It’s one of the most common questions from weight loss clients.
If you asked a bunch of fitness gurus you’d get answers ranging from “Everyday” to “You’ve got scales? Biff ‘em out the window!”
What’s a girl to do?!
Here’s a look at the Pros + Cons of weighing-in so you can choose what works best for you.
Little Miss Everyday
At first glance, weighing yourself daily seems like a good idea. Immediate feedback, you can see whether you’re on track or not, catch trouble early and correct it.
And, according to the National Weight Control Registry, 44% of their members who have lost 15kgs, and kept it off for more than a year, weigh themselves daily.
So, some compelling evidence for the daily weigh-in.
But…and it’s a big but…. you need to ask yourself “Can I handle whatever it is the scale has to say?”
I ask this because many clients admit they use the number on the scales as a way to self-sabotage.
For example, you’ll have noticed your weight fluctuates from day to day, irrespective of what you’ve eaten or how you’ve exercised.
As women – depending on the time of the month – we can effortlessly fluctuate a kilo or three with fluid retention alone.
Even though logically we know it’s physically impossible to gain a couple of kilos in a single day, seeing the daily fluctuation will make most women feel flat and too disheartening to handle.
We already know how easy it is to skip a workout or be tempted by the second serve of chips when you’re feeling flat or disheartened.
Another trap of weighing yourself every day is that it can become a measure of your self-esteem.
We’ve all been there.
We get that it’s JUST A NUMBER.
We also know how easy it is to have a “Whoop whoop, I so totally rock” day, (or, its nemesis, the “I so totally suck,” day), based purely on the where the needle sits at the morning weigh-in.
Little Miss Weekly
Weekly weigh-ins tend to be more motivating because you don’t see the daily (and completely normal) fluctuations.
Instead you’d see a weekly trend without being overwhelmed by daily information.
If you do decide to weigh yourself – daily or weekly – do it at the same time of the day and/or day of the week.
Remember that clothes do make a difference, so your birthday suit is best.
Also, weigh yourself before working out to get a more accurate picture. I’ve personally, ahem, ‘lost’ three kilos after a full-on work-out on a hot day. (It’s just fluid loss, darling).
And, remember, if you’re working out and eating well, but the scale jumps up, it’s probably fluid retention.
Focus on the overall downward trend, and if you plateau, keep on trucking.
Finally, keep in mind the scale is just one measurement tool. It’s no Holy Grail of your progress.
Little Miss Biff ‘em
Personally, I find the scales cause an unnecessary preoccupation with weight loss rather than the real prize.
The real prize is you feeling and looking fabulous, you bursting with energy, you being healthy.
That’s the ultimate. I’m yet to come across a pair of scales that can accurately capture progress towards that goal.
For example, if you’re changing your habits (working out and eating well), you’ll get leaner, sometimes without getting lighter. The scales simply don’t have the skills to communicate this to you.
Instead, I suggest you track your progress by paying attention to the fit of your clothes or rings, and start noticing the new levels of energy and confidence you’re feeling in your body.
Remember there’s no right or wrong way. I’ve clients who’re (now) at their happy weight and weigh-in daily. Others have biffed the scales and enjoy the freedom of never weighing in.
So, honey, what are you going to do?
Now you know the Pros + Cons. You can benefit from the former, keep in mind the latter, and chose what’s right for you.
Be brave and share with us where you are on the scales issue. Do you weigh yourself every day, every week, or have you thrown the scales out? What measures do you rely on to track your progress and keep you accountable?
Love etc, Avril
PS: And remember darling, you’re so more than a number on a scale.