Bathroom scales - they LIE!

How often do you look in the mirror and judge yourself or pick out the bits that you don't like the look of? A recent study showed that "Up to 8 out of 10 women will be dissatisfied with their reflection, and more than half may see a distorted image."

As a Personal Trainer 95% of clients come to me to see a smaller number on the bathroom scales. While I want to help clients lose body fat and hit their goals I always warm them that BATHROOM SCALES LIE!! Why? I hear you cry! While bathroom scales give you a good idea if your body weight is going up or down, it cannot tell you if you are healthier inside or not. I massively encourage my clients not to be disheartened when they start an exercise programme and their weight goes down a lot initially and then slows (or heaven forbid even goes UP!!) The reason for this can be fairly simple. When we start training we start to burn off stored body fat to use as energy to fuel the exercise but if we also follow a strength training programme we begin to build muscle. This muscle tissue is surprisingly heavy, yet takes up much less space in your body so the effect is being "smaller".

Check out this picture showing the difference between 1kg of body fat and 1kg of muscle. You can see how much more volume there is to the fat than the muscle.

So how do we know if we are hitting our training goals or losing body fat and gaining muscle if we can't rely on the bathroom scales? With my Personal Training clients I use a Bodystat decide which accurately measures body muscle, fat and water and allows me to tell clients how there training has changed over time. For a client really working hard I've seen them lose up to 7kg of body fat in 8 weeks and build 2kg on muscle. The scales showed a rather sad 5kg of weight loss which was nowhere near representative of how hard she had worked or how much healthier she now was on the inside.

Building muscle is very important, especially for women as we lose muscle tissue through hormonal changes during the menopause. Staying strong is so important as we age to simply be able to do the day to day tasks of life - like getting out of bed, carrying shopping or getting up off the floor. I encourage all my clients to build some target of building strength into their goals.

Bodystat consultations are available - £25 for 30 minute appointment.

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