Why gaining weight is the secret to a lean physique: Dietitian, 29, shares how she transformed her body by ditching the scales – and her tried-and-tested means for measuring progress
- Brisbane dietitian Leanne Ward shared how she transformed her body
- The 29-year-old looks leaner than ever now she has stopped weighing herself
- Leanne said that sometimes your lightest weight is also your unhealthiest
- Leanne also shared her tips for people wanting to lead a truly healthy life
When it comes to getting a lean, gym-honed body, many people turn to the scales as an indicator of their changing health.
But one dietitian is proof that you can look leaner than ever by ditching the scales and eating intuitively.
Leanne Ward, 29, from Brisbane, showed how much her body has changed over the years, and explained that weighing more has in fact made her look more lean.
Leanne Ward (pictured), 29, from Brisbane, showed how much her body has changed over the years, and explained that weighing more has in fact made her look more lean
Leanne (pictured now at 73kg and before at 70kg) said that by ditching the scales, you can end up heavier but looking leaner than ever
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‘When I was younger I’d always weigh myself every morning after I got up,’ Leanne (pictured) said – she explained that she would determine her self-worth this way
‘When I was younger I’d always weigh myself every morning after I got up,’ Leanne said in an Instagram post.
‘I used to think this was a representation of how healthy I was and how hard I had worked. Whatever number popped up was my “worth” for the day.
‘If the number was lower than the day before then I’d pat myself on the back and feel pretty damn good (even if I’d had a “slip up” the day before).
‘If the number on the scales was the same, or *gasp*, higher than the previous day, I’d immediately promise myself I’d work harder as I was a failure.’
It wasn’t until Leanne said that she learned more about food and nutrition that she realised her attitude towards her body was wrong (pictured at 72kg and 69kg)
It wasn’t until Leanne said that she learned more about food and nutrition that she realised her attitude towards her body was wrong:
‘You know the funny thing about scales is that they don’t normally portray how hard we’ve actually worked,’ she said.
‘I remember days where I’d eaten “perfectly” and spent extra time in the gym and the number was still higher.
‘I also remember days where I’d skipped gym and the number was still higher.’
The 29-year-old said that such a yo-yo attitude towards diet and food ‘used to mess with my head so much and it always left me thinking I wasn’t good enough’.
She said it took her ‘years’ to realise that her worth ‘wasn’t determined by a number’.
‘My lowest weight as an adult was also my most unhealthy weight,’ she added candidly.
Nowadays, the dietitian (pictured) said she has come to the realisation that humans ‘don’t have a perfect weight’, as it’s something that fluctuates daily depending on a lot of things
Nowadays, the dietitian said she has come to the realisation that humans ‘don’t have a perfect weight’, as it’s something that fluctuates daily depending on a lot of things.
‘Why punish yourself by jumping on the scales every day when the number is always going to look different,’ she said.
How Leanne measures her fitness progress
1. Body composition machines
2. Too tight jeans
3. Progress before and after pictures
If you want to measure your weight when on a fitness mission, the dietitian said you’re far better off using ‘other measures of success’.
Her favourites include the body composition machines often found in gyms, a pair of jeans ‘that are a little too tight’ or progress pictures.
‘As you can see from mine, my highest weight is also my healthiest and fittest weight’.
Leanne isn’t the first person to encourage women to ‘screw the scales’.
Fitness blogger Kelsey Wells, who runs the blog My Sweat Life, started the #ScrewTheScales initiative after showing she was more toned and lean after gaining eight kilograms.
Leanne confessed that when she was her lightest weight, she was also her unhealthiest with regards to her relationship with food
Leanne Ward’s tips for a truly healthy life
1. Meal prep. Leanne says it’s a ‘game changer’ and even if you just prep a few meals then you’ll still have a few healthy meals in your week.
2. Practise gratitude. She says that if you are thankful for what you have every day, you’ll realise that this is enough.
3. Tell other people your goals. This helps to keep you accountable and helps to pull you up when you fall down.
4. Find one approach that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by the latest fad diets and workouts.
5. Eat colourful vegetables wherever possible. Leanne says you should try and incorporate them into every meal if possible – and they should make up 1/2 of your plate.
6. Give yourself a break. According to Leanne, eating a brownie or a tub of ice cream won’t make you fat, just as eating a salad won’t make you healthy. Practise eating wholesome foods and moving your body regularly. Then there’s plenty of room for cake, wine and cheese occasionally.
However, since becoming a dietitian, Leanne has been on a mission to illustrate that eating more will not necessarily make you fat.
‘I don’t eat paleo, keto or vegan but I do eat FOOD… real food, real nutrients and to be totally honest, a mix of all of these diets,’ she explained.
‘I believe in whole foods and everyday meals. I hate when you see a meal plan or recipe that makes you go to a special store to buy ‘superfood’ ingredients that cost the earth.
‘People forget that rolled oats, fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt, walnuts and vegetable are cheap SUPERFOODS too!
‘You’ll never see me posting meal diaries with an abundance of açai bowls, matcha powder, goji berries, kale or coconut oil.
‘Sure these things are good for you but there are MUCH cheaper options that are equally (if not more) nutritious.’
When it comes to Leanne’s exercise approach to shedding fat, in the past she has spoken about what she does to stay in shape.
‘I’m 6ft tall and train weights four times a week and two cardio days a week (netball, HIIT and/or fasted cardio,’ Leanne told FEMAIL.
‘I currently weigh 72 kilograms which is healthy for my height.’
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