Not to be rude but seriously ladies… “F*** the scale!” 🙊
Featuring #TWL Member Debbie @DebbieLuWho
“Once upon a time, I was a total slave to the scale. I checked it daily, and thought I was a total failure because it wasn’t the number that I wanted. I’m so glad that now I’ve learned how to look past the scale, and incorporate healthier options to track my goals.” – Debbie Lu
Why you can’t always trust the scale….
If you’ve actually plateaued on your journey, there are better ways to track than watching the scale. FYI: ‘Muscle weighing more than fat’ is a very real thing! Pound for pound they are the same weight (a pound of muscle and a pound of fat are both a pound), but they act differently in the body. Muscle is more dense than fat, therefore when you lose fat and you build more muscle, you will look tighter and leaner, but your weight may never actually change. You’ll be losing inches and dropping dress sizes with no actual loses on the scale. If you were measuring your success by hopping on the scale each morning, this could be incredibly misleading and upsetting, and could even make you give up, not realizing that you’re actually making tremendous gains!
I’m not saying to actually throw out the scale as there is still a generally healthy weight range that you can stay within so there can be some merit to it, but, it is not a good measure of how you’re doing on your fitness & health journey.
Here are some of my best tips for hitting goals and tracking more effectively without the scale!
Step #1 – Track your macros for 30 days using a food scale and macro tracking app. Tupperware and meal prepping are a great way to succeed and stick to your diet!
FOOD SCALE & TRACKING APP:
A food scale is a small scale made just for measuring your food. You’ll generally want to use this along with a food tracking app. The tracking app will generally be able to spit out the macros for you based on the measurement of food that you’re eating. For example. If you weight your sweet potato and it’s 115 grams, that app will generally be able to give you the calories, fat, carbs, etc associated with that measurement.
DO YOU NEED TO MEASURE ALWAYS AND FOREVER?
No, that would be tedious and not very realistic. Here are my recommendations for measuring and using tracking apps:
Make the commitment to track for 30 days. When you do this, you do need to track everything for each day. If you don’t, there’s not much point. What will you get from doing this for 30 days?
- You’ll have a better idea of what a portion looks like.
- You’ll have a better idea of what you actually eat in a day. Not what you think you’re eating.
- You’ll get a better idea of how many calories you need to gain/ lose weight.
- You’ll be able to catch things like for example: not eating enough protein or healthy fats (which are both very common), or eating too much sugar.
- You’ll get a better idea of how to plan your meals in a day. I remember I was tracking once and hit my calorie goal by 2 pm. I had no idea that I was over-eating. I had to make my meals a bit smaller and space them out a bit. Another time that I was tracking, I thought I was eating too much. Turns out I was under calories every day by about 500 calories and was taking in very little fat. I would not have realized this without tracking since the food that I eat is healthy. I don’t always pay attention to the serving size. In both instances, when I corrected the calorie intake, my energy went up, my workouts got better and my body looked much leaner and cut.
- You’ll be able to ‘eyeball’ serving sizes better once you’re no longer tracking. What we think is a servicing size is usually wrong. This is a major factor in people that think that they’re eating clean and can’t figure out whey their not losing weight. If you eat too much of the healthy stuff, you will still have trouble losing weight. Calories in vs calories out is a real thing.
What happens after 30 days?
After the 30 days, you can take a break from tracking, unless you want to keep going. I would repeat the 30-day track 1-3 times a year to keep that ‘eyeball’ fresh. Once a season is not a bad idea.
As for apps, there are a ton of free tracking apps out there. I generally use myfitnesspal, but you can research which one you like best*.
*Just a note, the one thing I don’t love about myfitnesspal is that anyone can put in what they think the macros are for a food. You choose which one you think is correct. Because of this open-forum of macros listed, you may want to do some double checking with a more reputable site online if something looks off.
Planning and having all your tools is the best way to give success a real chance. If you don’t have proper Tupperware to ensure you can eat well on the run, you may be setting yourself up for failure. Here are some things to look for in Tupperware:
- Glass Tupperware is my favorite! Please ensure it’s lead-free and has a snap on top that will not open in your bag.
- if you don’t have a lot of room in your cupboards, or don’t want to walk around with heavy glass Tupperware during the day, you can also get collapsable BPA free plastic Tupperware.
- There are pretty lunch bags that now exist that look like a purse, or a gym bag and have hidden compartments specifically to hold your Tupperware, ice packs and water bottle. I’ve seen a few good ones on Amazon and other websites. Again, if you like it, you may be more likely to use it. Anything that will keep you on your goals is worth a mini-splurge to me. If this is not in your budget just yet, any lunch back will do.
Step #2 – Make sleep quality a priority!
