There’s a thing in fitness we call “fat math.” People are hung up on actual weight loss. When you jump on the scale, the scale has no idea what weight is actually on the scale. It gives you a generic readout. A hundred and fifty pounds. A hundred and seventy pounds. Whatever it is, it’s reading raw weight. Thereâ€™s no allowance for your actual body composition, the ratio of lean muscle to body fat. When you begin to work out and you haven’t worked out in a while, or you’ve never worked out, you’re going to start putting on weight. That’s healthy weight. Your triceps, your shoulders, your glutes. Everything is expanding, filling with fluid, and growing. This is healthy athletic weight. This is part of your body changing.
When this happens, and you jump on the scale after the first two or three weeks of a good workout program, it’s going to say that you’re up in weight. And then people freak out and begin to abandon their workout because, oh my goodness it’s not working. Absolutely it is. You have to be patient and give it time. Your body is changing. Your body can fluctuate plus or minus 3 to 5 pounds on any given day. Thatâ€™s great if the fluctuation is in your favor. Youâ€™ll smile and feel great about yourself. But what if the fluctuation on the scale tells you that you are 4 pounds heavier the next day? That will most likely prompt you into making bad food choices.
Fact: 1 lb. = 3,500 calories.
To GAIN a single pound, you have to eat 3,500 calories above your maintenance amount of calories. To LOSE a single pound, you have to reduce your intake (or burn them off) by 3,500 calories. Hereâ€™s a great idea: Stop worrying about the scale. It is NOT your friend. It lies to you. Start paying attention to how your pants feel and how you look in the mirror. If someone told you, “You’re going to weigh 450 pounds but you’re going to look exactly like you want,” would you be okay with that? Yes, you would. Because you’re going to look exactly the way you want.
Weight is insignificant if you’re at a healthy weight. Allow your body to put on healthy muscle. So, if you’re putting on 5 pounds of muscle and you’re losing 6 pounds of fat, that’s an 11-pound transfer of weight. But the scale is going to say you only lost 1 pound. Because you put 5 pounds of muscle on, you lost 6 pounds of fat. That’s a 1 pound less. But your body is transforming. It actually lost 6 pounds of fat and put on 5 pounds of muscle, so you’re going to be looking and feeling different and you’re going to wonder why you’re only down 1 pound. Be patient and understand the fat math. The fat has to come off; the muscle has to come on. And that’s a true change. That’s a real change in fitness. And these are lasting changes. So, remember the fat math. Fat doesn’t weigh more than muscle, muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat. A pound is a pound. A pound of muscle is dense and takes up less space. Keep in mind the size versus weight formula. It’s all in your mind. It doesn’t matter what you weigh, it matters how you look and how you feel.
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