Updated: Jul 29
Scales. The good, the bad and the ugly..
Let's say that your goal is fat loss, using a scale to measure progress can be an invaluable asset to your journey and a great tool in your arsenal. It can help reinforce your goals and keep you on track. For others, it can be a reminder of how slow the process is and it doesn't really show you anything other than weight. Are you feeling stronger, fitter, looking leaner, more defined etc. these are things the scale cannot judge. With this in mind, see some tips below to help you on your journey.
Weigh in frequency
You may think it's a good idea to weigh yourself every day, but this is not the case at all.
Naturally, your body will fluctuate in weight daily, it can be as much as 5lbs+ in some cases! This will be down to food/fluid intake, bowel movements, bodily functions, water retention etc. so it is important to weigh yourself once a week at the most.
If you are adamant about using the scales, a good idea would be to choose a day, time and exact place to weigh each and every week. This will keep your results fair;y constant and can be a good indicator of overall progress. Any more than this will likely cause frustration and can has been known to lead to obsessive behavioural patterns.
Patience and other physical/mental aspects
Having patience and enjoying the journey rather than rushing to reach the outcome will be vital for effective and sustainable fat loss. If the scales aren't for you, another way of tracking progress can be to concentrate on how you look, feel and perform.
Clothes getting looser? That's progress.
Body appearing leaner/tighter? That's progress.
Energy levels consistent/on the rise each day? That's progress.
A more positive outlook on training/increase in mood? That's progress.
Getting fitter and performing exercise with a bit more ease? That’s progress.
As you can see, a number on the scale can be great. But, the points raised above are what will make you stick to the plan long-term . If you focus on the numbers and how long they can take to decrease, you are likely to get discouraged and run the risk of giving up altogether.
Weighing yourself and losing weight is a great achievement and one that you'll likely want to share with loved ones and friends, they will likely notice anyway and comment on how good you look!
However, it can be a bumpy road of associating your self worth with a number on the scales. Remember that YOU are worth more than what the scale says. You don't have to be a certain weight or body shape as someone you have seen on social media.
The aim should be to be healthy, confident and be able to move well, often and for a long, long time. Once this is realized and you put the effort into training and nutrition the results you want will likely be the by-product of said effort!
Medical or specific weight goals
With all of the above said you may have a reason to get to a certain weight. It may be for a sporting event or for medical reasons. Either way, having a plan in place to lose a certain amount of weight per week can help and here of course the scales will play a huge role in progress tracking.
This is where scales can be beneficial and used more frequently than just your average gym goer or everyday person looking to lose some weight and get a bit fitter overall.
The number seen on the scale can be an indicator to ensure you are on track to losing x amount of weight week in week out until the desired end goal is attained. Same principles apply as mentioned above.
Same set of scales, same time/day/place each week and essentially keeping variables to a minimum.
What are your thoughts on the scales? Have you found them helpful on your journey or more of a hindrance? We would love to know!