Archive for the tag - scale

Started Exercise and Gaining Weight.

Dear Davey,

Five weeks ago I decided I need to change my life, and I started to do cardio and strength training.

I’m working out at least 6 days a week. I’m obese but I’m making progress and can lift much more weight than before. Every day I like to challenge myself physically and I’ve finally made it up to 25 minutes on the elliptical. My diet is not perfect, but I’ve been eating a lot healthier than before I started working out. Instead of eating one big meal a day, I now eat many small meals.

Everyone I speak to says I shouldn’t judge my progress by the number on the scale - however, it’s very discouraging to know that I have gained 3 lbs since starting 5 weeks ago. Because I’m so overweight, the number on the scale is such a huge issue for me. It has become an obsession! I think I’m starting to see a very slight change in the way my shirts fit - but I feel like I’m only going to be convinced that my hard work is paying off by seeing the number on the scale drop.

Is it normal to gain weight when exercising and how long you think it will be before I see the number on the scale start to drop?

Thank you,

Dear Christine,

Congratulations on being so motivated to transform your body and your life! It’s always an inspiration to hear stories like yours.

First of all, I’d recommend re-evaluating your gym commitment of “at least” six days a week. It’s not realistic - and more importantly, not sustainable - for an exercise beginner to commit to six days at the gym. And secretly, I’m sure you understand that this is true as I can already hear the frustration in your words. It’s been five weeks and you’re not satisfied with the results. This is the point at which many people experience burnout and ask themselves, “Why bother?”

By simply your workout routine down to three days a week, it will be much easier to make exercise a lasting part of your lifestyle. And that’s really what it’s all about. Three days a week is sustainable and it will yield fantastic results, especially for a beginner in your situation. And, over time, you can gradually increase that commitment.

Now let’s talk about the weight gain.

Don’t panic. Gaining weight when starting to exercise is very common. The first step is to determine if you’re gaining fat or muscle.

Since muscle is more dense than fat, it’s possible that you’re losing fat but gaining muscle. You said that you’re able to lift more weight than before, and so undoubtedly you’re adding muscle to your frame. To determine if your weight gain is fat or muscle, have a body fat test completed at your gym. In another 4 or 6 weeks, take another test and compare the results. If that’s not an option, you can always measure different parts of your body and record it in a journal. Every few weeks, repeat this process. If you notice that you’re losing inches but still gaining weight (or even staying at the same weight), you can know that your weight gain is muscle - and that you’re still losing fat.

You also may be gaining weight if you’re eating too many calories. I would encourage you to keep track of the calories that you consume. Use this formula to calculate your caloric requirement, and make sure that your meals are within that amount. As a person that has gone from one meal a day to several smaller meals (which is definitely smarter!), it may be that you’re overestimating your servings.

Certain medications or conditions also make losing weight more difficult - so it’s also worth touching base with your doctor.

And, at the end of the day, don’t give the scale more power than it deserves. It’s just one tool in a toolbox of many - and it’s far from the best way to measure your results. Congratulations again on your commitment, and I look forward to your progress! Keep us updated!


P.S. If you have a question for Davey, ask it! And for more information about losing weight, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Scales Don’t Measure Beauty.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of scales. Even in measuring fitness progress, scales are very limited at best.

But many people get on scales for other reasons. They get on a scale in search of validation.

When a blog buddy sent the following story to me, I knew that I had to share it with you:

You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance.

Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.

It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!

I’ve never heard it said better.

New Study: Don’t Measure Health by Pounds.

Scales are overrated.

When it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle, many people turn to the almighty scale as a way of measuring their progress.

A new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found that people who improve or maintain their fitness levels reduce their risk of mortality, regardless of changes in their weight. In other words, the scale isn’t a good indicator of improvements in the body’s health.

The study involved 14,345 adult men and concluded that improved fitness levels are associated with longevity - even after controlling Body Mass Index (BMI) changes. BMI is an index used to classify individuals as underweight, overweight, etc.

