Should you be weighing yourself? What’s the best method? Or should you just be throwing the scales out of the bathroom window?
The majority (not all) of the people I train have regular weigh-ins. Most (again, not all) fat loss clients will get weighed – the majority of people who lose fat will lose body mass, therefore weighing a person is a NORMALLY a valid measure of progress. Similarly, if a clients primary goal is size and strength, they will usually gain muscle (therefore gain body mass) so weighing is a good progress marker.
Just to clarify…I’m not encouraging everyone to start manically weighing themselves. If the number on the scale can in any way negatively affect your mood it’s just not worth the stress. It’s fairly low down on my list of priorities when I think of progress markers, but if the people wanna weigh…let em weigh (but do it right).
Your weight is just a number, a value, a measurement. In my experience, the more a person understands how and why bodyweight can change so much, the more objective they can be, and eventually rid themselves of scale-a-phobia.
So…if you can be objective about your own bodyweight, by all means hop on and weigh away.
Going back to basics, various measurements should be taken to monitor how your body is responding to your current diet and training.
Set a goal, make an action plan, execute the action plan, take measurements to monitor changes, adjust the action plan as necessary, execute new action plan, take measurements to monitor changes, adjust as necessary….and on the cycle goes.
Bodyweight is just one of many measurements that can be used. Circumference of waist, hips, arms, legs and chest, as well as skinfold measurements, are normally taken to monitor a persons physical response to their current diet and training. The more data (measurements) you have, the clearer you can be about your progress (or lack thereof).
So what’s the best way to weigh?
Weigh yourself on the same set of scales, at the same time of day (ideally first thing in the morning), wearing the same clothes.
The most common approach is to get on the scale at the same time, on the same day, once a week. This can be problematic. When you take a measurement of any sort, it’s a single snapshot of that second, on that day, and as I expanded on yesterday, bodyweight can fluctuate massively.
For example – if your ‘weigh-day’ is Tuesday morning, eating a carb heavy meal on Monday evening could increase your bodyweight by a couple of kg’s for a short period of time. If this is your sole point of reference of progress, you could interpret it as a fail; but in reality you’re only heavier for a short period of time. However…if you weigh yourself again on Friday, you have two reference points for the week, and therefore a better idea of the general trend.
So…this could be controversial, but if you’re going to weigh yourself (just to reiterate I’m not encouraging everyone to start obsessively weighing themselves) I’d suggest weighing MORE frequently. This will help get a broader view of the fluctuations and general trend, rather than one quick snapshot every week. Create an ‘Excel’ sheet, get those numbers plugged in and make a graph to which way the numbers are moving (see photo!).
Try to take the emotion out of the number on the scale – treat it as problem solving. As an example, if your main goal is fat loss, but over the days and weeks your weight isn’t moving in the right direction, don’t panic and don’t give up on your goal! Be objective – what could be improved? Could you add in an extra bit of cardio? Could you drop your carbs slightly?