Our culture is obsessed with weight. And many people let their morning weigh-in determine how they will feel for the whole day. A number that is different from their expectation can bring a lot of frustration and sometimes even the decision to quit working for their body transformation.
But the truth is that our weight doesn’t tell the story of how healthy we are–it’s just one of many measurements and not even the best.
Success isn’t measured in pounds and the scale can hurt more than it helps.
So, getting defeated by that number on the scale isn’t worth a second of your energy. Especially if you know you are doing the right thing in terms of nutrition and exercise and you also feel and look good.
In this Legendary Life podcast episode, you’ll learn the best ways to tell if your workout and nutrition plan is working and why the number on the scale does not define you or your worth. Listen Now!
- Body Fat Percentage vs. Weight
- How to gain muscle not fat
- Why it’s important to have a Body Fat test
- BMI vs. Body Fat Percentage
- Why getting obsessed on the scale can lead to unhealthy practices
- Why your weight is not your worth
- How to shift your mindset
- The number one key to optimized body and health
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: Why The Scale Sucks (And What To Do Instead) with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: What's up, my friend, my name is Ted Ryce. And today, I'm super excited to share with you this episode, because it's all about why you need to get off this scale, why the scale sucks, why you should stop weighing yourself. And I'm gonna get into the details here. If you feel like Well, I don't know if that's such a good idea. I mean, the scale actually gives me this useful feedback.
So, before we get into that, I just want to say, if you are new to the show, this is all about helping you to lose fat, fight disease, live longer, upgrade your mind and body so that you can level up your life and live the life that you're truly meant to live a legendary life, if you will. So, really excited to talk about this.
And maybe you think that's strange that I'm excited to talk about this, but I think it's a topic that doesn't get talked about enough.
And so before again, before we jump into that, just want to say if this is your first time listening to this show, I also want to recommend that you click the subscribe button on wherever you listen to this if you happen to like this episode.
Obviously, if you don't, don't click the subscribe button. But if you enjoy this content, if you enjoy hearing, the deeper aspects of health, fitness, the science behind it, the mindset, make sure you click that button and subscribe wherever you listen to podcast.
So if you're new to the show, maybe this is your first episode, maybe you've listened to a few episodes. I've been in the health and fitness business for over 20 years. Okay, you don't know about me because I started learning marketing later on in my life.
I work with clients and many of my clients, they arrive with a diet plan in place. Not all of them, some of them aren't doing much.
But usually they have a diet plan in place. They're ready to change long with also a truckload of guilt when they can't stick to their eating goals that are often kind of hard to stick to. And I understand this I I've seen people throughout the years, they'd stay on the every couple of weeks, they fall off the diet wagon and feel like a total failure.
And their whole life was full of attempting to be good with their diet, followed by hunger restriction and the inevitable failure that happens when you can't keep it up. And of course, you start blaming yourself, you say, you know, I need more willpower. I need more motivation. I'm just not motivated. Of course, none of that is true.
The approach that you're taking is just horrible. We'll talk about that in a bit. Especially the approach with your mindset.
And Mondays we're first starting over right oh, well, I was just terrible over the weekend. But it's Monday Let's start over. And also their relationship with exercise was a stop and as stop and start as the diets it's it's always this all or nothing approach, right? It's always all or nothing. And by the way, I want to point this out. Because there's a specific type of person who gets caught in the all or nothing. It's usually people who have high standards, who push themselves hard. Now, maybe you're you have a career, you push yourself hard in your career. Maybe you push yourself hard to take care of your family. But if you're a person who pushes yourself hard, you have high standards and that's why you're never good enough. And that's why it's always all or nothing.
