Stay Away From The Scales

Stay away from the scales. Please. Particularly if you’re the type of person who will get obsessed with them, and every number they throw up at you. Weight CAN be a useful measurement of how you’re progressing, but it can also be deceptive, and it can fluctuate massively for a variety of reasons. If you use it properly, ok, but you have to be patient with it.

How can it be deceptive? Well, it can be deceptive, because weight does not necessarily have a direct correlation with how you look or your body shape. I’ll pick my usual example of a professional rugby player. Now, you might know Joe Bloggs, who’s 16 stone, and it’s likely that he’s not going to look the same as a 16 stone inside centre playing for England. So, weight does not equal how your body looks. If you’re on a pretty decent weight training regime during your body transformation, it’s conceivable that you may not lose a lot of weight, but you will lose a lot of body fat, and probably gain muscle mass. So, purely going on weight would be a poor measurement for that person.

How can it fluctuate? Well, there could be a few reasons for this, and the main reason is likely to be water retention. When you have sodium or carbs in your diet, your body can actually retain more water because of that. On the flip side, if you’ve just done a workout, you may have sweat and lost some water. And then your body may retain extra water to help repair your muscles. Yeah, it’s complicated! Then there’s the food side of things, such as; when you last ate, how much you ate, maybe it was slightly more than last time you weighed yourself. In extreme circumstances, perhaps bowel movements and when you last went to the toilet. There could be personal considerations as well, like, are you on any medication that may hinder weight loss? And ladies, your cycle can affect your weight too. There’s a lot going on in our bodies, and it’s not always about body fat.

So, as you can see, there can be so many things that might affect your weight, and so many of them are only temporary. When you put that much emphasis on your weight, things like that can mess with your head and derail you, when really, they’re a false representation of how you’re progressing. If you’re going to insist on weighing yourself and judging your progress by the scales, make sure that you’re leaving a significant enough amount of time between measurements, and that you try to replicate the circumstances of your last weigh in as much as possible (same time, same day, same meal timings, same toilet visit). Honestly, there are much better ways to measure yourself, but if this is your way, be sensible about it. See you again next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer