Your scale is a liar.
We’ve all been there. You hop in the scale and see the same number for days. There are even times when you gain weight from one day to the next. I’m here to tell you, your scale is a liar.
All your scale can do us measure weight. It can’t measure body fat or bone density or muscle mass. All your scale can do is measure how much you weigh. Personally I think people worry about their weight too much. There are many other ways to keep track of your progress.
Here are my top three reasons that you weight will fluctuate (even within a day). This is taking into consideration that you have your diet and exercise in check.
- Water- depending on how hydrated you are, your weight can fluctuate a few pounds within a day. It’s a good idea to take in the same amount of water daily (more on exercise days) so you can account for this when you weigh yourself. Water will help you move waste (both metabolic and intestinal) out of your system.
- Food in your belly- if you weigh yourself before and after you eat, you’ll notice a that you weigh differently. Whatever the food you eat weight before you eat it, is the same weight it will measure in your stomach.
- Bowel movements- you can do the same exercise above before and after you go to the restroom and have a bowel movement. This is partly what they mean when they say “calories in vs. calories out” :) .
Using the scale as your only way to track your progress is setting you up for an emotional roller coaster ride. Here are 3 ways you can use to check your progress in addition to the scale.
- The mirror/pictures- take weekly pictures (of study yourself in the mirror) to track your progress. Keep them in a file or Power Point so you can compare how you look week to week.
- Tape measure- Measure the circumference of a few body parts. Record your measurements in a notebook and graph your progress.
- Your clothes- the best way I think you can use to track your progress that is the least stressful is to me conscious of how your clothes fit you. Ultimately this is really why we all want to lose weight. Looking good makes us feel good. Having you go to the store to buy new clothes is a great reward for making progress.
The rules for using any of these methods are the same.
- Check your progress at the same time/frequency/day every time you do it.
- It is best to use a combination (or all) of the methods mentioned above.
The scale must be the last on the list of methods you use to check your progress. The data you collect will never be linear. There will be may ups and downs along the way. As long as you can see a downward trend to all your numbers, you’re definitely moving in the right direction.