Over the years I have explained to my clients why the scales are not an accurate way to measure your real progress. Even when presented with all the rational explanations for why the scales are not a accurate measurement of progress, people still fixate on that number as the only measure of their success. I have had clients come to me who are obsessed with their scales and weigh themselves up to five times a day. Yes that’s right..five times a day! It’s unfortunate but for most of us, the number on a scale is the determining factor in whether we’ve succeeded or failed. For many it becomes an obsession.
The truth is your weight is just one aspect of your progress. The scale cannot give you specifics of what’s going on inside your body. Did you know you could be easily losing inches without losing any weight at all?
Daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to throw the scale in the bin, you should definitely familiarise yourself with the factors that influence its readings. There are important changes happening in your body that the scale can’t measure or detect. Some of these are listed below:
Changing Body Composition:
Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you look slimmer, and it’s more metabolically active. When you exercise, you gain muscle, raise your metabolism and lose fat, but that fat loss won’t always show up on the scale. Where it will show up is in measurements, how your clothes fit and how your body looks.
Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang on to its water supplies with a vengeance. Your body’s hydration level fluctuates from hour to hour and dehydration can result in the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.
Excess Salt can also play a big role in water retention and influence the scale to fluctuate upwards. Cut back on your salt intake and hidden salt in foods such as soups and sauces.
Prior to menstruation women can retain several pounds of water. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Premenstrual water weight gain can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high sodium processed foods to a minimum.
Ditch Those Scales Today!
So how much do you rely on the scale? Do they motivate you or does it make you feel worse? Would you ever consider getting rid of your scale permanently? If weighing yourself motivates you in a positive way, there’s no reason to change what you’re doing. However, if the scale makes you feel like a failure and unhappy, it may be time to try something new.
Changing your focus to goals that work on your fitness, strength and heath is a great way to take the focus off those scales and the number on the dial, which too many people allow to control their feelings and moods.
When it comes down to it, the best measurement should always be how you feel about yourself, how do your clothes feel, how do they fit and how do you feel about the effort you are putting in? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Don’t let a number on a dial ‘make’ or ‘break’ your day. Ditch those scales today!
Are You Obsessed With Your Scales?