Indeed, thin isn’t a necessarily good indicator of health. You’ve probably heard the term skinny-fat used to describe individuals who are thin - but totally unhealthy. These individuals, despite being skinny, often have poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. According to this new study, it’s healthier to be overweight and fit than skinny and unfit.

All of this considered, scales are one of the poorest measures of health progress. For a lot of people, getting healthier means building muscle and shedding fat; this can result in a net gain of body weight due to the density of muscle mass. In these instances, a tape measure is a better indicator (i.e., shrinking waistline and expanding muscles). I also encourage clients to think outside the scale and pay attention to the more subtle indicators - like no longer being winded when climbing the stairs. Or clothes fitting differently. These clues are more accurate than the scale alone.

The bottom line: While losing weight is an important goal, know that weight isn’t necessarily the best indicator of your body’s improved health. And even if you struggle to drop the pounds, know that your body is still reaping the benefits of a more active lifestyle.

Also, there are only a few days left to use discount code “youtube” and save 25% off The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. It’s been my most successful product launch ever - and I’ve been getting tons of great feedback. Snag your copy today before the discount ends!

How Much Weight Can You Lose Per Week?

I get a lot of questions about weight loss - and more specifically, about how much weight a person can (safely) lose per week.

The general recommendation is that you can lose up to 1% of your weight per week. So, if you’re 200 lbs, then that’s 2 pounds the first week. Note that as you release weight, the per week amount changes. If you’re down to 150 lbs, then you wouldn’t want to release more than a pound and a half per week. Following this guideline, most of us wouldn’t want to lose more than a few pounds per week.

The recommend amount may sound low, but remember that losing weight slowly is more sustainable. In addition, in minimizes the sometimes harmful effects of rapid weight loss like loose skin.

But remember - losing weight is one thing, and losing fat is another. Fat is just part of our body’s variable weight. On top of our skeletons are layers of muscle, too. And our bodies contain a tremendous amount of water weight. Losing weight doesn’t tell the whole story.

For example, a dehydrated person will weigh less than when they are hydrated. But obviously, that’s not a good thing. And a person that is exercising and lifting weights may actually gain weight - though the weight gain is good, and the result of increased muscle mass. Clearly, weight is fairly limited as an indicator of body fat or as a measure of overall health.

Moving beyond the scale, I recommend using alternatives like inches lost (from the waist), inches gained (from the biceps, chest, etc.), increases in energy, health changes, body fat percentages and more.

8 Ways to Think Beyond the Scale.

Taking a picture of yourself - and comparing it to another down the road - is just one way to think beyond the scale. (And yes, I got this from

When it comes to measuring progress at the gym, many of us hop on a scale.

If we’ve lost a pound, we rejoice. If we’ve gained a pound, we repent. Indeed, measuring our progress by the scale is one dimension of fitness success, but it’s not the only method of measurement. And it’s not always the most accurate. A scale doesn’t tell the full story.

Consider, for example, a 200 pound man looking to lean up and increase the size of his muscles. After months of working out, he may be discouraged to discover that he’s actually gained weight. But in actuality he’s deceased the amount of fat on his body and packed on some muscle. Muscle is heavy, and the scale won’t tell the story of his body’s transformation.

So, here are a few tips for measuring your success beyond the scale:

