Why you should throw away your scales for The Challenge

I have watched many people try to lose weight. The most frustrating and self sabotaging thing you can do is use the scales as a means to measure yourself.

Let me be clear here. Scales are in no ways or means of form an accurate measure of body composition. By this I mean they will give you no indication of your body fat, muscle density, or water composition.

For example if you are an individual who has embarked on a tone up or shape up program if you are using the scale as a guild you will continue to get false reading throughout this challenge. While you are losing fat but gaining muscle your weight will stay the same. Can you see how de-motivating this can be? While your body composition and metabolism changes for the better, your weight on the scales many not.

For the challengers doing the bulk up program, a movement towards eating clean healthy food might initially mean a loss of body water which will be reflected as a weight loss on the scales. This likewise can be de-motivational for someone trying to gain muscle and size.

For women, around that time of the month, you will hold and carry more water. Sometimes 2-3 kgs of water will be reflected on the scales, purely due to hormonal changes. The scales will give no indication of body composition just this weight gain, and as such can be incredibly upsetting to someone on a transformation challenge.

This challenge is not about who loses or gains the most weight. It is about changing your body composition for the better. This means losing body fat and gaining or toning muscle density. For this reason you should stay away from the scales, as they are not an accurate way to measure your progress.

So how do we measure ourselves for this challenge?

  • Use tape measures. You loses and gains you will accurately see reflected by your body part measurements. Record these and check them regularly.
  • Similarly also how your cloths feel. Are they looser around the waist? For the guys trying to bulk, are your shirts tighter around your chest and arms?
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and watch for the changes. We know our bodies quite well and changes will be seen quite quickly.
  • Get a PT to do skin calliper pinch test. This can give you an indication if your subcutaneous fat levels are reducing. Make sure it's the same person measuring the same areas each time.
  • DEXA scans. These are a very accurate way to measure total body composition including muscle density, fat percentage and water composition.

- Adam Gee, Challenge Coach