Is the scale weight more important or the way my clothing fits?
I hear the question all the time. Clients wanting to know which is more important, scale weight or the inches around their midsection. The answer is simple, but apparently not that obvious to most people.
I am a strong believer in the need to train with weights no matter what your fitness goals. Most people want to “lose weight” or “cut fat” and weight training assists with both goals. By adding muscle to your frame you are adding metabolic tissue that will help burn fat and take the weight off. The issue is that muscles weigh more than fat. Thus, as you are dropping fat and adding muscle you are likely to see an increase on the scale. This scares some people because they see the scale weight going up.
The true test of your success is how your clothing fits. What does the tape measure say? If you are losing inches then you are heading in the right direction. The tighter you get the less fat you are carrying around. It is natural to worry because the scale weight is increasing, but ignore that issue.
As an example, I point to myself. In September 2011 I weighed 240 lbs. and was 30% body fat. That means I had 168 lbs. of lean body mass on me. In September 2013 I weighed 255 lbs. and was 15% body fat. That means I had 217 lbs. of lean body mass. That is a 49 lb. increase in lean body mass. The scale went up 15 lbs. yet I am in much better shape. My clothing fits better. I feel better.
Pay attention to the inches and not the scale weight and you will be feeling great.