Should You Weigh Yourself?
This seems like the perfect time to write this, with us all fresh from our festive binges!
People are either jumping on those scales desperate to ditch the pounds they’ve gained, or throwing their scales out of the window out of fear of what they might say.
My thinking on whether or not you should use the scales to track your progress is this; you should either do it all the time or never. Let me explain…
I usually advise two approaches:
The first is that you get up every morning, go to the toilet and then weigh yourself at around the same time everyday, you then enter this on myfitnesspal or write it down and think no more of it.
The second is that you don’t weigh yourself at all and rather use tape measurements and progress pictures to track your progress.
Don’t do what most people do which is to hop on the scales at random times. If you weigh yourself on different days, at different times you are going to get, predictably very different readings.
And here’s why…
Weight loss is not linear, your body weight will fluctuate from day to day and throughout the day. This can be due to how hydrated you are, whether you have been to the toilet, if you’ve trained, eaten salty foods, if you’re female your menstrual cycle, and many other reasons.
The important thing is that overall your weight is moving in the right direction.
You need to be able to zoom out from the day-to-day variations and look at the overall pattern.
An example I’ve used before (I’m not sure if it’s any good) is of a football team that wins the league. Along the way they’ve drawn the odd game and even lost a few, but on the whole there are enough positive results that they win the league. Looking at a loss or draw in isolation would give a very different picture to what happened overall, weight loss is exactly the same.
If you are obsessive, impatient, impulsive, overly emotional then perhaps this approach isn’t for you. If your weight going up by half a pound is going to make you want to quit then don’t do it, and that’s absolutely fine.
Most people are motivated to lose weight so they look better, nobody I know walks round with a set of scales ready to jump on and show everyone they meet how much they’ve lost. In which case using tape measurements and progress pictures will be far more effective in showing what you’ve lost. Again try to be consistent, take these at the same time, on the same day, in the same clothes, perhaps weekly or fortnightly.
Pick your approach and stick with it, if you go with tape measurements and progress pictures you still need to realistic. Significant results don’t happen overnight, be consistent and try to enjoy the process.