Try to go to sleep between 9-11pm (the ‘golden hours’ of sleep are 10pm-2am, try not to miss them). You can use apps like fitbit or other sleep tracking devices to see how much uninterrupted deep sleep, rem sleep, light sleep, and overall sleep that you’re getting. Work towards having a sleep schedule that is consistent. Having a good sleep will benefit you with increased energy during the day, better hormone balance, better recovery from your workouts, therefore better muscle gains and a healthier weight.
Here are a couple of tips to assist in getting those good ZZZZZZZZZ’s:
It’s best to unplug from all blue light devices such as: televisions, smartphones, computers etc. and instead read a book, meditate or unwind in your own way. If you know that you’re not going to do this and ‘need’ to finish off the day with the latest episode of Wentworth (great show btw) or something like that, or catch up on your friends insta-stories, there is something you can to do to assist with your sleep while staying plugged in before bed.
- Blue light blocking glasses will give your screen a bit of an orange feel to what your watching, but it’s worth it and does not bother me when I put them on to stay tuned in after 10pm. I might look a bit funny, but the improvement in my sleep is worth it.
- Add f.lux to your computer and phone. This app with turn down the blue light with the sunset again, turning your screens a light shade of yellow or orange, but again, it’s worth it.
- Set an alarm reminding you to start to unwind. I have one set every day at 9:30 pm. Even though I don’t go to bed until around 11-11:30pm, when it goes off at 9:30 pm, i go and shower or wash my face, brush my teeth and put on pyjamas and put on my blue light glasses if I’m watching tv. This makes going to bed quick and easy once I’m actually tired. This alarm on my phone saying “go to bed” is also a bit of a joke when it goes off when I’m out on the town, lol.
Don’t eat right before bed, or better yet, 2-4 hours before bed depending on what you’re having. Why does this help your sleep and why would what you’re eating make a difference?
- Food digestion takes up a ton of energy. When you’re sleeping, you want to be resting, turning over cells, repairing etc. What you don’t want to be doing is digesting last nights dinner. Eating a heavy meal right before bed could cause you to be digested for up to 6-8 hours! When this happens, you’ll find that you’ll wake up groggy and bloated.
- Be careful not to choose poorly combined food right before bed. What are poor food combinations? Having a meat protein and carb together like steak and rice and then add something like dairy or anything else on top of it. That would be poorly combined and will take many hours to digest and doing this before bed will wreak havoc on your sleep. How do you combat this? If you need to eat closer to bed, stick with easy to digest food like a protein shake, soup or fruit, these should all digest in 2 hours or less.
- Extra note: Proper food combining is done as follows:
- meat and fibrous veggie i.e. chicken and broccoli
- carb and carb ie rice and kidney beans
- fruit alone
- Extra note: Proper food combining is done as follows:
Step #3 – Morning HIIT! Get a quick shot of fasted high-intensity training for 4-20 minutes before you start your day. Tip: Lay out your gym clothes and your bcaa water before you go to bed.
HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training is one of the absolute best ways to burn fat fast! It does require you to push to roughly 80-95% of your HR Max in intense intervals of work/rest for anywhere from 4-20 minutes. Done properly, you’ll get into EPOC (excell post oxygen conception) mode and continue to burn calories for hours after you’ve completed your workout.
I have a full video on the benefits of Tabata 4-minute training as well as a follow along Tabata video. Watch below for more info on this awesome fat-burning tool.
Tabata Training Explained (click here)
Follow along at-home Tabata video (click here)
Step #4 – Throw out the scale (bet you didn’t see that coming). Do before photos and measurements – they tell the story that the scale does not. If you’re looking for a better measure than the scale, here are some other options for you:
Dexascan is my favorite measure of body fat testing. It is very accurate as it takes a quick x-ray of your body and not only tells you your body fat percentage, but it will show different areas of the body and show percentage so you know where you’re carrying your weight. It also shows important health cues like bone density, lean body mass and more. When I last had this done in Canada, the cost was $120CAD, to give you an idea on cost).
This is also referred to as “underwater weighing”, “hydrostatic body composition analysis”, is an accurate measure of body fat testing via getting in a tank of water have having your bodyfat measured.
Step #5 – Track ‘non-weight’ progress & non-scale victories! 🏆 Not all progress is measured on the scale or even with a dexa-scan! Set a fitness goal that doesn’t involve your weight such as increasing your speed during sprints, upping your weight on your favorite lifts or adding in an extra session of HIIT each week. These are goals that make you faster, stronger and healthier and have nothing at all to do with a silly number on the scale!
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAINING?
In the HOURGLASS SHAPER, you don’t just get the workouts, eating plan and sugar cleanse. You also get my library of nutrition training vids. Since it’s a lifetime membership, the library is always there for you to reference. New videos are added based on requests from the TWL community.