Why I Ignore the Scales and Focus on Fat Loss: Sarah Wedding Transformation Week 4

Don’t believe everything the scales tell you.

It’s easy for people to obsess about their weight and the number on the scales – but it’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to a body transformation.

Your weight can fluctuate for a million different reasons day to day, and if the number doesn’t move, it’s easy to panic.

While weight can be a good guide to show you’re progressing in the right direction, I’m more focused on whether my body fat is dropping – something the scales can’t tell you.

I had my measurements done again this week, and I had convinced myself that I hadn’t made any progress.

I’d hit every one of my online training sessions, but I’d had a slightly off week with my diet as I’d let my food prep slip.

My weight hadn’t changed much either, so I was sure that my progress was going to slow down or even stop.

But to my surprise I’d actually lost exactly the same amount of body fat as the previous week when I’d absolutely smashed it with my training and food.

I’m now under 20% body fat, which was the goal for the end of the month, so we’ve achieved that goal already – a few weeks early.

Although my weight hasn’t really changed much, my body fat is now at 18.4% which is a great position to be in with eight weeks until my wedding.

Fat loss vs weight loss

 

Losing weight has never been my goal on this transformation.

I don’t actually tend to pay attention to the scales normally; I tend to go off how I look and how I feel in clothes.

I’ve always been of that mindset. You can see the changes in yourself.

The scales can sometimes be so misleading or give you the wrong idea of what’s going on.

People so often panic about a couple of pounds fluctuating here and there, and it’s often not about that – it’s about how you’re feeling in yourself, if you’re getting fitter, healthier and stronger, and if you’re noticing positive changes and differences in the way you look and feel.

This week I went into my wardrobe and got some clothes out that I’d put away when I got pregnant because they didn’t fit anymore.

When I was post-natal, they didn’t fit anymore, so I just kept them away until I was feeling back in shape.

I’m not looking to get on stage or do anything extreme; I have a job and a family and I’m just looking to look and feel good on my wedding day.

There was a pair of trousers that I’d bought just before I got pregnant and I’ve never been able to wear them and I thought to myself ‘one day I’ll get back in those trousers!’

I tried them on yesterday and I can nearly, nearly, get them on! So that’s my new goal to get in those trousers by the end of 12 weeks! I’ll be really happy!

It’s always personal things like that; if your clothes feel a little bit looser, old clothes fit a little more comfortably, or you can fit into a size 12 when you were a size 14, it’s those little personal achievements that feel more beneficial than looking at the scales and thinking ‘Oh god! I’ve put on 2lbs! Everything is ruined!’

If you’re constantly fixated on the scales, it can be very demotivating if you think you’ve had a really good few days, and then you weigh yourself and it looks like you’ve put on a few pounds.

It will be massively deflating if people see this and think ‘I’ve put in all this effort and I’ve actually put weight on’.

So anything that is going to demotivate you or put you off fitness is the wrong thing to do.

Whereas, if you do something like putting on a dress you bought before you started training and suddenly feels nicer, and you feel more confident in it, then that says much more than stepping on the scales.

Why I measure my body fat

 

What I focus on more is what the callipers are telling me which will give you a much better idea of how your body composition is changing.

Having my body fat measured week on week is really useful and is a far better indicator of progress.

To see my body fat levels coming down and to know I’m building muscle too is really good, especially after a week where I thought I hadn’t made progress, but actually, by doing the measurement, it proved that I really had.

That for me was a big confidence boost and a big motivator to know that I’m going in the right direction and making me want to keep pushing on.

I’ve got my photoshoot coming up, so I’ve got that extra thing in the back of my head that I need to nail it this week, because I’ve got that goal to look and feel good in front of the camera.

So it absolutely helps, and it proves to you that it is working, even if you feel you’ve not progressed.

Knowing that I can factor in these times where I can go out for a meal, do the wedding menu tasting and things like that, and still see my body fat come down, then it means it really is achievable.

What’s really useful as well, is the tracker – I can input how I’m feeling, my energy levels and if I’m craving anything, then my online trainer Mark can look at what I’ve been eating and see what’s going on.

Mark went through it the other day and highlighted red a hot cross bun I’d had, some beans on toast and a couple of others bits like my wedding menu tasting where I know I’ve not been 100% on plan.

But when you look at the meal chart on a piece of paper and look at those tiny little bits of red amongst everything else that has been on-point, you think actually, if it was mostly red, that’s when you want to be worried.

But just to see one or two bits in red, it shows that 90% or more of the time I’m on it.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t have to make a difference.

I’m not looking to get on stage or do anything extreme; I have a job and a family, and I’m just looking to look and feel good on my wedding day.

I want this to be a lifestyle; I want this to be realistic, achievable and sustainable. I want to be able to maintain this afterwards, so this is perfect.

How to eat out and stay on track with your diet…

 

I went out for dinner on Saturday for a friend’s 30th which I just couldn’t miss – but with the knowledge I have now I was able to choose wisely, so it didn’t affect my diet too much.

It didn’t affect my diet. I went to a place called Cau which is a steak place, and it’s absolutely unreal.

You can really go all out with blue cheese sauce and coleslaw and things like that.

But I didn’t want it to affect my diet, so I just had a rump steak, vegetables and sweet potato.

So actually it didn’t make me stray from my diet at all.

We looked at the menu before we went. I made sure I was prepared. I decided what I was going to have before I got there.

I knew what I was going to eat. I knew what I was going to drink and I stuck to it.

There was temptation there, but I didn’t need to go there because I’d already made my mind up.

That really helped. It’s a great trick. I had made my mind up before I was there in the restaurant faced with temptation.

It makes it easier. The temptation is taken away.

Knowing that I can factor in these times where I can go out for a meal, do the wedding menu tasting and things like that, and still see my body fat come down, then it means it really is achievable.

I know I can still keep doing this and maintaining this lifestyle after my 12-week online transformation is complete and I see where I can get myself to, then hopefully I can stay in the shape I want and still do nice things and go out for dinner and nights out.