How To Use The Scale To Get In Better Shape
Picture the scene…
You step on the scale on Saturday morning and weight 65kg. But on Sunday morning you weight 67kg. How it that possible?! Did you really gain 2kg of fat in one day?!
No. Absolutely not
That’s called a daily fluctuation and it’s what happened to me this weekend.
On Saturday I weighed in at 86kg. This morning I weighed 88kg.
That 2kg is a daily fluctuation and doesn’t represent weight gain. Why? Because Saturday was a higher calorie day and I ate A LOT of food. But I didn’t gain 2kg of fat and neither did you if you’ve ever been in that situation.
See, weight loss doesn’t happen in a linear fashion. You won’t lose weight every day (even after a good diet day). You won’t always lose weight every week.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Expecting your weight to have dropped every time you step on the scale is setting yourself up for failure.
Scale weight fluctuates. If you constantly expect it to go down, you’ll drive yourself crazy, lose motivation and eventually quit.
Does that mean you shouldn’t weigh yourself?
No, you should. (Research finds people who weigh themselves regularly are better at maintaining a healthy body weight)
So, weigh yourself daily, but if it hasn’t gone down, don’t freak out. Keep a track of your weight and review your progress every 2 weeks. Over a 2 week period you should notice an accurate trend – then you can review and adjust your diet as needed
Why do daily fluctuations happen?
Daily fluctuations can happen for a few reasons:
- Did you have a higher calorie day than usual?
- Did you drink heavily?
- Were you dehydrated?
- Ladies, is it that time of the month?
There’s no real way of knowing why the scale may have fluctuated. But that doesn’t matter. Just know that it does. And it’s nothing to worry about.
I’ve had clients whose scale weight has fluctuated by up to 4kg in one day. It’s all part of the process. The next time this happens to you, promise me you won’t freak out.
Even if you had a great day the day before you weigh yourself. The scale nor your body works like that. Look at the bigger picture over a longer period and you’ll see that your day to day weigh ins aren’t that big a deal. The scale is a great tool BUT it’s not the only way to track your progress
Using more than one way to track your progress increases your chances of success.
Take Body Part Measurements Every 2 Weeks
Grab hold of a measuring tape and measure yourself in the following places:
- Chest (around the nipple line)
- Shoulders (arms by your side and measure all the way round)
- Waist (around the belly button)
- Biceps (flexed)
- Mid Thigh
Taking body measurements is a sure fire way to know whether you are on track. If you aren’t then you can adjust your calorie intake as needed.
It’s possible that you can remain the same weight and still lose inches from your measurements.
If you lose 2 pounds in 4 weeks and also gain 2 pounds of muscle then you will stay the same weight BUT your measurements will change. That’s why the scale isn’t always the most reliable tool for tracking your progress.
Losing inches but remaining the same weight is progress despite what the number on the scale is telling you.
Take Progress Photos Every 4 Weeks
Take progress photos every 4 weeks in the same clothes – how lose are they getting? How do you feel?
This is hands down one of the best ways to track your progress. It’s a quick and easy way to know whether you are heading in the right direction.
Do you look better in the mirror? Are your trousers hanging loser?
They key here is to make sure you take the same photos every time. Preferably in the same place too. Keep this as consistent as you can and your progress will be easy to see.
Track Your Progress In The Gym
Whatever training plan you choose to follow, make sure you track it. Have a small notebook that you take the gym with you. You may not improve session on session, but what trends do you notice over 2, 4 and 6 weeks?
Write down the exercises you do, the weight you use, the number of reps you do and your rest times.
Your weight, reps, sets, total work time or a combination of all 4 should be increasing over time.
Tracking your fat loss progress is about how you look and feel but it’s also about gym workouts too.
Improvements here will help you in your weight loss journey.
Start using these 4 systems as soon as possible.
Don’t make things harder for yourself by only utilizing the scales.
Use the scale to keep yourself accountable. But don’t let it get you down. Sometimes it lies to you. Losing weight is a game. Knowing how to play that game will help you win in the long run and keep your motivation high.
Let the scale play it’s game. Be consistent with your diet and training. You’ll win in the end.
By measuring your progress in a number of different ways you’ll start to pick up different trends. Has your weight remained the same but your shirt is fitting better? That’s progress.
Too many people get married to one system. Having many angles to view your progress is smart.