What do we do With the Scales?
Your Scales will Tell you Nothing About your Health
Standing on the bathroom scales in the morning can make or break your day. An added pound will make you unhappy, but if you find you’ve dropped a few pounds you’ll be walking on sunshine for the rest of the day. But why do we let our moods be governed by a measuring instrument? The scales really do not tell you the full story about your health. I’ll explain what I mean.
What is a Healthy Weight?
Many people weigh themselves because they want to attain a healthy weight. Standing on the scales regularly gives most of us some impression that we are in control of our health, our weight, or our lives. But is this actually making you happier? This is a difficult question to answer, of course, but you can certainly ask yourself what exactly makes a healthy weight. Your weight is determined by a combination of muscle mass, fat, bones, organs, and fluid (remember that we are 70% water!) By attaching one number to all of these things, you actually don’t learn very much about your body. You might have a lot of muscle mass and weigh the same as someone who has a lot of fat on their body. One is the result of a lot of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, and another is not. The bathroom scales can never show you that difference.
Fitness and Vitality
I spent many years watching my weight yo-yo, increasing and decreasing for reasons I could not be sure of. Every day I stood on the scales, but it didn’t make me any healthier. This was until I discovered the power of healthy eating; that through a few changes to my diet, and daily use of supplements, I could permanently improve my health. Back then, I lost 6 kilograms over 12 weeks in a healthy way, a way that would not see me put this weight back on. Now I have maintained my current weight for the last 11 years (a variance of 2 kilograms here or there is not a problem) and my body’s age is 15 years below my actual age. I feel more energetic than ever. Because of this experience, I established the Eat Wright Plan in 2010, a healthy-eating programme that, over a short time period, will push your body to be the healthiest it can be. You will lose weight, but in a pure and healthy way.
How do you Know Whether you are Fit?
With the Eat Wright Plan you will use the bathroom scales, particularly at the beginning because seeing such positive results quickly will motivate you to keep going. I actually attach a lot more importance, however, to the Tanita Body Scan to determine whether someone’s weight is healthy or not.
What does the Tanita Body Scan Measure?
- Fat Percentage: A healthy fat percentage for women is around 30%, while for men it is closer to 18%. This is, of course, dependent on age.
- Visceral Fat: This is the fat found around and in between your organs, and is the most dangerous. You need fat to protect your organs but visceral fat should not be too high. For women it should lie between 4 and 6 , with a maximum of 7, while for men it should sit between 6 and 8, with a maximum of 9. If your number is above these, there exists a higher chance that you could suffer from health problems.
- Muscle Mass: By exercising more and getting yourself moving you will lose body fat and gain muscle mass. Muscles burn a lot of calories and ensure a good metabolism.
- Hydration Percentage: On the Eat Wright Plan you will drink quite a lot. This is great for the metabolism and processing of waste that your body doesn’t want. We will ensure that the moisture in your body is maintained at the perfect level.
- Metabolic Age, or “Health Age”: If this age is higher than your calendar age then this will show you that there is a lot to be gained by embarking on the programme. Health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes 2 can be prevented.
- Body Mass Index (BMI): This number shows us something about whether you are underweight, a normal weight, overweight, or obese. I attach no importance to BMI because all it measures is the relationship between your height and your weight. A bodybuilder would have a very high BMI, for example, because of their training regime, but this would be perfectly healthy (with the majority of the weight residing in muscle mass).
An Example in Practice
Because the numbers can make all this a little bit clearer, I will give you an example of someone I measured with the Tanita Body Scan. A 29 year-old man came to see me a while ago. His total body weight was 114 kg, his fat percentage was 42% (with a measure of 15 for his visceral fat) and his ((body age)) was 44. He was clinically obese and felt deeply unhappy about his body. After 6 months on the Eat Wright Plan his numbers had changed completely. He dropped his total body weight to 84 kg, his body fat percentage to 16% (with a measure of 5 for his visceral fat) and his ((body age)) dropped to 29 – exactly where he should have been. He once again had a sharply defined jaw instead of a double chin, and he was stunned that he could feel his bones again! In 6 months he effectively became 15 years younger, and had lost the equivalent of 104 packs of butter.
But men lose weight so much quicker than women do, you might argue. So let’s look at an example of a lady aged 62, the age at which a lot of women have perhaps given up on the struggle for a healthy weight. The lady in question began the Eat Wright Plan because she didn’t feel fit (even though she was a P.E. Teacher) and because she had a lot of stomach problems. She weighed 76.2 kilograms, had a fat percentage of 30.5% (with visceral fat at a 9) and her body age was 67. After three months she weighed only 65 kilograms and had a fat percentage of 20% (with visceral fat down to 7). Her body age dramatically dropped to 47! In just three months she was 20 years younger and had dumped the equivalent of 40 packs of butter.
Bursting with Energy!
So, you might ask yourself: what do the bathroom scales mean to me? Is there any point in weighing yourself day in day out, or might those scales serve you better tucked away at the back of a cupboard, only for occasional use? To avoid the lure of the bathroom scales, I suggest using the trouser method. Choose one pair of trousers as a reference point. When you put them on you will know straight away whether you have lost weight or gained weight. More importantly than this, and of equal importance to the body scan, is whether you feel energetic or not. Do you tire quickly or do you often not feel like doing anything? Then it seems to me that you are not at optimal health. On the other hand, if you are bursting with energy from morning to evening then you are probably pretty healthy. Your energy levels tell you a great deal about the state of your body. In an ideal world, you will combine all of these measures to get a complete picture of your health.
Want to Find Out how to be Healthier, Look Younger, and Stay Slim?
After reading this you might have become curious to find out what your metabolic age, fat percentage, or visceral fat percentage are…
If you want to find out more, I would love to see you at one of my events on Wednesday 16 January at 19.30, on Tuesday 22 January at 10.00, or 19.30. I will give you advice on what you can do to change your lifestyle forever by eating delicious wholesome foods. You will be able to have a body scan (usually valued at £15) and a measurement of blood pressure and PH level. Nibbles and drinks are included. Spaces are limited. The cost is £10.
To book, call me on 07752 420005 or send me an email.
To better health,