Could not have written this any better, LOVE posts like this! LEGIT INFO.
One thing many people don’t realise is that many factors can influence a person’s weight which do not reflect that person’s body fat. For example, two cups of water weigh one pound. If you tend to retain water or bloat, the scale can easily rise a few pounds without a change in what you have eaten. However, for dieters the effects of water weight can be severe.
Here’s an example of when a pound is NOT a pound:
- You eat an extra dessert over the weekend
- You weigh yourself the following day or day after
- The scale shoots up 5 pounds - and you believe you’ve gained five pounds of fat.
Why is this NOT possible?
- Because you must have eaten a caloric excess of 17,500 calories to gain 5 pounds of fat.
- 3500 EXCESS CALORIES (by excess, we do not include your BMR and daily activity) make up 1 pound of fat.
- It is very very difficult to overeat by this amount, even when splurging.
So why is there this dramatic weight gain?
Water weight. Any time the scale suddenly rises or falls, it is usually because of fluid shift in the body. Eating high-sodium foods can also provoke water retention (not fat retention) in salt-sensitive individuals. Yet how easily chronic dieters believe they did something wrong; they must have single-handedly gobbled five pounds worth of food. No, no no!
Similarly, losing two pounds immediately from an hour or aerobics is not a two-pound fat loss. Rather, it’s mostly water loss from sweat. Jubilant dieters who think they have lost 10 pounds in a week may be in for an unwanted surprise. Whilst it may be true that the scale indicated ten pounds less than when they weighed one week ago, the question is: What KIND of weight did they lose? To lose ten pounds of fat in one week requires an energy deficit of 35,000 calories, or a deficit of 5,000 calories every day! The average woman only eats about 1,500 to 1,600 calories per day. The sad reality is that this person is losing a lot of water weight, usually at the expense of their muscles, due to the process of muscle-wasting. Muscle is made up of mainly water (about 70%)
When a hungry body is not given enough calories, the body cannibalises itself for an energy source. The prime directive of the body is that it must have energy, at any cost - it’s part of the survival mechanism. When a muscle cell is destroyed, water is released and eventually excreted - that’s your precious weight loss. This whittled-away muscle contributes to lowering your metabolism. Muscles are metabolically active tissue - generally the more muscles we have, the more calories we burn. Hence why men burn more calories than women - they have more muscle mass.
Increased muscle mass, while metabolically more active and desireable, weighs more than fat. Muscle also takes up less space than fat. Although beneficial, this often frustrates dieters by the rising, or unchanging scale number. The scale does NOT reflect your body composition. Just like weighing a piece of stake at the butcher’s does not tell you how lean it is.
It’s better off to stay away from the scales for as long as possible and take measurements, or discover your body fat percentage instead and work towards body composition (less fat, lean muscle) goals rather than any kind of weight-loss goal that destroy the integrity of your structure and your well-being, too.
This is fantastic. I’m guessing the reason my abs don’t look as good after I do intense cardio is due to muscle wasting? Perhaps I still need to drink more water? I run everyday and do strength work, I don’t do cardio much anymore because I run so much. Hmm.