  1. Inches. Buy a cloth ruler and measure the girth of those areas that you’re looking to increase/decrease. For our above example, it’s likely that the man’s waistline has decreased - while his chest and biceps have increased.
  2. Body fat percentages. As you exercise, the composition of your body changes. Weight may stay the same - or even increase - but by testing body fat percentages, you should get deeper insight into what’s really happening.
  3. Before and after pictures. Take a picture of yourself in your undies - and store it in a safe place. Compare it to another picture in a few months or a year. See what has changed.
  4. How your clothes fit. As our bodies change, our clothes fit differently. Our pants might become looser, or our shirts tighter in certain areas. This is a very informal but effective way to stay tuned in to your transformations.
  5. Physical activity. Maybe you take the stairs and notice that you’re not winded like usual. This is a valuable indicator of success worth noting - and celebrating!
  6. How you feel. Perhaps you’re usually tired in the afternoons, but now feel energized and enthusiastic. Maybe you’re sleeping better at night. These, too, are measures of success.
  7. Strength. Maybe you’re lifting more weight today than six months ago. Strength is important, and an indicator of progression. I always recommend using a fitness journal to keep track of your progress.
  8. Health. Sure, the physical changes are important - but they pale in comparison to the health benefits of exercise. A friend of mine cured her diabetes through effective diet and exercise. That’s a huge victory, and definitely a measure of success! Compare blood pressure, heart rate and any other number of variables to any changes over time.

And if you do use a scale - it’s not necessarily a bad thing - remember to:

  • Weigh yourself on the same day (i.e., Monday),
  • At the same time (i.e., at 7:00 AM),
  • Under the same circumstances,
  • Fully naked,
  • While being mindful of a scale’s limitations; keep it in perspective.

The bottom line: The scale is just one way to measure your success. Don’t get too caught up on it; use the tips above to help paint a more complete picture of your transformation.

Exposed: How Long Does it Take to Get Results from Working Out?

Dear Davey,

How long should it take to see results from working out? I’m relatively new to the exercise game. I’ve been doing resistance training and cardio for about 4 weeks. Thanks for any advice you have.

Impatient in Iowa

Thanks for such a great question!

First, Mr. Iowa, we have to define results. Your “results” are likely different from the next person, and obviously it is all dependent on your fitness goals. Some people exercise for weight loss while others are looking for (if you can believe it) weight gain. Some want bigger muscles and others want improved energy or endurance.

Second, we have to determine the best way to measure those results. Here are just a handful of ideas:

  • How your clothes fit
  • Tape measure
  • Body fat percent
  • Cholesterol
  • Improved level of activity (don’t get winded as easily, can lift more weight around the house, etc.)
  • Scale
  • Sleep (if you’re sleeping through the night)

Obviously, there are a number of methods to measure your results and these methods will be dependent on your goals. If your goals are building muscle mass and increasing strength, for example, then I’d recommend a tape measure as your method (this is much better than weighing yourself). On a biweekly basis, you can measure the width of the muscles that you are trying to build and track the results.

Third, consider diet. Does your diet support the results you are looking to achieve? If you are looking to build muscle, are you taking in the right amount of protein? If you are looking to drop a few pounds, does your diet support a calorie deficit? A lot of people have great fitness goals that they are working towards in the gym - but then they ignore those goals when it comes to food. It’s like trying to swim upstream. On the flip side, if your diet supports the change that you are looking to produce, your results will be expedited.

Fourth, we need to factor in the amount of time and energy you’re spending exercising. Obviously, someone who is working out intensely 5 days a week is going to see results faster than someone that is spending 20 minutes a week working out. Not surprisingly, there is a positive correlation between effort and results. If you are working out less frequently - this isn’t necessarily a bad thing - then just know that your time line will be extended.

Having said all of that, most beginners will start to see results in one way, shape, or form after the first 6 to 8 weeks of exercise. Of course, different muscles build at different rates - and so larger arms will be noticeable before, say, more developed abdominal muscles (abs build very slowly). Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. And your results won’t happen overnight. Moreover, many of the changes are so slow, they’re hard to track with the naked eye. Be sure to measure with something a little more objective than your bathroom mirror.

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s important to recognize that exercise isn’t about setting a goal, measuring against it, achieving it and stopping. It’s about making exercise a regular, sustainable and integral part of your life.

If you’re looking to get started (or change things up), my Total Body Assault program is a great way to start. For a limited time, use promo code “results” to save 25%.