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Are Your Scales Lying To You?

It’s usually when the weight on the scales starts to creep up that people book in to see me, hoping to get rid of some of the fat mass that has managed to creep up over the years.

 

But there is a big difference between losing fat, and losing weight on the scales.

 

You can drop 2kg on the scales in a day without any of it coming from fat storage.

 

On the flip side, you can lose fat, and consequently gain weight on the scales.

 

How is that possible? Well, for a couple of reasons. Let’s explore them:

 

 1. Muscle Mass VS Fat Mass

 

Scales are not going to differentiate whether a loss or gain of weight on the scales came from fat or muscle.

 

The biggest loser contestants lose an astonishing amount of weight each week – sometimes losing up to half of their body weight by the end of the show.

 

However, there was only ever one biggest loser contestant who’s body composition was measured via DEXA scan before and after the show. This scan concluded that the contestant lost 60% of their muscle mass during the show.

 

This is a very real example of how losing weight on the scales doesn’t mean you’ve lost that amount of fat.

 

2. Glycogen Stores

 

Glycogen is stored carbohydrate in the liver and muscle that it is readily available as muscle fuel during exercise.

 

Glycogen will be exhausted after a heavy training session, and replenished with adequate carbohydrate intake.

 

When you undertake a training regime, this will promote more glycogen to be stored in the muscle. And if you are eating sufficient carbohydrate to replenish your stores, you could be storing anywhere from 1-2kgs of glycogen in your body at any one time!

 

Don’t get me wrong; I still think scales are a valuable tool.

 

If somebody is embarking on a weight loss venture and has a fair amount of weight to lose– then there should be a steady reduction of weight observed on the scales week to week, despite increase in muscle mass, and glycogen stores.

 

You can monitor your losses and if you hit a plateau quite easily with scales. Also, they are inexpensive, and easy to use.

However, it is important to know that scales are not a reputable source to measure your body fat or monitor smaller body compositional changes.

 

For anybody interested in knowing their fat, muscle, and bone mass at 99% accuracy, I would recommend you get a DEXA Scan. They are available here:  http://www.measureup.com.au/

 

-V x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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