Do you weigh yourself daily? As soon as you read that, did you make a face and feel sheepishly guilty? If you did, don’t worry. You’re not alone; we are all guilty of this at one point in time.
You KNOW that it’s terrible to do daily, you KNOW that this won’t change overnight, and you KNOW that doing it is just going to screw with your head even more; but you still do it anyway. So it kind of feels like punishment, in a way.
Personal trainers from all over will cringe at hearing about clients and members stepping on the scale daily because they KNOW that daily weigh-in are NOT a good idea.
This messes with your head. After a few days, it can cause discouragement, which can lead you to make silly micro-adjustments to your eating, leading to an unhealthy relationship with food, which does more harm than good.
Weighing yourself daily is NOT a good idea.
Checking your weight daily is bad for your health.
Your body didn’t gain fat overnight, so you can’t expect it to lose fat overnight.
I get it; we all want instant gratification, we want our results now, but unfortunately, as you probably already know, physiology doesn’t happen that way. The body has a ton of physiological processes that occur daily that will influence your weight.
A lot of the daily shifts in weight that you are seeing is water. Water weight has been know to shift as often as hourly, and this is normal.
Your hormones will fluctuate, women, you know this, and some men know this. Stress can also have an impact on what the scale says.
Day-to-day life decisions will be factors in what the scale says as well. For example, did you eat later or not eat at all the night before? Did you go to the bathroom? Did you eat something salty, are you inflamed or bloated, and have a hard workout the day before? The list goes on.
The point is that it’s NORMAL to have daily scale fluctuations and not to let those fluctuations alter the way you eat or especially how you feel about yourself.
It’s too easy to let those daily weight shifts influence you to make subtle micro-adjustments to the way you eat, which, as stated above, can lead you to develop unhealthy relationships with food.
56 Daily Weigh-ins
Months ago, I had a client do an experiment with me; we tracked their weight EVERY DAY for eight weeks for a total of 56 weigh-ins.
The color coding works as:
– No highlight means no weight change from the previous day.
– A red highlight means weight INCREASED from the previous day.
– A green highlight means weight DECREASED from the previous day.
Take a look at the percentages; this individual had MORE DAYS that their weight stayed the same, or even increased, from the previous day than they did of losing weight!
They only lost weight about 42% of the 8-week duration, so they spent MORE TIME with their weight, NOT changing or even INCREASING that decreasing from the previous day.
BUT they still lost 19lbs over eight weeks; I’d call this a pretty successful plan thus far.
I bring this up to show you that the scale fluctuates daily, so weight loss (or any weight change for that matter) needs to be looked at over a longer time frame than just daily.
How often should you weigh in?
At RTC, we do weigh-ins every two weeks for our clients under a weight loss protocol and those trying to gain weight about every four weeks.
Side Note: We will only do daily or weekly weigh-ins for those trying to “make weight” for a competition.
Why not weekly?
Well, if you recently made a dietary shift (meaning you changed the way you are eating), this can and will impact what the scale says for about 7-10 days as your body adjusts, so weighing in weekly isn’t ideal in the beginning. But, maybe after you’ve been consistent for 4-5 weeks, you can… and that’s a maybe.
What to Take Away
Weight loss, weight gain, fat loss, muscle gain should ALL be looked at over the course of TIME (preferably weeks and months), NOT just one day.
Always remember, you didn’t gain fat overnight, so it’s unfair to yourself to expect to be gone in one night. Give yourself some grace here.
Don’t track your weight daily; you’ll just end up overthinking your plan or progress you have or have not made. You’ll start stressing out about it; it won’t be any fun, and eventually might just say f—k it and stop.
Losing fat is a marathon, not a sprint; give yourself time. With consistency, I promise the weight will come off.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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