I am in the habit of watching the scale every day for progress and sometimes it drives me nuts if I do not see changes daily. What should I be looking for with the scale progress on a day to day basis when trying to lose body fat?
I would not rely on the scale as a daily measure of progress. A daily weigh-in is not productive and will only add to stress levels which interfere with body fat loss and drive cravings for bad food choices. Body weight can shift for many reasons and this is perfectly normal. Women will see big swings in scale weight as it relates to the menstrual cycle at a certain time so of the month and this absolutely in no way related to body fat levels.
How to Accurately Determine Body Fat %
Your focus should be on body fat % which can be accurately determined by a caliper test done by a skilled pro, Bod Pod, Dexascan or hydrostatic weighing. You can use a tape measure around the waist at the belly button level, hips etc for feedback as well. Bio impedance scales that measure body fat levels through electric currents are not accurate so do not bother with them. You can read our Get Rid of Trouble Spot Fat article to learn more about the correlation of body fat levels in certain areas to specific hormones.
Focus on The Right Goals
There will be no lottery award for reaching a specific weight. When setting goals with new clients we focus on appearance, performance, and energy based goals while using body fat % testing and not scale weight as a measure of progress. On the Red Carpet the media is not mentioning the estimates of body weight for famous stars. They are focusing on how great they look which is what the ultimate focus should be along with energy levels and status of well being. Body fat % is the best tool for determining progress as it provides an accurate measure of body fat as well as lean tissue levels. Following these testing trends over time is very important as a marker of progress to guide program refinements.
Are you Wrecking Your Ability to Lose Fat?
The wrong approach to fat loss which we can define in general as eating too little while increasing activity too much will result in loss of body fat as well as hard earned muscle. In many cases I have had new female clients especially tell me they do not care about losing muscle, but just want to see the scale move down. This is a self destructive approach which will lead metabolism to down regulate significantly brining a stop to fat burning. Furthermore the loss of muscle and resulting catabolic hormonal environment will increase body fat over subsequent months, digging a deeper hole! A lack of muscle also leads to a worse appearance.
Amino Load to Boost Fat Burning and Protect Muscle
My clients are able to take a very aggressive approach to fat loss without sacrificing muscle. We use Amino Loading around training and between meals to increase rates of fat burning, protect lean muscle, accelerate recovery, improve energy and destroy cravings for bad food choices. Taken between meals the portion of protein make the bran believe a massive amount of food has been consumed. As a result metabolic rate increases, but there is nothing to burn except stored fat. This leaves only body fat to be burned by a raging metabolism. Placing a scoop of each between meals a couple times per day will have a huge impact on energy levels, this will help to eliminate your mid-afternoon slump while accelerating fat burning and recovery.
How Does Muscle Impact the Bottom Line?
In many cases trainees will gain some muscle while losing body fat which will cancel each other out on the scale, but represent a great change in body composition. Lean Muscle tissue burns calories 24×7 and supports a firm looking physique. A large percentage of women have far less muscle than what nature intended due to poor diet and excessive cardiovascular exercise at some point in their life. A well structured exercise, nutrition and supplement program simply helps the body achieve an optimal ratio of lean tissue to body fat.
Keeping Body Fat Levels Long Term- The Easy Way
Individuals who achieve a proper body composition will be able to maintain this progress (avoiding the rebound) over the long term due to the important impact of lean tissue on the hormonal and metabolic environment. During the last 15 years of practice in this field I have never once had a female client accidentally gain too much muscle which is a common fear and misconception amongst many women. Men who steadily gain muscle over time not only look better than their “skinny fat” counter parts, but also have the ability to keep body fat levels low over the long term.
It is important to make sure the factors of measurement are consistent regarding techniques, equipment, time of day etc. Evaluating how you look in the mirror as well as how clothes are fitting are also important indicators of progress, however changes will not come on a daily basis. Taking pictures every 4 to 6 weeks is also a good idea to evaluate progress. Use front, back and side poses with proper lighting to make the best use out of the pictures.