It’s Okay To Weigh Yourself!
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before then I’m sure you’ve been a party to the ‘dreaded’ scale. It’s only natural to want to see that number going down every day. I’m also positive you’ve heard that it’s probably not a good idea to weigh yourself often as your scale weight readings will vary on a daily basis. These natural fluctuations in scale weight can really do your head in.
Weight fluctuations occur due to water retention, sodium levels, hormones, glycogen storage – heck, even going to the loo can make your weight go up or down! So, diet ‘experts’ tend to advise to weigh yourself on a weekly basis. But that’s no different – one week you may have been dehydrated and weighed less, while the week after you may have had a sodium packed dinner and retained fluid the next day.
So, is checking the scale daily really that bad?
I admit, I’m a scale-o-holic from way back –the difference is that I understand the reasons my weight fluctuates and therefore I find the scale a very useful tool in my ‘get in shape’ arsenal. And I feel if more people understood, then they would benefit too.
You’ll Learn How Your Body Responds
By watching the scale daily, you can learn how various things influence the way you look and feel.
The following factors will influence your daily scale readings:
Carbohydrates hold water and our muscle cells store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. Therefore when we eat carbohydrates our muscles fill out and we look ‘fuller’. We also weigh heavier on the scale. So if one day you happen to eat more carbs than usual, you’re likely to wake up a kilo or so heavier the next day. Add sodium to that, and not as much water intake as usual and the results will be compounded.
The beauty about understanding all this is that you don’t freak out and think its fat!
The same can also be seen in reverse. If you reduce your usual amount of carbohydrates, you’ll see a drop in scale weight from the water loss associated with the carbs. That’s why those on very low carb diets see large initial drops in weight – and will always see a big rebound as soon as they indulge in carbs again. If you eat less sodium and drink more water you’ll see a drop in water retention and therefore scale weight loss.
It’s a great way to teach yourself that body weight is determined by much more than true fat gain or fat loss and this lesson can help you to be far less obsessive and anxious about it.
Personally I can predict my scale weight to the pound from one day to the next based on how my body feels when I wake up in the morning (and knowing what I consumed or didn’t consume, the day prior).
You’ll learn your individual weight loss pattern
Weight loss and fat loss is not always linear or predictable and many people get anxious because there is not a definite drop every day or every week.
Over the years I’ve discovered my own personal pattern. When I diet to get ultra-lean, I know that my weight will fluctuate up and down every day, but over the course of weeks and months, the overall trend is down.
I could stay around the same weight for weeks, and then suddenly I experience what I call the ‘miracle sleep’ (I go more into this in the X-Treme Results Challenge) where I wake up and suddenly I’ve dropped 2 kg overnight! Then the process begins again.
*In the X-Treme Results Challenge I actually have participants do this as one of their 12 ‘weekly challenges’. It’s a really interesting process.
Make Peace with the Numbers
Despite what many people recommend, weighing yourself daily can actually allow you to finally make peace with the numbers. If you understand why, then you’ll know that an inflated number doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re diet isn’t working so you’ll be less emotionally tied to it.
This way, that number becomes just that – a number. It’s not something that makes or breaks your day and despite the fact that you are weighing yourself daily, you’ll be able to recognize that looking at your appearance in the mirror will be a far better judge of whether you are on track to results or not.
Of course, scale weighing is only one way to gauge progress. It should be done in conjunction with tape measurements and if possible, skin fold measurements to get the overall picture.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog post. Feel free to share it with your friends or family if you feel they will benefit from it.
PS In case you haven’t heard, I’m back working one on one with clients and I love it! If you’d like to have me write your Body Makeover Program, please mention it in the comments section when purchasing your program.