These before and after photos show why measuring weight is pretty meaningless

A Dutch fitness instructor, and science, has demonstrated that weight is just a number.

There are hundreds of truisms when it comes to improving your figure. Put the cake down, comes to mind as pretty solid advice. Another top tip is to ignore weight loss as a measure of fitness.

Before and after photos can be a much more effective way to show how much more your body looks the way you wanted it to be than standing on scales.

This is because in lots of cases when people are toning, they actually gain weight in muscle. Kinesiologist Albert Matheny explained to SELF that sometimes your weight will stay static despite appearing slimmer. This is because muscle is denser than fat, so any muscle strengthening exercises will replace fat with this denser material, pushing up your overall weight. So actually looking at your body is a much better measure of fitness.

Yolaforthewin, a certified fitness instructor from the Nertherlands, provides a terrific example of this on her Instagram profile. The photos are three years apart, and while she admits that in the first photo that she wasn't tensing, the difference in muscle strength is evident.

In the caption, she wrote:

3 years, 6 kilos and a new bikini 💁🏻 I was scrolling back in my phone and found this 'old' (non-flexed) picture. Weight is just a number 😉

Weight is just a number indeed. Another number is 12,600, which is how many likes the post has received on Instagram.

Misleading before and after photos are ten a penny, but the message of this one is much better for your psyche. Next time you're fixating on those scales, or the even cruder BMI, remember to relax. If what you're worried about is how you look, worry about that, not a number. Focus on how your body feels.

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