And a lot of people think that this is the path to health. But the truth is, it couldn't be further from the truth. This is not healthy at all. Because health goes beyond your weight, it goes beyond your food choices. It goes beyond what type of exercise you do, it goes deep into who you are, and how you approach things. And whether you're flagellating yourself for a little mess up or just saying, Oh, yeah, I kind of went off there, we got to get back on track. Because if you don't get this, it's not just going to be that your physical health is going to suffer. Your inability to stick to your plan can really cause the sense of self loathing. I've heard clients tell me like, I got other areas of my life handled, I excelled in my career, I worked hard to get where I'm at. But I feel like my lack of success with my health with my weight, it makes me question the other as other successes I've had in my life. And I want to ask you, is that something that resonates with you? Do you feel that you question how good you are, how worthy you are? Do you question your other accomplishments because your quote unquote, lack of success with your health with your weight, because a lot of this, the root of it, for a lot of people has to do with acceptance, and our society can be really rough. Right?
And I know women will are already nodding their heads and like, yeah, exactly the unrealistic body images and all that stuff. And we'll talk about that in a bit. But guys suffer from this as well. So for my women listeners, you might find that interesting, women tend to really be vocal about things, in other words, to share what's on their mind, guys can hold it deep down and solid, and just festers inside, and they don't talk about it. But guys have this issue, too. We'll get into that a little bit more.
And it's tough, right? I mean, society, you see, especially if you're paying attention to advertisements to TV. Of course, we should talk about another time, if you should even be doing that, and why you keep watching those things. But you know, a lot of us that we grow up watching it. And we feel like oh, well, our society celebrates thin, young and flawless. Right? If you're a woman, we're talking about, you know, having that the thigh gap or the whatever that thing is where you have the bikini, but it's like on your hip bones, and there's like some space between your bikini waistline and your waist.
And for guys, it's all about the ripped abs, right? Pretty easy, could be here as well. And what I want to tell you is that, in particular, when it comes to the scale, ditching it at least for a while till you get this area handled this mindset issue this issue handled might be one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. So why am I saying that?
Well, the first reason we're going to talk about several reasons here. But the first one is, success isn't measured in pounds. And the scale can hurt more than it helps. And this is something I see it's a mistake that happens over and over. And it's in looking from the outside, in. It's so ridiculous to me now I understand it. But I'm on like this mission to shape to change this. Because with my clients, I don't really care how much they weigh.
Now I do care how much they weigh, because it helps me determine certain things, but their weight by itself. I don't give a shit about because it's useless to me. absolutely useless to me, to help them. Why am I saying that? Well, your weight is only useful in terms of knowing your body fat percentage, if I in fact, so many people who end up signing up with me, they all know their weight, but I have only had a small handful of people and I've worked with a lot of people by the way, who got their body fat percentage, they have no idea what their body fat percentage is and what I want to tell you right now. And I think this can be super helpful as well. If you're one of those people that Who has this terrible relationship with a scale where that number on the scale really dictates how you're going to feel for the day.
So here's the thing, your body fat percentage is more important than your weight. And we're going to get into how this can sabotage you. But I just want to talk about basics for a minute here. So for men, a body fat percentage greater than 25%. Body Fat defines obesity, regardless of how much you weigh, but I'm 210 pounds, but I'm 250 pounds, but I'm only 160 pounds. If you have a body fat that is 25% and above, you're obese, or greater than 25%. You're obese, regardless of your weight.
And let me tell you, about guys here because guys, we and I fell for this. I'll tell you my story in a second. But I've had clients This is when I was personal training, I had a client who is very, like, you wouldn't look at him and say, oh, that guy's definitely obese. When we think about obese people.
We think about morbidly obese people, people who are obviously well, that person's obese for sure. What we don't think about are the people who have a very high body fat percentage, but they're like, they have thin arms and legs. And my client, who's a guy in his late 40s, at the time, this was a few years back. His body fat percentage was 30%. He was obese, but he thought it wasn't an issue, because he was thin until he got the body fat percentage. And when he found out he was obese, it kicked him right in the ass. It's like I'm obese, but I'm not even I'm not like fat, really, I just have a belly here. But here's the truth. If you're 25% and above, you're obese.
Right? And it just might be as it might sound kind of weird. Because I'm like telling you Oh, don't worry about this scale, your scale isn't your worth your weight isn't your worth. And we'll talk about that too, in a bit. But why like this is because even though it is a kick in the ass, people don't have this established relationship with body fat percentage. So for guys, let me let me finish talking about women here.
