Why the Scale is the WORST Way to Measure Your Progress

Updated: May 27, 2020

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I hate the scale. On it's own, I think it's a rather useless measurement. Much like only using BMI to determine your health and wellness, the scale doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't even tell a fraction of the story! But unfortunately, it's the go-to for many. When measuring your progress, most people automatically default to one thing without any thought of (much better) alternatives - the scale.

Today I'm sharing with you the details of why measuring your percent body fat is better than weighing yourself AND the best ways to get this test done!

Bye-bye scales!!

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My original 21 Day IF Challenge results! Decreased body fat percentage (NOT necessarily weight!)

What is body fat percentage?

Body fat percentage divides the pounds of fat in your body by the total weight of your body. It determines how much of your total weight is coming from body fat.

What is the scale measuring?

The scale ONLY measures your total weight. It doesn't account for lean muscle mass, body fat, skeletal mass, organs, water retention, etc. JUST your total weight.

Why is body fat percentage better?

With traditional weight loss methods such as calorie restriction, it's main focus is weight loss, NOT fat loss. That means in theory you could lose 10 pounds worth of muscle and that's considered a win because you lost a total of 10 pounds off of the scale. In fact, with traditional calorie restriction, muscle loss is often inevitable because you aren't consuming the energy you need in order to maintain your muscles. On the other hand, with Intermittent Fasting and proper Nutrient Timing, you're able to naturally increase your fat burning mechanisms such as growth hormone and reduce storing mechanisms such as insulin so that you can tap into fat burning while ALSO maintaining muscle mass! Pretty cool, huh? 🤓

And as #AENpeeps, you know that we want lean muscle. That's what makes us toned and strong! Instead of focusing solely on weight loss (which includes muscle loss), we want to specifically focus our attentions on reducing body fat percentage, without losing muscle mass.

With increased fat burning and improved muscle repair systems that you can get with IF and proper Nutrient Timing, you can lose fat while also gaining/maintaining muscle! This means that it's completely possible to lose fat while gaining weight (and having it be a GOOD thing!). Not sure how this works? Check out my own personal example below.

How does this work in real life?

Here's a recent example from my own body fat percentage. I recently participated in The Impromptu Intermittent Fasting Challenge with the AEN peeps. I measured my body fat, weight and muscle mass prior to the Challenge (see below). I then measured myself 2.5 weeks later (the following photo).

What you'll see is that my body fat percentage went down by .3% which is EXACTLY what we're aiming for when losing weight! BUT something else to note is that my starting weight was 120.7lbs then it went UP to 121.3lbs. Why did it go up even though I lost body fat percentage?! Because with Intermittent Fasting, you aren't just losing body fat, you're also gaining muscle which can lead to a net zero weight loss or even weight gain (as in my case). That means you can gain weight while losing fat AND improving your body composition ALL AT THE SAME TIME!🤯

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