Stepping on the Scale
Losing weight is hard. It involves spending time at the gym and stopping yourself from eating your favourite foods. More often than not you have say “No” to things that make you happy in general and “Yes” to things that don’t.
To weigh or not to weigh?
So what is the most accurate way to track your progress? Enter: Weighing Scales. However, standing on the scale can be an uncomfortable experience especially if you are overweight. For people who are trying to lose weight, gain muscle or just maintain their weight, the scale can be both friend and foe. The problem is that some people weight themselves daily and can obsess over the number on the scale. It can easily cloud a person’s judgement about the effectives of their diet/workout and drive them crazy. Stop it! Don’t stress over the small stuff because this fitness lifestyle is a long term game. Regardless of your goal, one of the easiest ways of tracking your progress is by weighing yourself regularly.
Importance of weighing yourself
Weighing yourself is important because it shows you if things are working or not. Fat and muscle weigh different. Losing fat will cause a decrease in body weight while building muscle will usually cause an increase in body weight. You need to weight yourself regularly to ensure that what you’re doing is actually working. If your weight isn’t moving in the direction of your goal, that’s a pretty good sign that your diet/workout isn’t working and needs to be adjusted.
The problems with weighing yourself
- Weight is more than just fat and muscle
If your body was solely made up of fat and muscle, than weighing yourself regularly wouldn’t be a problem. However, that’s not the case because body weight changes as a result of loss or gain in fa/muscle, food intake, poop and so on. This means daily fluctuations in weight is common.
- Weight alone tells us nothing about the composition of that weight
The number on the scale helps you track your weight but not the composition of that weight. So it makes sense for you to do more than just weigh yourself to monitor progress. In addition to weighing scales you should use measurements, pictures and mirrors. And you could even use your clothes and knowing if something was tight on you 2 months ago and now its loose is a tell-tale sign that you’re losing weight.
How often should you weigh yourself?
Everyday? Weekly? Monthly? Well, each frequency has its own pros and cons but taking all of the above into account and to avoid any unnecessary confusion, weighing yourself weekly would be the best choice. A weekly weigh in on the same day each week allows you to monitor your progress regularly while avoiding the anxiety you feel standing on the scale every day. Simply set a date on your calendar to weigh yourself and record your progress.
When’s the Best time to weigh yourself?
Simply put, the best time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Be sure to wear as little clothing as possible but if you do keep any clothing on be sure to wear that same amount of clothing every time to weigh yourself. This is simply because weighing yourself any other time other than first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will throw things off completely and destroy any sense of accuracy due to the reasons mentioned above (eating, drinking, pooping). More importantly, weighing yourself at random times “just to see” is stupid and potentially dangerous because it may drive you insane.
The 4 S’s of weighing yourself
When you weigh yourself, strive for sameness. Weigh yourself at the:
- Same time of the day, on the
- Same day of the week, wearing the
- Same clothing, using the
- Same scale
I’d recommend you invest in a weighing scale and use it for consistency. Be sure to place it on a flat and hard surface for accurate reading.
Take home points
- Stick to weekly weigh ins as it is simple and avoids confusion
- Weighing yourself first thing in the morning can give you an accurate reading of your weight before the daily fluctuations of weight change happen
- The scale shouldn’t be the only thing you use to monitor your weight. Use measurements, mirror, pictures and clothing
- Follow the 4 S’s of weighing yourself
- Your overall health is more than just the number on the scale