Understanding the Scale
We’ve all had it happen.
I weigh the same?
Or worse, I gained weight?!
What the holy kale is going on here?!
Breathe. It’s going to be okay.
So many things can be causing that number on the scale. But even if you’ve hit a plateau on the scale, it doesn’t mean you aren’t losing weight.
The body is constantly adjusting to food, fluids, exercise, hormones, sleep patterns, elevation changes, fat loss, lean muscle gains, and so on. While the scale is a useful tool, it can’t tell you exactly what is going on inside your body at all times.
This ongoing fluctuation is why I suggest you only weigh once a week. Weighing yourself every day sets you on a pattern of constantly chasing the numbers on the scale. You’ll never get in a rhythm with eating and exercise because you never get true feedback on what is working or not.
When to weigh yourself:
– First thing in the morning, after bathroom and before breakfast
– When you are mentally and emotionally stable enough to handle the number no matter what
When NOT to weigh yourself:
– Any time of day after first thing in the morning
– Wearing clothes (or at least wear the same clothes)
– The morning after a night of drinking
– The morning after a heavy dinner, salty dinner (Chinese, sushi, movie popcorn for example)
– The morning after you got off a plane
– The morning after a binge eating fest
– The morning after a leg day, or any exercise that caused your legs to swell (because the legs are the largest muscle group and will have a noticalbe effect)
– If it is hot or humid out
– If you haven’t slept or haven’t been sleeping well
– If you are dehydrated in any way for any reason
– If you are, or have been emotional
*If your doctor weighs you, don’t pay any attention to the number because it is going to be different from your scale at home. I don’t know why, but it happens, and it is crazy making. I just tell them I don’t want to know.
ALL of these will throw the scale off, and that may throw you off mentally and emotionally, so why go there?
Trust the process.
If you can honestly say that you are eating clean, exercising intensely emough, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and not drinking alcohol every night, then trust that the process is working.
If your clothes fit better, that is the fat loss feedback you can count on and the scale will eventually reflect it. You can’t keep losing inches (actual body fat, after the initial bloat loss) and the scale not go down. It’s impossible. So all you need is patience and trust.
However, if you don’t have a nutrition plan you’re following (not a diet, a plan), you can’t remember when you exercised last and you aren’t drinking enough water, then it is time to get real with your expectations.
One of my clients said to me once, so brilliantly, “I want a big number but then I ask myself, what have I done to get a big number?” I love this honesty and acceptance of responsibility. That is some growth!
Everyone that I’ve ever worked with in losing weight has hit a plateau on the scale at some point, and I’ve been through it as well. I know it is so frustrating because you’re trying your best every day and all you want is for the stinking scale to show you some numbers
This is why I always take measurements with my clients, it’s a sanity saver. Whenever someone tells me they haven’t lost weight in a few weeks I first go through the checklist of when NOT to get on the scale. If everything checks out, then I pull out the measuring tape and there is always a loss of inches! Smiles and sighs of relief are had and then patience is fired up. The scale WILL eventually drop, and it always does.
Take these measurements this week, and then every 3-4 weeks after that.
Waist at belly button
– If you don’t have a measuring tape you can get one at any CVS/Rite Aid type store.
– You may need someone to help you but I suggest you do it yourself so that you have consistency.
– Only measure every few weeks for true fat loss results.
– Measure at the roundest part of the body. You’ll need to stand in front of the mirror to do this so you can make sure the tape is straight across front to back.
Chest: ladies, this isn’t the measurement you get when fitted for a bra (under the breasts), it is across the breasts.
Hips: Stand to the side in the mirror and measure across the roundest part of your sexy booty.
Thigh: At the top of your leg where thighs touch.
Arm: Lift arm to get the tape around but then drop your arm to your side and measure at the roundest/thickest part at the bicep area.
Whatever you do, don’t weigh or measure yourself if you aren’t prepared to handle the number no matter what it is. Let the mood pass. There’s always tomorrow.