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The lying scale

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

You have been working hard at the gym, but your biggest critic, the weighing scale, refuses to budge? Trisha Ghoroi tells you why this may be happening

You’ve decided to get fit and have started a healthy diet and you hit the gym regularly. But, even after putting in all that effort, you aren’t seeing results and it is getting a little frustrating. Whether you’re trying to gain muscle or lose the love handles, any gain or loss should show up on the scale, right? The dilemma must have you racking your brain as you try to figure out what you’re are doing wrong. Here we’re telling you why this might be happening.

Not getting enough protein
When you are trying to lose weight, restricting calories and fat is not enough; you have to include more protein in your diet as well. Protein is not only essential for muscle repair, but it also helps to improve metabolism. If 25 to 30% of your calories come from protein, you may burn 80 to 100 more calories per day, which will help you lose weight. Eating a protein heavy breakfast is a nice way to do this. Include eggs, sausages and lentils in your breakfast to keep you felling full for longer and avoid unnecessary munching.

Snacking that’s bad for you
You might think that healthy snacking can’t do you any harm. However, while snacking on cheese, granola or dark chocolate might be good for you, it’s easy to go overboard with healthy snacking. Remember that whatever you eat is added to your overall calorie count and even an extra piece of chocolate can throw it off. So, stick to eating small portions when you feel like snacking.

Filling up on processed food
Not everything at the super market labelled ‘diet’ or ‘healthy’ is good for you... especially not in the portions that we tend to eat them. Diet foods contain additives, which can hamper your fitness goals. Instead of processed foods, opt for whole food and you will notice a difference immediately. Dump the baked chips and opt for a fresh fruit salad instead. Switch out sugar-heavy protein bars for a poached or boiled egg.

Working out wrongly
You’ve followed everything your trainer says to the T, but you need something more. If your workout awarded you weight loss results in the first few weeks, chances are this won’t continue and that might frustrate you. Keep switching up your workout routine and include different kinds of exercises each month. Try swimming or wall climbing when you’re bored of the regular drills.

Blame the scale!
The weighing scale tends to become an indispensable part of the goal you’ve set for yourself of weight loss. We constantly check to see if we’ve lost even a hundred grams. But, this isn’t the only way to measure your fitness progress. Did you know that your weight can fluctuate by up to 1.8kg depending on the time of day? And, everything from retained water to hormones can affect the number on the scale. Since your main aim is to burn fat or gain muscle, try other methods of measuring. Use a measuring tape, or take out old clothes and see if they fit differently.

Is your diet working?
All the hard work you’re putting in is probably working, but the scale is not showing any change. Here are some signs that the scale is lying:

  •  You feel full: A good diet plan will keep you feeling satisfied and not hungry all the time. If you can bear your hunger between breakfast and lunch, your diet is working.
     
  •  You are energised: Being on a diet usually means you’re focusing on eating healthy foods. It will definitely show in your energy levels.
     
  •  Improved digestion: Junk food and overeating wrong can cause digestive problems, but when on a diet you’re probably consuming fresh food and probiotics. These will improve digestion.
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