And then we'll talk about this relationship with body fat percentage versus weight. So for guys, 25% and above, you're obese. Doesn't matter how skinny your arms and skinny your legs are. Doesn't matter that you look great in your clothes, and none of your friends think you're fat.
What matters is your body fat percentage. And by the way, if you're 21 to 25%, that means you're borderline obese, borderline obese. And you would be surprised at the amount of men who take shirtless photos all the time. And their workout guys at that have body fat percentages in the 2223 21%. In fact, myself, I was when I remember taking my body fat percentage out my friends, Jim primal fit in Miami, which is great, Jim, by the way. And it was so funny, my friend Matt pack. So I took my body fat percentage on the inbody.
And let me tell you, I was in denial about it. It showed I think it was 21 or 22%. I don't remember exactly. But I was like I don't believe this I was in disbelief. Meaning I thought the machine was broken. I thought maybe my hydration status had thrown off his instrument his his instrument. But the truth was I was overweight and unhealthy.
Regardless of how much I knew about health and fitness regardless of how much I knew about nutrition, regardless of all the food that I bought at Whole Foods, all the money I spent at Whole Foods regardless of all the exercise I was doing, I was overweight period.
And it's a hard lesson especially for guys because while women are too hard on themselves, guys are usually too easy on themselves. And and you know, I'm speaking from experience here and not judging. Like I did like the story I just told you now for women 33% or above, over 33% defines obesity with 31 to 33% being borderline.
So again, it's not your weight, it's your body fat percentage. This is what you should be focused on and and let me tell you a secret about body fat percentage, with so many people, many included here have a terrible relationship with the scale, terrible relationship with the scale. But with body fat percentage, it's a little harder to wrap your head around. It's like what does that mean? 33% 25% 21% 18%.
Now for fitness people, hardcore fitness people, they're all into this body fat percentage, because you start to see your abs doesn't matter what your weight is, if your 275 pounds, but your 12% body fat, like the rock, I don't know how much he weighs. But if you're ripped, right, or you know, ripped, you are seeing your abs in a very defined way.
But you could be 150 pounds, and 20% body fat, and your abs are nowhere in sight. So your weight really isn't that helpful. And because we don't have this, this long, complicated, messed up relationship with body fat percentage is a great thing to use to track your results instead, great, because you don't have this messed up relationship, you could, here's what I have, my clients do have them it throw away their scale, if or hide it or whatever, if they have a bad relationship with this scale, because it really doesn't matter. In fact, if you're a woman who's, you know, if you're not morbidly obese, if you're you know, 35% 30%, you know, 25% 28%, like, you may not see a huge change in your weight at first, or you may see a drop in your weight, and then it comes back up. And you'd be surprised now a lot of women, if you'd say, hey, with 150 pounds be ideal for you, or 155 pounds.
But you can see women with very low body fat percentages, who have a high amount of muscle. And there if you saw them, and they're 140 pounds, 150 pounds, you would, you know, excuse the same, but you would die to have their bodies, you wouldn't care about the weight, because you'd be looking at them yourself in the mirror, like oh my gosh, look how sexy and amazing and defined my body looks.
But it because your weight doesn't matter that much. And he can really throw you off. Because if you're gaining muscle, which here's it really important point here, if you're a few years behind a few months, a few years behind on your workouts, especially if you've never done resistance training, real resistance training ladies not that, you know, 300 rep thing with the three pound weight that you never quite feel muscular exhaustion with I'm talking about a legit training program.
You can put on weight and it's muscle, especially if you're focusing on eating better. And especially if you've bumped up your protein a little bit because you read somewhere that it was good, which it is to do that by the way. And so your weight might increase but it's muscle that you're putting on.
And sometimes you put on muscle first. And then the scale changes so quick, because you can put on a few pounds of muscle very quick, if you're way behind in your workouts. If you're just starting getting started again, you can put on muscle real quick and it makes a scale go up. And maybe you're only losing a pound of fat a week or whatever it is a pound or two of fat a week, or maybe even less a pound every two weeks if you're not on the best program, which most people aren't.
