This blog came from a recent conversation with a client, who had be doing great with their training and nutrition but wanted more feedback as to WHY things weren't moving faster..... Enjoy!
We've all had a moment as a kid where we were given our report card.
Or even worse, it was mailed home so you couldn't see it before your parents.
When you open that report card you were going to see your grades, the result of a semester or marking period of hard work and study.
For the most part, the grades you received were a direct reflection of the work you put in.
The more you studied, asked questions, did your homework etc. the better your grades.
If you were slacking off, handing in incomplete assignments, and skipping class it made sense that your grades would be lower to reflect that.
And if things went really bad, you got an "F" and you know you had "failed"
From a young age we're conditioned to look at results in this way.
However when we begin to measure fat loss, it's a HUGE mistake to look at the results of your checkins as a report card.
You can be making it to the gym 3x per week, eating better than you ever have and still come in and not see a result that you think you deserve.
There are hundreds of reasons the scale or even your body composition might not match up with your efforts. Water retention, menstrual cycle, higher salt consumption, or eating a meal later than normal the previous day to name a few.
Or there's also the simple fact that nothing works forever. Eventually you body will adapt even if you ARE doing everything right.
So rather than looking at the results of the measurements as a "Failing Grade" try to look at your checkin points like looking down at your compass if you were on a long trip.
If you were trying to head "North" on a trip and you looked down at your compass and saw you were heading "North West" you wouldn't crank the wheel back as hard as you could to correct the course, right?
You'd make a small adjustment to start heading back to your intended course.
You wouldn't look down and feel like what you were failing, or that you must be doing it all wrong.
The same should go with your body composition readings. Look at the numbers as a compass designed to steer you back on course rather than a report card grading your efforts.
Often fat loss can be put back on track with one simple change...
Muscle dropped a bit... let's add a LITTLE bit more protein to each meal or possibly get back to having one shake a day.
Fat Loss dropped off... let's add ONE metabolic conditioning day.
Weight went up... let's get back to food journaling to make sure we're at 90% compliance.
These are just a few examples.
The MAIN POINT we want to get across is this...
Checking in and measuring progress (bodyfat) is important.
Think of the results as a compass to guide you back on course, not a report card that is judging your efforts and results