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1. The Scale – First of all, let’s talk about the scale and body composition. When we talk about body composition we’re not just talking about scale weight because when we talk about stepping on the scale, we’re talking about losing weight. That weight could be water, muscle, fluids, electrolytes, fat, or a variety of other things. For example, you could go on a consistent rapid fat loss plan for about 6-8 weeks straight and it’s very likely you’re going to gain a lot of muscle when you initially start if you’re exercising properly. Let’s say after 6 weeks you gain about 7 pounds of muscle, which is very realistic for someone who’s just getting started. During that same time, let’s say you lost about 12 pounds of fat, but you step on the scale and it only shows you lost a net of 5 pounds (+7 pounds of muscle -12 pounds of fat). I don’t know about you, but if I consistently busted my ass for 6-8 weeks straight and only lost 5 pounds of fat I’d be awfully frustrated. If you look at this, you actually lost over double that (12 pounds of fat). What would typically happen is you’d get frustrated, fall off track and then you say, “screw it.” This is just one of the many ways the scale can mislead you.
It also has a lot to do with water retention and how our body deals with water and fluids. For example, for every 1 gram of carb you consume, your body holds almost 3 grams of water. So let’s say you weigh yourself the day after a cheat day, you’re 3 or 4 pounds heavier and now you’re saying, “I don’t want to do a cheat day because every time I do it I gain 3 or 4 pounds.” What you need to realize is that those pounds are not fat weight; it’s just water weight. All you have to do is increase or double your water intake that day and a couple days later you’ll probably 1 or 2 pounds lighter than you were before the cheat day because it’s all water retention.