by Geoff Thomas, Head Trainer, Orangetheory Fitness
Your fitness goal should never be to lose weight. Let that sink in for a moment. Your true goal with any fitness regimen should be to lose fat. You see, if you only focus on the scale and lowering that number, you may be losing valuable muscle instead, which can result in long-term fat gain and ultimately bigger numbers on that scale. Trainers often, myself included, toss around the phrase “muscles weighs more than fat,” but what does that really mean to you as our clients?
The truth is that when placed on a scale, one pound of fat is going to weigh the same as one pound of muscle – just like one pound of bricks is going to weigh the same as one pound of feathers. Where the confusion comes in is that muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat.
When the number on the scale does not budge, it is important to remind yourself that the scale only shows you a portion of what is going on. It is only showing your total body weight – which includes fat, muscle, bones, organs, skin, etc. and not the composition of that weight within your body. Your total body weight represented on the scale may be the same as when you started your weight loss program, BUT if you are building muscle mass and losing fat tissue, your body composition will be much different and you will find those clothes fit better despite the scale saying the same number.
Utilizing a different number other than just the one on the scale is a great way to reengage in your fitness journey and give you a more accurate idea of what’s going on inside your body. A body composition scan like the InBody we use at Orangetheory Fitness will give you those numbers and with the help of a trainer you can interpret these numbers to customize the best fitness plan for you.
Geoff Thomas is the Head Trainer, ORANGETHEORY FITNESS
AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
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