scale not moving. 5. Your body is going through quite a big change, focus on how you're feeling and give it time!
If you don't have much weight to lose, it's likely that your scale weight will not change with a sustainable fat loss program. That being said, you should be feeling happier, healthier, stronger, more confident and physically seeing a difference in progress pictures/bodily measurements.
As always, the points in this post are subject to each individual so if you have any concerns or questions please feel free to email me at Beth@bethlavisfitness.com. Always here,