Why you shouldn’t weigh yourself. Many of us have that love hate relationship with those electronic numbers that greet us when we step on the scale. It’s amazing how a number can make or break your day in seconds. This is especially true when you are trying to lose weight. How many of us have stepped on that scale morning after morning, to see the numbers stay a gut wrenching, stagnant disappointment, or worse yet, a heartbreaking increase. Yes, I am being dramatic, but it can be quite disheartening when you know that you are working out and eating healthy and still, the number stays the same.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T WEIGH YOURSELF
Measurement count. At the beginning of any weight loss journey, you should be taking your measurements. Note down the circumference of your upper arms, chest, waist, hips thighs and calves. After a couple of weeks, check in and see where you are with your numbers. You also need to take your height into account. If you take two people who weigh the same, but are different heights, chances are they will wear different sized clothing.
Numbers sometimes lie. A scale is just that, it’s a scale and it can only give you any given number at the moment that you are standing on it. What happens if you eat a little bit more salt one night? Weigh yourself the next morning and it’s very likely that your weight will have gone up. The same goes for water intake. Many of us will find that the weight we lose at the beginning of our journey is mostly water. Of course, most of us women are also all too familiar with that inevitable, yet temporary, monthly weight gain. So you see, obsessively checking the number may not be a good thing.
Muscle vs fat. We hear this all the time and I understand that it can sometimes be tough to deal with, but believe me when I tell you that when you start building muscles (which is vital for weight loss as they speed up your metabolism, you can read more about it here) you might find that you actually gain a couple of pounds before the numbers on the scale start descending. 5lbs of muscle weighs the same as 5lbs of fat, but because it’s much denser, it will take up less space (aka you will be leaner). See my first point again.
Discouraging. I had a friend who used to weigh herself 3 times a day. Even then I used to think she was crazy to be putting such a huge stake in that one number. Think of it this way, let’s say you eat three meals a day, 7 days a week. That makes 21 meals in a week, where your weight can fluctuate significantly depending on what you put in your mouth. It’s best to check in with your scale once, or maybe twice a week, rather than everyday. This way you are still in control of what is happening with your body, (as in you won’t have time to gain a substantial amount of weight) but you won’t be privy to all the fluctuations. Also, make sure that you are weighing yourself at the same time in the morning, after you’ve gone to the bathroom and before you’ve showered.
You know the term skinny fat? Well, that is how we should be thinking, because in the end it’s the amount of fat that you have on your body that matters and not the number that you see on the scale. Remember, although we’ve all probably heard crazy stories of drastic and sudden weight loss, your fitness goals should be long term and not dependent on a single number, because it is just one of many indicators.
How do you measure your fitness goals?