Gauging fat-loss progress is always a touchy subject, and for good reason. How you choose to gauge your progress determines how you're going to treat yourself, and whether you're going to be happy or sad about the changes to your body.
Here's how we look at it:
Scale weight equals calories consumed
- Body-fat percentage equals the quality of food
- We know exactly what the scale means. Barring terrible hormonal issues or metabolic syndromes—for which you need to see a doctor—if the scale is too high, you're eating too much.
- Here's where this starts to get fuzzy: Most women assume the scale is too high when it isn't. A woman who strength trains will probably be about 4.5kg heavier on the scale than she looks.
- All her friends will think she's 53.5 kg, when really she's 58.5 kg.
THE REALITY BODY-FAT SCALE
- Truth be told, most people never feel "perfect" no matter how lean they get.
- Body-fat percentage is an awesome way to know you're lean enough and can move on to other things.
Scale of Body-Fat for Women and Men
- Women 30% - Men 22% body fat: There's something to fix. For your health and for how you want to look, you really want to get leaner than 30%/22%.
- Women 26% - Men 17% body fat: You're totally healthy. Even though TV tells us a human who's at 26%/17% body-fat is average, the reality is most of population isn't healthy or average, and you're actually ahead of 80% of the population.
- Women 23% - Men 14% body fat: You're really in shape now. You're officially a "workout" person and you're ahead of 90 percent of the population. You're fit and lean, and there's nothing left to fix. Depending on your body type, you may find you're totally done at 23%/14%.
- Women 21% - Men 12% body fat: You're super-hot. You look great in clothes, you can wear whatever you want, and you should feel great wearing a swimsuit.
- Women 19% - 9% body fat: You're a rock star. You look amazing in clothes; you can wear whatever you want. You Win!