While working out is beneficial to your overall well-being and waistline, the scales can sometimes be deceiving. Exercising builds muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Did you know that muscle also grows faster than fat? Eventually as you keep up your new found love for exercise the increased muscle mass will speed up your metabolism and the fat will burn away. What do you do in the meantime when you’re not getting the results you’re looking for? When you’re trying to drop those last few pounds on the scale it may be wiser measure your progress by how your clothes fit or calculating your body fat percentage rather than holding out for that magic number on the scale.
Many companies that are geared towards modeling or entertainment are encouraging their employees to maintain or attain a particular weight. At times there may be less tolerance for those who deviate from the industry standards. Some are encouraged to diet and exercise while others are threatened with termination. One such controversy is occurring with the popular restaurant chain, “Hooters” where they have given one employee with a perfectly normal weight of 132 pounds at 5’8” an ultimatum to lose weight. How much is too much when “weight” is the sole measure by which many of these individuals are evaluated? If you took a tally of different people’s heights and weights and compared them to pictures it would surprise you to see that some people weigh a lot more or less than they appear. Does weight really matter? The numbers are not always accurate. When dedicated employees get to a gym to maintain their jobs what happens if more muscle is built and the ideal “weight” is not achieved? Will they get fired for being fit?
Let’s look at some facts of what building muscle does for the body and why tossing the scale into the closet for a few weeks may not be such a bad idea:
1.) Since muscle grows faster than fat the initial weight gain on the scale is most likely the result of increased lean muscle mass in the body, rather than fat.
2.) Muscle weighs more than fat and is more compact. The scale may be creeping up but if you clothes are looser then you know you’re on the right track
3.) Weight gain from exercise is temporary at best. Once your body adjusts to a routine your weight will adjust, unless you’re overcompensating for your workouts with too many extra calories.
4.) Increased muscle mass = increased metabolism which means weight loss is just around the corner.
Lace up your sneakers and take a vacation from the weight roller coaster. Fitness and fabulousness are right around the corner!
The Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
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