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Weight Loss vs Fat Loss

In my experience as a personal trainer, I have had plenty of conversations about weight loss versus fat loss with my clients… especially women!  As you start to train, change your diet and start living a healthy lifestyle, the scale will drop and you foresee this as success.  Then a plateau may hit or even an increase in weight.  My advice, never let the scale rule your world!  Throw it away for all I care.  It is no indication of your results.  Instead, use measuring tape!



I had a client who was on a 30-Day Program with me.  She was committed to training 6 days per week.  We were weighing in and taking measurements every 7 days.  For the first 3 weeks, the scale was dropping, inches were coming off… and on the very last day of the month, the scale went up and she freaked out!  Although the scale went up, her measurements still went down.   She was 2 lbs bigger on day 30 than she was on day 1, but she was 2.5 inches smaller in her waist and 1.5 inches smaller in her lower abdominals not to mention the shrinkage of her thighs, hips and arms.

Let’s get one thing clear here… muscle weighs more than fat.  Wait… let me state this better: 5lbs is 5lbs no matter if it’s muscle or fat; but 5lbs of muscle takes up less space than 5lbs of fat (see image).  And women do not naturally have a high muscle to fat ratio, so while doing intense strength training and fueling with proper protein, lean muscle is increasing– and even when fat is decreasing, the scale does not indicate much more than gravity’s pull.   Try not to get hung up on the scale, use the measuring tape.  I also suggest letting your clothes and how they fit be the more accurate representation of your results.


Depending on what you ate the night before, how much water you consumed or if you released your bowels even makes a difference on that scale!  Did you realize your large intestine could store up to 5-10lbs of feces per foot (and the large intestine is actually the length of how tall you are and the diameter of your wrist).  Clearly if you ate some red meat or anything that is hard to digest, you could see the scale be up a couple pounds based on a backed-up colon alone.

An 8lb bowling ball is between 8-8.5 inches in diameter.  A beach ball weighs next to nothing (maybe l pound at best) and it 14-16 inches in diameter.  So, I ask you: “Would you rather be a bowling ball, all tight, firm and maybe a little heavier… or a light-weight beach ball all puffy and soft?”


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