I feel as though lately, scales have gotten a bad rap. “Stay off the scales!” “Don’t weigh yourself!” “Muscles weighs more than fat!” (Not exactly true, or at least that is an incomplete sentence. Because guess what? A pound of fat weighs exactly the same as a pound of muscle. However, a pound of muscle takes up less space. Or, for an equivalent VOLUME of fat and muscle, the muscle will weigh more. Two different ways to say that muscle tissue is denser than adipose – fat – tissue. But I digress.) My Instagram video series (and my videos on Facebook) this week are on the topic of weighing DAILY (gasp!).
I’ve had several clients say to me lately, “I know I *shouldn’t*, but I weigh myself every day.” It seems like they are almost expect me to chastise them and agree that they shouldn’t. But you should know that I’m not a fan of “shoulds.” Instead, I ask where that “should” comes from. Is it coming from a place of self-knowledge and self-awareness that seeing the number on the scales is just BAD NEWS for how it will impact their day? Or is it just another generic “SHOULD” perpetuated by the fitness industry that doesn’t take into account the fact that we are all unique individuals (like butterflies or snowflakes), and certain strategies that are ill-advised for some work beautifully for others? (Like the keto diet – don’t get me started. It’s a not a magic bullet for fat loss for all and can be a downright dangerous dietary move for some, while it is one of the best paths to vibrant healthy and vitality for others).
So let me state my case for weighing daily. But first, let’s remember that your WORTH, your WORTHINESS, and your VALUE as a human being are completely independent of ANY number – your weight, your % body fat, your bank account balance, your number of followers on social media…you are a completely incredible, valuable, worthy human being just as you are. But, if Amazing You is going to weigh in, weigh daily. Here’s why:
Remove the power from any ONE number
When you weigh daily versus weekly or monthly or less often you’re going to see a lot more numbers. And that’s going to give you the power to see that those numbers are just little bitty NUMBERS. The more you have, the more meaningless they become. No one number or single data point in a sea of data points is going to have the power to rock your boat the way it would if it was a tsunami you only saw once a monthly (or less often). You’ve also set up a path of predictability – sure, weight fluctuates from day to day (more on that, below), but you’re not setting yourself up for a major disconnect the way you could be if you ignore the number for weeks on end.
Detach your self-worth from the number
Just as I said in the introduction, your worth is NOT measured or defined by any number or set of numbers. The more you see the numbers and see that you are amazing you each day, regardless (or in spite) of what the number says, the more you will truly know this to be true.
– That day you stayed at home to take care of a sick child and didn’t sleep because you were holding a cool cloth to a fevered brow? Didn’t matter what the scales said.
– That day you completely crushed a presentation to your boss and colleagues at work? Didn’t matter what the scales said.
– That day you watched Netflix and ate Oreos in your pyjamas? Didn’t matter what the scales said.
You are equally worthy and valuable in any and all scenarios.
Natural weight fluctuation
It’s normal for your weight to go up and down. The more you weigh yourself, the more you are going to see that it naturally fluctuates day by day and week by week.
This can be completely independent of your training and nutrition, too. It can be your level of hydration or how much water you’re retaining, the volume of undigested food in your system, your hormones, the phase of the moon, etc. These changes can be as dramatic as +/- 5 pounds (maybe more!) in a single day.
And yet, we are so attached to a goal weight. Just one number. Not an acceptable range of numbers, but just one number. Worth thinking about.
So, the next time you step on the scales and the number is up, you can relax into knowing it’s normal. You’ve seen this before. You know it’s coming back down. You’re going to stick to your training and nutrition approach (don’t have one?).
It’s not cause to throw up your hands in despair and declare “this isn’t working” and abandon your plan for the day.
You got this!
Correlation (or lack thereof) with other bio-feedback
What do I mean by bio-feedback? Other things your body is telling you, in terms of your hunger, appetite, cravings, energy level, mood and libido, among other things.
For example, you might notice that you are really hungry AND see a trend of weight going down. Conversely, you might start incorporating more nutrient-dense whole foods in your body and feel LESS hungry and yet see a trend of weight going down.
Or you could notice that there isn’t much correlation between your hunger and weight at all, and realize that your hunger is not necessarily a good barometer for how much to eat to see the results you want
It’s all useful information to help you learn what works FOR YOU (and not anyone else) to achieve your goals. Knowledge is power! I strive to provide and support this kind of education and empowerment in all of my clients.
If you have established a compelling WHY to losing weight, and you have set your intentions, you need some way to monitor progress against your goal (setting goals seems like a good choice for another series!). There’s no getting around it – if your goal is to lose weight, you’re going to have to weigh yourself. If you don’t, it’s like saying your goal is to save money and yet never checking your bank account.
If you only weighed weekly, you might inadvertently weigh yourself on the “lightest” day of the first week and then that same day seven days later happens to be the “heaviest” day of the second week. You’ve lost the true story by getting only the outliers. Weighing daily would give you the average weight for each week and you could assess whether that was going down. NOW you’ve got more useful information to assess whether your current approach is working. And if it isn’t, you can make some tweaks and re-assess based on your average results next week.
Is YOUR current approach working? Formal weekly client check-ins are a cornerstone of many of my 1:1 online training programs. We can assess and tweak together, and get those results that much faster. Application link right HERE.
What do you think? Has a coach or trainer ever told you to only weigh weekly or monthly? Do you feel like you SHOULDN’T weigh daily, but do it anyway? Are you RELIEVED there is a coach out there (me) who would actually support daily weigh-ins for some clients? Let me know in the comments!
Have a fit day!