Muscle matters        

You've ramped up your exercise with some resistance training, and you're feeling great - that is until you step onto the scales. It's frustrating watching the numbers climb or remain stubbornly unmoving even though you've been exercising more. So why does it happen? Strengthen muscle tissue and you create tears in the muscle fibre that your body repairs making the muscle stronger and a little bigger, explains King. "When you exercise your fat cells get smaller as you burn up more energy but your muscle tissue gets denser and heavier, resulting in little movement on the scales," she says.

Description: Muscle matters

Muscle matters

Be patient and wait it out. "Exercise is such an important part of long term weight loss – building up your muscle mass helps to burn up to five times more calories than fat mass," says King. As your body shape changes your clothes will fit you better. And before long that gorgeous dress you've been dying to wear will shimmy right over your newly sculpted body.

Being a slave to the scales

For some people, scales can be a double-edged sword. On the upside, research shows those who are a healthy body weight usually do weigh themselves regularly, according to Lisa Renn, an accredited dietitian. "But there are also those who jump on the scales every single day and if their weight has gone up, it sets the mood for their day and they feel like a failure," she says.

Description:  Don't be a Slave to the Scale

 Don't be a Slave to the Scale

Andrea Poole, manager of Fitness Matters in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, agrees. "People certainly can become obsessed by the numbers," she says. "If you're determined to stand on the scales then do so no more than once a week - that way if the numbers are slowly climbing you can look at your diet or increase your exercise accordingly."

When you step on the scales each week, weigh yourself at the same time of day. Not after you've eaten a huge meal - you'll weigh more because of the actual weight of the food you've eaten. And avoid jumping on the scales directly after you do aerobic exercise - you won't get a true reading. "Some might find they get increased numbers on the scales, others an immediate decrease which will creep back after a drink of water," says Poole.

Measuring your success!

If you are doing all the right thing, eating well and leading an active and healthy lifestyle, a small blip on the scales is nothing to beat yourself up about. The reality is scales aren't always the best measure of your success if you are trying to lose weight. Noting down your measurements each month (especially your waist circumference), and looking at the way your clothes fit and eel are far better indicators. Look at your body in the mirror, do your muscles look more toned? Does your face look thinner?        re your arms firmer? Compare photographs from the start of your weight loss journey to where you are now. Have friends been commenting on how fabulous you look?

If you do find yourself constantly wanting t take a peek at your weight, be brave, tough it out and step away from the scales - you'll feel better for it.

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