You’re probably here and reading this because you googled “why am I not losing weight although I’m on a diet?”. Am I right? Now, let me tell you why it doesn’t matter what the scale tells you. And believe me, I know what I am talking about. I have gone through more plateaus and weight gains and losses than I care to remember.
So consider the following:
- Your weight can differ daily by up to 2 kilos due to change in water weight alone! So you could be 65kg one day, 67kg the next! Water weight is dependent on a lot of factors: how much exercise you did, how much you drank and ate, your digestion, what you ate (carbohydrates bind water) and drank, your menstrual cycle, or have you been traveling? I for example retain a lot of water when I fly or when I drink alcohol.
- You know that everyone always mentions that muscle is heavier than fat. Well, a kilo is a kilo, but the volume of a kilo of fat is much bigger than a kilo of muscle. So this is actually true, especially for people who start building muscle for the first time. Those newbie gains are real and can make a big difference. If your waist shrinks while your weight goes up you know that this is happening to you.
- Having more muscle is a great thing, even if it means you’re heavier than you’d like on the scale. More muscle means you burn more calories even when resting. More muscle means you are keeping your body healthy and mobile and your bones strong. Note: you don’t really want to be skinny fat, i.e. light according to the scale, but all that weight is fat – it’s not a healthy condition at all.
- I think it’s all wrong how we are made to believe that a certain weight or BMI is good for us. What’s the point of being skinny if you are sick? For me, to be beautiful means to be healthy. It’s not about a number on the scale or a number computed based on weight and height. It’s not good to carry a lot of fat around your midsection as it means you’re not healthy and at risk of getting diabetes, heart conditions and other nasty things like that. But… it’s also not healthy to be underweight and/or to have an eating disorder.
I don’t want to sound rude or harsh saying that. Fact is that according to ANAD (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.*
Type 2 Diabetes comprises the majority of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity. It is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years. A 2010 report by Diabetes UK claims type 2 diabetes reduces life expectancy by roughly 10 years. Youths with the condition have consistently shown high mortality rates.** WHO estimates that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2016.***
Our aim should be to be healthy – indulge occasionally, eat healthily most of the time and move our bodies as much as we can since we’re designed to do so. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym on a daily basis. Walk, run, cycle, play footy in the park – whatever makes you happy.
Consider the above the next time that you step on the scales and let me know if it made a difference.
Photo taken by chanti_fitography (check her out on instagram); model: me
* See ANAD on https://anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
** See Medical News Today on https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317477.php
*** See World Health Organization on https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes