Checking the scales every hour of every day is not only pointless, it is destructive. If you really want to make sustainable progress, you need to trust the process and remember that there is no quick fix. Scales can come in handy if your goal is weight loss, but I don’t recommend weighing in more than once a fortnight, or your healthy obsession might become an unhealthy one.
I always tell my clients and 28ers to watch their habits, not their weight. When this fixation with our weight begins to take over, it can affect our mood and our motivation.
There are so many variables that can affect the number on the scales, which is why they’re not a reliable measure of progress. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate considerably within 24 hours.
There are several reasons for this, such as changes in your sodium and carbohydrate intake, water retention, training, dehydration – the list goes on.
More often than not, people look to the number on the scales as a source of instant gratification or confirmation that the workout they just completed has already resulted in a loss (wouldn’t that be nice?). In reality, the number of things that can impact the number on the scales means you’re not giving yourself accurate information. This can be disheartening and ultimately lead to poor choices.
This isn’t to say you should throw your scales in the bin. They can indeed be a useful tool to help you stay on track with your training and nutrition – but only when used wisely and only so often.
To ensure the scales are your friend, not your enemy:
- Do not weigh in more than once every 14 days. In fact, if you can push it out to every 28 days, that would be ideal.
- Always weigh yourself at the same time of day. First thing in the morning, before you’ve had anything to eat or drink, is best.
- Always use the same set of scales.
- Always weigh yourself before you train, not after.
- Wear the same clothes and leave your shoes off.
- Weigh in on Sunday night or Monday morning to keep you accountable on the weekends (this way you can’t hide from that bottle of wine or late night Macca’s run).
- Do not let the number on the scales derail your plan. If the number isn’t what you were hoping for, use this as motivation to propel you forward, not send you into a downward spiral.
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