“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”
This will be a quick series, outlining some simple guidelines for tracking your progress and ensuring you’re not wasting your time and money.
I’ve seen far too many people working with trainers, supplement peddlers, weight loss gurus, etc. (and paying them HANDSOMELY), watching their weight stay the same – WEEK AFTER WEEK…
Seriously, people pay $100 an hour, twice a week for this!
The trainer claims “Oh you’re just building muscle”, “That’s all water weight”, or my favourite “There’s a demon inside you that needs to break free”.
The client just keeps buying session after session with the trainer, and doing all the same things, hoping that something will change.
The underlying problem is….
People do not know how to use a scale
Of course, they can read the numbers, but they don’t really know what they mean.
They don’t know that the scale is not for taking single-point measurements to base your decisions off of– it’s a monitoring tool, for tracking trends. (more in a minute)
Picture this – you head to the mechanic because your car is making funny sounds when you drive it.
The mechanic says that you’ll also need your oil changed, so you shell out a few extra bucks to pay him for that too.
It’s not because you knew that it needed to be changed.
It’s not because the mechanic’s oil is special.
It’s because you don’t know how to check for yourself whether or not it needs to be changed.
Here is an unforgiving truth about the amount of force you exert on the earth’s surface. You can tell your trainer, or supplement provider, I said this:
If you’re not losing any body weight over a period of a few weeks, you won’t be losing a noticeable amount of body fat .
Sorry. Not sorry.
Here’s the beautiful thing about knowledge…
Nobody can lie to you ever again.
Here are 3 of my Clients
After reading this article, you’ll be able to tell me which of them are losing a significant chunk of body fat.
Here’s how to do it.
Step on the scale twice this week, on non-consecutive days.
Right in the morning, after using the bathroom.
Keep up your fat loss efforts and step on again next week on the same days, in the same condition (I like to do it in the morning)
Look at the weekly averages of those numbers. (I added both numbers and then divided by 2, for those not mathematically inclined).
Let’s just say…
Monday and Thursday of Week 1 your average is 175.4
Monday and Thursday of Week 2 your average is 174.2
Your loss was 1.2lbs last week.
THAT IS EVIDENCE that you are losing body fat.
Long-term changes give us even more information.
Even with outliers in your weigh-ins, you should still be on track.
Monday – 170.6 Thursday – 171.2 Average – 170.9 Change = N/A
Monday – 169.2 Thursday – 172.1 Average – 170.6 Change = – 0.3
Monday – 168.4 Thursday – 168.6 Average – 168.5 Change = – 2.1
Monday – 167.4 Thursday – 167.6 Average – 167.5 Change = – 1.0
Total Lost = 3.4lbs
Divided by 3 weeks of loss give us –
Average weekly weight loss = 1.1 lbs
I’m looking at the changes to the weekly averages, and even with a couple of high weigh-ins, and seemingly little weight loss in Week 2, we’re actually still on track.
This is how real-life transformations and serious weight loss looks.
Assuming you’re doing some smart, effective, resistance training and consuming a high-protein diet – MOST of this will be body fat…
Aim to lose 0.5% – 1% of your total body weight per week, for safe, effective, and motivating, fat loss.
If you didn’t lose any weight
..or even gained weight – keep doing what you’re doing, while focusing on your consistency for the coming week.
If your consistency is 75-80% or better for your nutrition/training plan, and you STILL didn’t see a change, it’s time to make some adjustments.
Your options are:
Drive up consistency over everything else, and monitor for changes.
Reduce your energy intake, and/or increase your energy output, and monitor for 1-2 weeks for changes.
Take your progress into your own hands.
It might be time for you to get serious about your results.
Looking at weekly weight averages gives you the truth, and nothing but the truth.
Without some kind of bearings, we’re just throwing darts in the dark.
If you’re capable of handling the great power and responsibility given to you by the truth – I recommend you check out your trends and see if you’re on the right track.