keto · ketogenic · ketogenic diet · LCHF

Scale Or Measuring Tape? What Are You Losing?

This is the one problem I believe many keto-ers focus too much on; weight.  I get it, we’ve been told for years to weigh yourself and that stupid number controls (at times) how we behave and feel about ourselves.  If we lose 5 lbs and 3 inches, we feel lighter and much better.  Yet, if we don’t lose or even gain 1 lb and still lose 3 inches, somehow we’ve STILL failed.  What is this madness??  How did we become so focused on a set of numbers that inevitably WON’T make us happy.  It’s quite sad and frankly, I’m really sick of seeing people freakout that they aren’t losing weight, yet appear much healthier than they did last month.

With keto fat loss, exercising is a definite plus.
During my first month of doing keto in the summer of 2014, aside from reaching my goal of no migraines, I indeed saw the scale drop by 10 lbs.  I knew that this was a possibility, and although my brain was my main focus, it was quite pleasant to see this happening. One month later, 10 more lbs.  Down 20 lbs in two months!  Woohoo!  My body was doing the standard 2.5 lbs per week to perfection!  And I loved it.  And oh yeah, no migraines.  I was like living in some alternate universe where my body did what it was suppose to do when I put effort in!

Here I sit, 2 years and 7 months later, 7 months post partum from having our 5th child and yes, I’m back to that same weight I began keto at.  I’m not frustrated or angry as I know that eventually I will WORK it off with carefully managing my keto & working out.  No, I don’t focus on the darn scale as it would make me nuts!  As a wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

What I believe a lot of new keto-ers really need to come to grips with is that those “whoosh” weight loss times, they most likely are NOT fat loss if you lose 5+ in a week.  That’s not fat, honey, that’s more like water weight or even gluconeogenesis; aka, muscle loss if you’re not keto adapted.  I know, by saying this I’ve made a few upset by stating these facts, but the point is to educate those that disagree to researching as much about keto as possible.  Mind you, I’m totally not talking to veteran keto-ers who are keto adapted and intermittent fasting.  I’m talking to those who are a few weeks to a few months in who are losing “weight” at an obscenely fast pace.

This is NOT me, just an example of fitness vs. weight
I guess the obvious question now arises to the reader, “What do I do to account for my changing body?” and my answer would be measuring. Measuring your inches once a month, or even every 2 weeks, will give you a MUCH better gauge into how well you’re doing in keto.  Is it perfect? Nope!  Unless you can get a DEXA body fat scan once a month, then no, you won’t know for sure exactly how much body fat you’re losing. And no, I don’t believe those electric scales that one stands on are remotely close to reality. If they were, lol they’d cost a lot more than $100!

The reason why I’m posting this subject today is because I see so much frustration in our ketogenic community about what their scale says.  People lose 7 lbs one week, then are crying because they gained 4 lbs back in one day.  Tell me that it’s not water loss again! They weigh themselves daily thinking, hoping that it will keep going down and that it’s all fat. Folks, back away from the scale.  Don’t look at it or if you must, put it in a closet and keep your focus off of it!  Make a special day, like the 1st of the month, to take it out and weigh yourself.  If you can’t do that, then only weigh yourself on Sunday’s or something. That number is only going to keep stressing you out unnecessarily.

Using a measuring tape is MUCH better and will give you stats that your clothes will agree with.  In my case, my inches continue to slowly go down, but my weight is all over the place because I’m working out.  It might be frustrating, but I’ve done this long enough that I know to that my measurements are a far greater indicator of my current situation. For the reader, the measuring tape will work very much the same and won’t go up and down on a daily (or even hourly, ahem!) basis.  A measurement done once a month is fantastic and you’ll be far happier and less stressed if you take your focus off of your weight.

And yes, I DID get a DEXA scan in the beginning of January.  Will I share the results one day?  Maybe…


6 thoughts on “Scale Or Measuring Tape? What Are You Losing?

  1. I did keto back in 2009 and it worked wonders, but it was difficult and I was college poor, so all I ate was canned tuna, cheese, and celery. But, I lost 30 lbs. Then started dating my boyfriend and over the last 6 years gained it back and then some. But I remember it was like POW, fast. I’ve been doing it for a few days and just watching the scale, and quite frankly it is damn disappointing. Might want to break out the measuring tape, for sure. The scale is not being nice. But I’m eating a lot better than last time — so much kale.

    Best wishes on your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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