So you're losing fat at a slow rate, but you're putting on muscle very quickly, especially when you hop into the gym. But then you step on the scale, you see the number go up and it freaks you out. And you're like, Oh my gosh, I'm getting fatter from going to the gym. Does that sound familiar? How's that ever happened to you? Have you done that? And happens to men too, by the way, happens to men too.
Oh, I've got to stop working now. I've gained weight from working out it's just this way exercise stuff is making me fatter, and no it's not. You're the right thing is happening. You've got to trust in the process. You've got to trust what you're doing. And the way to do that is to do a body fat test. You can do an embody a dexa scan. I will not work with someone unless they do this unless they do body fat tests.
And of course that isn't what it's ever like. told me they refuse to do it or anything but I'm just saying I emphasize how important it is and how only amateurs are worried about their weight. You got You got to get into the details because as the saying goes the devils in the details, the your success is in the details. Okay, super important. And I just want to talk a little bit more about this because I think it's so important.
Most doctors, they'll use your BMI, which is a calculation of your weight and your height to figure out, if you're in a good situation or not. In the future, we're going to see that people are going to use body fat, they're not going to use BMI as much, at least, if your doctors doing that he's and he's not concerned with your body fat percentage, that guy's or or woman, whatever is kind of living in the past little bit. And especially if they're not educating you about it, because your body fat percentage is what it's all about. BMI can be useful, and there's quite a bit of research. But it once you're talking about a person who's working out and doing the right things, it becomes less useful. Okay, it becomes less useful unless we're talking about the extremes, whether we're talking talking about extremely obese person, or we're talking about you know, some guy who's taken way too many steroids and he's like 300 pounds.
And, you know, the, what I'm trying to say is here, you can have health problems being really big, even if you have a low body fat percentage. Because, you know, just your frame doesn't like weight, regardless of its, whether it's muscle or fat, or an extreme amount of weight, whether it's muscle or fat, okay, so this is why you got to stop a success isn't measured in pounds on the scale, and it can hurt you more than it can help. Because you get confused about whether you're getting results or not. So here's what I want to tell you get a dexa scan, get in in body scan, do it once a month, if you are, if you are actively trying to transform your body and working hard, do it once a month. If you're just not really putting too much effort into this, I'd say get it every you know, six months or so. Because a six month once a body fat test once every six months, can really set you straight as to what's happening with your body.
Okay, and again, coming back to that idea that a scale we we have this messed up relationship with it. But it isn't really that useful. You see how complicated and unnecessary unnecessarily stressful that is. So stop doing that get your body fat test instead. Another problem is using your weight as a measure of success can lead to unhealthy practices.
So when we're constantly thinking about the number on the scale, it gets obsessive. you weigh yourself in the morning on an empty stomach naked after going to the bathroom or after a workout. And you start this game like oh, I'll do anything to see a smaller number.
And it just becomes all consuming. Does that sound familiar? Have you done that is very normal actually, with people who are trying to make that happen, try to make a change happen in a comes from a good place, by the way, you're trying to do better, but it's just the wrong approach. And the thing is, if you're a diet or if you're a person who goes on a lot of diets, the dieting, the frequent diets, along with the compulsive weighing that usually goes along with it, it can lead to eating disorders, you know, you can end up with a problem and I think eating disorders I mean, I don't want to get into this now.
But I think most people have an eating disorder right now. Otherwise, we wouldn't be so fat as a society. Right? We don't talk about that eating disorder enough. But we don't want to go the other way and then start this starving and bingeing episode either that is not healthy. That is not the path to health, that is not treating yourself right, that is not caring about yourself, that is not show that's not being a good role model. It's not about your weight, okay, it's about those practices.
The weight in your your body fat percentage is a byproduct of being healthy, both with your lifestyle and with your mindset, the state of your mental health. And just so you know, according to one source, people who diet frequently are eight times as likely to develop an eating disorder. Okay, and I don't want to get into eating disorders. It's not really something I know a lot about to be quite honest. I'll have someone on here to talk about that is that's been a requested topic. So just diving into the negative the last point here is that fixating on waste can make food feel like an enemy to be avoided, right? And that's just not the approach. It's just not the approach at all.
