Whether or not the client’s goal is weight related, when we do an initial assessment I always focus on lean mass. Increasing it perhaps or maintaining it. When change is encouraged, we don’t emphasize a body weight goal but a body composition goal.
I tell my clients to expect little weight loss and maybe some weight gain in the first couple weeks of training because I won’t starve them into a lower dress size. They are often eating more frequently and drinking more fluids than they were before during the initial stages of weight management programs. Changes in body weight can be surprising, especially if they don’t have much excess adipose tissue to burn off.
So if they become disheartened by slow or no weight loss I always listen. Then I’ll suggest that we measure body fat and review goals. Did she exercise according to plan? Did he start eating smaller meals? Have her measurements decreased? If these things have all happened then the scale is misleading us once again because these are successes that over time will add up to big changes in his or her body.
Emphasizing the lean weight early on as healthy and strong helps. It’s hard to fight the scale and it’s almost arbitrary changes. Most clients can relax, regain their trust and stay the course as long as we emphasize and they can recognize their successes along the way.