For many, I imagine, there is a love/hate relationship when it comes to jumping on the scales. When they tell you something great (you’ve lost weight) they are wonderful but when they tell you nothing has changed (even after all your hard work) or worse still, your weight has increased, all you want to do is scream ‘My scales are killing me!’
Here are a 3 simple points to consider when it comes to weighing in…
1. Your weigh in day makes a difference
If jumping on the scales is important to you (and I would argue that daily or even weekly frequency is not necessary) select a day that is more likely to deliver the positive news. For example, Monday morning is not usually the best day. Why? It is the first day after the weekend and chances are if you have derailed from whatever health plan you are following, it will have occurred over the weekend. So Monday isn’t likely to be on your side!
In a study published in January 2014 at Cornell University (in collaboration with researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology) it showed;
“A person’s weight is typically at the highest point after weekends, on Sunday and Monday”
If you are going to weigh yourself each week consider Friday as the ideal day. You’ll have had more time to stick to your health plan and it will be pre-weekend. Now this isn’t about kidding yourself but you do need to feel encouraged to take care of your health; good results will motivate you to keep on track.
2. Understand your weight can fluctuate by 4 pounds (2 kilos) in a single day
It makes no sense at all to weigh yourself on a daily basis. Your weight is changing constantly through the day so depending on whether you hit the lucky hour or not, will pretty much determine how good or bad you’ll feel after the weigh in.
Consider weighing in bi-weekly and do it at the same time with the same level of hydration (and clothes!)
3. Know that weight loss cycles exist
Just as we have sleep cycles, we have weight loss cycles. Most people lose weight during the week and put weight on over the weekend. Just as what happens to you during the course of your day can affect your sleep pattern it can also affect your weight.
Become more aware of the habits you have on certain days (do certain environments, people, time of day affect what you eat?) What triggers your moods positively or negatively and how does that affect your eating?
Don’t let the scales take over your life. They are just one way to check what is happening with your body. Body measurements (when done correctly) give you a much clearer picture of the changes being made (reduced waistline, firmer legs, etc). And remember that muscle outweighs fat! So even if you are sticking to your health plan, doing exercise and being consistently on track, you may well experience weight gain as you get into shape… And that is not a bad thing!
Are my scales killing me? Not anymore…! How are your scales fairing?
To Your Health!