Okay, first of all, it's not even all about your nutrition. That's just a totally destined to fail approach. It's got to be this combination between exercise and nutrition, and other aspects of your lifestyle like sleep and stress management. If you're not doing that, then you're just not doing it, right. I mean, it's just as simple as that. And with weight, in particular, you can end up losing muscle and then patting yourself on the back. And then wondering why you started gaining the weight again, started getting fatter again, and you're like, well, you just trashed your metabolism. I mean, not trashed. It's a bit harsh, I shouldn't have said that. But you've, you've lowered your metabolism by lowering the amount of muscle you have.
The more muscle you have this like having a Fern is, the more food you can get away with and still maintain a low body fat percentage. Guys who are super huge and muscular and the women who are bigger and muscular is easier to maintain a low body fat percentage, so you don't want to make food into the enemy. But especially when protein can help you, especially when vegetables have minerals and vitamins that are going to improve your health, especially when the carbohydrates that you eat as long as you eat the right amount. And and eat no good quality ones, of course, a little splurge here and there. But potatoes are full of potassium, right? Sweet potatoes, I've been eating a lot of purple, Japanese sweet potatoes, they have anthocyanins just like blueberries, and is easier to get Japanese purple potato is where I'm at than blueberries.
So it's got these phytonutrients these chemicals, these minerals and vitamins food is food is fuel that powers your body. So if you if you're just on weight and trying to lose weight, you can turn the scale, you can turn food into the enemy, and then you end up losing muscle as well. Because starving yourself, especially if you're not doing resistance training, especially if you don't have a well designed program exercise program.
You're losing muscle and you're patting yourself on the back, and then you get into this terrible, terrible cycle. And it's just people are stuck in it and just, ah, it's it's so sad for me to see because it's just unnecessary. And the last thing I want to talk about here is your weight isn't your worth. Many women believe that if they don't fit into like this I this ideal that we have in Western society that they're just not as valuable. And what's ironic about this is when we feed into this thing, which is really just it's just people trying to sell you stuff, right? It's just people trying to sell you stuff, right? That's what models are they model clothing or, you know, jewelry or perfume or whatever, cuz they're just trying to sell you stuff. But the reality is, you know, your weight isn't your worth.
All right, and don't stop getting sucked into that stuff. If if it's really messing with your mind. By the way, guys get it to, you know, talk to men about their manboobs. Right? It's which really is an issue because that's an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone. But there I talked to a plastic surgeon about this stuff. And he was just saying, you know, the guys that come in to be treated for that. It's just, they don't feel like they can talk about it. But a lot of men struggle with the gynecomastia aka man boobs thing, you know, but again, it's not your worth. Right.
And a lot of us we fall into traps, or fall into times in our life where we we get out of shape, something happens. I mean, for me, when I got out, I tell this story of how I got out of shape in my mid 30s. But the part that I don't talk about is my sister committing suicide was a big part of that. I started drinking more I wasn't my mind was just totally messed up. And I was just surviving. In fact, I talked to someone not too long ago, a few months back who they were on top of their body on top of their weight. He didn't know his body fat percentage, but he was on top of things until his son died. I mean, there's women who've been sexually molested and as a coping mechanism they put on weight. I mean our weight isn't our worth.
Especially if you've been through something a divorce. An assault. If you if there's been a death That crushed you, your weight isn't your worth. Now it doesn't mean it's not important. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to better yourself, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't strive to get this area of your life handle. But you got to be compassionate and loving to yourself as well. Especially if you've been through something tough.
Specially if you've been through something tough, you know, you got through it, you're a warrior, you push through, and you put on a couple pounds, that was the way you got through. Are there better ways to do it? Of course there are. But guess what, maybe you didn't have someone stepping up for you. During that time. Nobody stepped up for me when I when my sister committed suicide. My clients, were just wondering, when we get back to work, and I'm being a little bit cold. They were nicer than that. But they didn't, you know, say, hey, let's hire you, a psychologist and I worked with people who live in million multi million dollar houses, no way $20 million houses here. And that's like one of their houses in full Ferrari collections. That's who I was working with.
