It’s very easy to get discouraged when you’re working out. You can be working your butt off and still find that, no, your butt is right where you left it. If you’ve been working out regularly but you’re not seeing much of a difference in the way your clothes fit or the numbers on the scale (assuming that you haven’t been rewarding yourself after every workout with a cheeseburger) then you’re just at the point of working out where you build up the muscle under your fat. Here are the signs to look for to see if this is happening to you.
You Jiggle Less at the Same Size
If your clothes still feel like they’re fitting the same way, the culprit might be muscle build up beneath fat. The fat is melting away, but muscle is replacing the mass. You can easily tell if this is true by doing a jiggle test; strip naked and jump. If you find that you’re jiggling less than you were before, you’re building up the muscle. There’s less soft fat there to bounce around during your activities.
You’re Gaining Weight but Losing Size
If you actually have lost some of your size, you can be shocked and disappointed to step on the scale to see that your weight is actually going up. This is, while not ideal, actually fine. Pretty soon your weight will fall again as the fat melts off and only the muscle is left. You see, muscle is denser than fat, meaning that you need less of it to weigh the same amount. You can lose five pounds of fat and see the difference, but might not see the five pounds of muscle that you put on. This means that you’re going to be smaller than you were before, but if you just look at the scale you weight the same—or more.
You’re Getting Bigger but Weighing Less
This can be a tough one to explain. Your clothes are tighter, but the numbers on the scale are going down. This is a combination effect. On the one hand, you’re gaining muscle; this accounts for the increase in size. Beneath the layer of fat you now have new abs pushing towards daylight, and they’re making you bigger with them. The other part of this is that you’re dropping water weight. Basically, if you’ve gone from being pretty sedentary to being pretty active, you’re working out all the liquids that your body collected during your period of not really moving around very much. This is important because you can drop away tons of weight you’d been retaining before you even get up to working off your fat.
Your Workouts Are a Lot Easier
If your scale has been saying pretty much the same thing since you started, but everyday activities like climbing stairs are now a piece of cake, you can bet that you’ve put on muscle. If you can sail through your workouts with ease, it’s time for you to pick up the pace. As amazing as it feels to be able to get through a workout easily, you’re going to have to get on the next level if you want to start seeing more results on the scale. Even though you’re a lot healthier just by replacing your fat with muscle, you’re going to look better once you start dropping those pounds permanently.
You’re Craving Protein
Protein is the building blocks of muscle. If you find yourself wanting to eat your weight in chicken breasts every day, your body is probably straining to provide enough protein to keep up with your demands. This is a good time to make sure that your diet is working on your side. If you can’t get enough protein while staying in your calorie count, you might have to invest in some protein powder.