I want to talk about the good old body weight scales. In our 8 week challenge group at the moment we are exploring what we call Non Scale Victories - positive elements that you have noticed while on a weight loss journey that are not at all related to the number on a scale. And we will look a little at these below.
But I want to firstly remind you that the number on the scale means only one thing - that there is a number on the scale. It is ONE piece of data that all of us put way too much pressure on to be what we want it to be. I have been there too - for most of my life. We think that the smaller the number, the happier we will be. And it simply isn't true. When we lose weight - watching the scales go down is motivating, yes. It helps us stay on track. But what else do you feel when you lose weight? Your clothes fit better. You have more energy. You look healthier, your skin might clear up, you feel more confident and happier with yourself. That's like 5 other things that happen when you lose weight that have nothing to do with the number on the scale.
Can anyone tell me in the comments below which two macros/substances we put into our body will increase our weight on the scale the next day - just purely because water attaches itself to it?
The scales show us a total body weight. This includes muscle, organs, fat cells, hair and water. OMG does it include water! Water is the biggest reason why your weight fluctuates up and down a lot from one day to the next - which is why you should never weigh yourself daily. Ever.
Did you know that eating a large starchy carbohydrate meal the night before a weigh in will affect the number on the scale? When we eat starchy carbs our body holds onto more water and it takes longer for that water to leave our bodies. Try again in a day or two and see the difference. The same goes for alcohol.
In short - the scales give us one piece of data, one piece of the body composition puzzle and therefore it should be used as such. It is not to be used as the be all and end all.
So - how can we use the scale effectively?
If you are going to weigh yourself, do it once a week, at the same time, in the morning, after the toilet and before eating, drinking, exercising or showering. Yes - all of those things will change the number on the scale! Have a shower? You have water weight on you. Exercise? Your muscles will be holding water and inflamed, plus you likely will have had water during your exercise. Need to do a number 2 on the toilet? That right there can take half a kilo off for you! So make sure it is the same every week. Do not weigh yourself every couple of days and not everyday.
Use the number on the scale as a guide only. If you are within 2 kg of the week before, you are pretty well on track. Dont stress - if you ate starchy carbs or drank alcohol the day before - give yourself some grace.
If your weight does not track downwards (if that's your goal) for 2 weeks IN A ROW - then you may do a review of what you are doing but only after you have considered - foods you ate the day before, where you are in your menstrual cycle, stress and sleep for the last week.
The scale should be used with all other data - if you feel bloated and the scale has gone up - is it menstrual? Is it carb loading? If the scale has gone up but you feel amazing - ignore the scale.
There are lots of other things you can use to tell you if you are on the right track:
How are your energy levels? If you find your energy levels have increased - then you are eating well, moving well and doing the right thing for your body. Keep going. Ignore the scales.
How are you sleeping? If you are sleeping ok and getting rest - ignore the scales.
If your clothes are fitting better - ignore what the scale says.
If your skin is clearing up - ignore the scales.
If you look smaller in the mirror/photos - ignore the scales.
Let your body be a guide for you - not the scales. The scales can go up and down for reasons we have no idea about and we put way too much emphasis on one single number.
How are you feeling about this so far? Do you agree? Or have any questions?
I want to finish quickly with a list of non-scale victories that our clients have had on the Innerfit programs - that mean so much more for lifelong weight management than a quick drop on the scales ever will.
Eating healthier foods
Learning to meal prep
Learning to fuel the body properly
Increased energy and attention span
Joints and muscles moving better
Reduced sugar cravings
Eating more and loving it
Clothes fit better and become looser
Lethargy and tiredness significantly reduced
Healthier family meals.
See? There is so much more that is important on your weight management journey than a number on the scale. If you aim for just one or two of those non scale victories while on a weight program - you are set for lifelong success.
Want to try one of our Innerfit programs for not only great weight loss, but a gazillion non-scale victories to have you feeling your best?