They didn't step up and my dad couldn't step up because he was he was crushed, too. And my friends couldn't step up. So if you got through whatever you got through, pat yourself on the back, you're a warrior you fought through, you ended up through the other side, you ended up on the other side, whatever you've been through, but it's time to step up. Probably that isn't even the right thing to say it's time to grow and move on from it is probably the right thing step up, it's a little too harsh. If someone told me I needed to step up and get over my sister's suicide, I probably would have broke their jaw. Okay?
Probably not. But I would have said something that cut deep, I would have said something, really, that hurt their feelings badly is what I really would have done. But you know, it's time to grow from that. Right, it's time to move on from that. And the funny thing about this is that when we're in this negative state of mind, where your weight is your worth, where you're beating yourself up constantly, it doesn't lead to better results. And actually getting this handled does lead to better results. So I want you to pay attention to that. Now, of course, you probably know that but it's hard to break out of the cycle. If that's the struggle that you're having, then that's a mindset issue. In fact, most of what we've been talking about today is a mindset issue. It's the least sexy thing to talk about when it comes to fat loss.
People love to hear about, you know, the carbohydrate insulin hypothesis or how, you know, high intensity interval training, you know, improves the exercise a post oxygen, access, post access exercise, post oxygen consumption, think I totally missed that up, but the afterburn effect. So we love to talk about those details. Because it's hard to face this stuff, this mindset stuff, it's a lot less technical, it's a lot less tangible.
It's a lot less easy. It involves an adaptive solution, where you've got to kind of go through some stuff to get it handled is not as easy as just like, oh, so I just eat these fat burning foods and do this fat burning exercise. We've got to make this shift though, if we want to get this area of our life handled. So I'm going to wrap up now just to recap for you, your success isn't measured in pounds in this scale can hurt you more than help take progress photos, measure your waist, get your body fat percentage, which is the best one, do it once a month if you're actively trying to transform your body and throw your scale away or sell it or give it to someone you don't like. You know, and then the second thing is using your weight as a measure of success can lead to unhealthy practices.
So that's another reason to get rid of this scale if that's happening to you. And third is your weight isn't your worth. Especially if you've gotten fat in the process like I did after something really tough. You got through it that is worthy. Fighting through something terrible and coming out the other side is worthy. Give yourself some love and some recognition for that.
Be compassionate with yourself.
The last thing I want to say here is that it doesn't need to be this big of a struggle.
So many of us we get lost in the struggle, we get lost in the effort. And even when we're or even, especially when we're not getting results, or not getting good results, we still show up and struggle through it. And you know, we get recognition from it.
But what I want to tell you is there's no need to do that. And when you're on a plan that is effortless, well, I shouldn't say effortless, but more more effortless, then working really hard and not getting results.
When it fits into your life, when you're eating the foods that you want to eat at the right amounts and doing the exercise that you can do and that you have time to do with exercises you know how to do whether that's working out at home or working out at the gym. I mean, that's when the magic happens.
And this goes way beyond just losing weight, or even getting a better body fat percentage. I mean, those things are important. And definitely, you know, anyone who says that looks don't matter is lying. Right? Because we all have eyes We all see. We're why it's wired into us and and how we see ourselves and how other people see us.
But the real benefit is how it show how it helps us show up in our life, we were making positive progress in this area. Okay, that's the true win. That's the big win. That's the big success, regardless of how fast you're losing weight or what your weight is, or whether you ever see your abs ever or not.
So I'm going to wrap things up now, but I hope you got a lot out of this.
And remember, this scale is crushing you get rid of it. You've got to change your approach. You've got to change your mindset about these things. If you ever want to break out of that negative pattern that you're in that vicious circle, and cycle of yo yo dieting and weighing yourself and trying to get the number lower. You've got to change you've got to change that mindset. All right. So I wish you the best. Have an amazing week. Hope you enjoyed this and I'll speak to you soon!
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