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  • Writer's pictureBarbara

What if the scale determines your mood?

Updated: Mar 16

Nothing is more annoying than doing your best to live a healthier life, expect results, step on the scale and.. Nothing. Not an ounce off, or worse, even an ounce added! What a rotten start to your day and how incredibly demotivating. Did you go out of your way for that?

As trainers, we often hear similar scenarios from our customers. And almost everyone who would like to lose some weight, knows that this does not happen by itself. Often there is already an entire process before someone is ready to make lifestyle changes. And when your starting these changes, you obviously would like to see some results!

The influence of the number on your scale on your mood, of course, is in your psyche. That is why it is first of all important to look at what exactly your feelings are based on.

  • For example, do you want to go back to the weight before you had children?

  • Does the opinion of others influence what you think you should weigh?

  • Did you feel better at a certain weight?

  • Is that slim friend of yours a certain weight and is that your goal now?

All of these reasons for achieving a certain weight are based on performance. A goal that focuses on performance is linked to your self-esteem and motivation. For example, it has a motivating effect when you get closer to your goal, but if you don't succeed for a while, it has a very demotivating effect.

performing vs. learning

Instead of choosing a performance as a goal, it appears to be more successful to choose a learning goal. A learning goal has a positive effect on your self-confidence, motivation, perseverance and a greater chance of achieving the desired results in the longer term.

So instead of 'losing x number of kilos in x weeks', your goal then becomes 'I want to take on this new challenge and gain new skills', or 'I want to learn new recipes that will make it easier to maintain my new lifestyle'. These learning goals stem from a desire, such as the desire to get fitter, feel better about yourself, or be slimmer or more muscular.

Long term vision

Performing often involves a full-on, blasting, all-or-nothing mindset. As of today, you will exercise for an hour every day and at the same time impose a restriction on yourself of a maximum of 1500 calories per day. Every day you hope to see the results of this on your scale. And that costs you so much that it is a very difficult task if the desired result is not (immediately) visible. So demotivating! And of course you understand that your above scenario will not last in the long term, the self-flagellation makes it impossible to permanently realize.

Learning, on the other hand, gives space, understanding and time. What works is learning from a drive to teach yourself new habits and have new experiences, based on a desire to become a better and healthier version of yourself.

The results you gradually achieve are much more durable and realistic in the long term and the road towards them is a lot healthier and with less risk of relapse and/or injuries.

So how do you handle the scale then?

Despite all the trends, weight loss can still only be achieved in one way: burning more energy (in the form of calories) than you take in. In other words, creating a calorie deficit over a longer period of time. So ideally you will both adjust your eating pattern and exercise more.

In addition, a scale does not distinguish between fat-free mass, muscle mass, moisture, etc. Unfortunately, this also applies to scales that promise to be able to measure these values. For more information see this blog: ‘Do muscles weigh more than fat?’. But that means that there are more factors of influence when your weight goes up and down than 'just' the decrease or increase in fat mass. Weight loss is rarely linear and can fluctuate unexpectedly from day to day.

And because your muscle mass weighs more than fat mass, a muscular body, which is often considered aesthetically more ideal, can therefore add more kilos on the scale! Then you would see the arrival as very positive!

So don't let your mood depend on a number on the scale!

Work on realistic, long-term learning goals. Determine what important lifestyle changes are based on your desires and take the time to test the intended learning goals for long-term feasibility. A steady growth towards the result that you would like to see is more permanent than the vicious circle of 'all-or-nothing'.

Do you gain weight and do you have the idea that this is not because your muscle mass is increasing? Book a free trial session and talk about it with your trainer. Together you can discuss what could be the cause and how you can change this.

Gaining muscle mass is often an aesthetic goal for many people, but did you know that there are other benefits to it, such as for your metabolism? Read all about this in our blog More muscle mass = higher metabolism .

Would you like the best possible workout, tailored to your body and your goals? Our trainers are specially trained for this and come to your location when it is most suitable for you. This can be at home, or on a location outside, such as during your lunch break at the office or in a park nearby. Our trainers are certified, and speak both English and Dutch. And especially for women we have ‘Ladies Only’. Sports coaching for women, given by women. Also for guidance during a pregnancy or after childbirth.

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