Recently I did a body scan and thought I would show you some of the results to help further explain why scale weight isn't the most useful measure of progress.
Please note that weight loss has nothing to do with my goals, they are currently more based around strength gains and body composition changes. Also, please don't get stuck on the numbers or compare - I have shared these merely as data, let's use it as that.
The results I am sharing show the difference between my most recent scan (beginning of April) and the changes that have occurred since my closest previous scan (22 January 2022), as well as my very first scan (28 January 2020).
The information I will be referring to, will be the comparison between the two most recent scans.
Firstly, let's look at what has happened to my weight - there has been a very minor decrease of 0.7kg.
Most of us rationally know that this amount doesn't mean much - time of day, hydration levels and food could all have affected this - yet, we can give the number shown on the scale so much power. I know at points of my life, it certainly had the potential to alter my day for better or worse.
As I said above, weight loss is certainly not my goal so this section of results wasn't of huge interest to me. What we can see here is that my weight has remained pretty much the same since January.
The next two sections are where it gets a little more interesting.....
This was the bit that I found the most difficult - I had lost some hard earned muscle!
According to my scan results, I've lost 0.7kg of skeletal muscle since January, most certainly not what I wanted to see.
Skeletal muscle consists of all the muscles attached to your bones, essentially the muscles you use to move and exercise.
So, so far we've had a scale weight loss of 0.7kg and a skeletal muscle mass loss of 0.7kg - that must be the end of it, right?
As you can see here, I've also gained 0.5kg of fat mass.
Now, for me this isn't a bad thing. I'm still building up from years of being at a very unhealthy weight and this number is still quite low.
Nevertheless, this result adds to the picture I'm painting. A loss in muscle and a gain in fat mass aren't the most ideal of scenarios!
You will also notice that the numbers now don't quite balance out - a muscle loss of 0.7kg and a fat gain of 0.5kg would make my weight loss 0.2kg, not the 0.7kg stated above? Proof that there are so many things that can affect your scale weight!
Here is another piece of the puzzle...At the time of the scan, I wasn't quite as hydrated as I was in the January scan.
Even if everything else had stayed the same and the only change was the amount of fluid in my body, my scale weight would alter.
This is one of many reasons why we shouldn't get hung up on the number! Scale weight can be affected by SO many things - for more information on scale weight, take a look at THIS previous blog post.
Some of you may be wondering 'why has this happened?' I have a few thoughts as to why my results are the way they are.
The last couple of months have been a little rough for a few reasons, sickness being one of them. Although I have continued to train, I haven't been able to (or wanted to for that matter!) train with the intensity that I have been used to. This of course means that I haven't been pushing my body as hard, so it hasn't been forced to adapt and get stronger.
The other reason is that I haven't been fuelling myself sufficiently. This hasn't been intentional, purely related to sickness. Underfuelling can inhibit your progress by causing a loss of muscle mass while increasing body fat. Not to mention leave you feeling lethargic and unable to work to your maximum - whether that's in the gym or life in general!
***Please note these are just my suspicions regarding my own particular situation and results, I am by no means a professional!***
What will I do now? Nothing drastic!
My plan includes getting back on top of my nutrition and listening to my body a little better - this means resting when needed as well as knowing when to push a little harder!
I know with a bit of care and consistency I can get back on track and start to see the results I'm looking for. I will probably do another scan in 3 months time to see what kind of progress is being made.
An Evolt Body Scan provides a quick, non invasive, easy measurement of your body composition. It delivers a guideline of your lean body mass, body fat mass and percentage, skeletal muscle mass, visceral fat level, fitness age, fitness score plus much more. It all takes less than 5 minutes and you only have to remove your shoes and socks!
***A scan should ONLY ever be used to collect data for goal setting, planning and progression. It is NOT the be all and end all for proving to yourself that you’ve made progress.
Your intuition, physical observations and overall sense of wellbeing should be the indicator that your hard work has been paying off! Don’t let a set of numbers on an analysis determine your perspective of yourself - allow them to simply provide more awareness and understanding on your journey to better health.***
We are lucky enough to have an Evolt Body Scanner at Four Peak Fitness!
If you are interested in having a scan done, please contact me by email - firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to help you out.