Q. How important is my actual weight? Is there a best time to take my weight and how often should I weigh in? How much does the scale matter?
A: I have to believe most women have had this experience. You look in the mirror and feel pretty good about how you look but then you step on the scale and.. GASP! The number has jumped up. There goes your good mood and positive self image! But why? It is crazy how powerful we have let that one little number become.
It is crazy how powerful we have let that one little number become.
For so many of us the scale is a source of stress and self-loathing, but it really shouldn’t be. Don’t think of the scale as anything other than a compass — a tool that we use to see changes over time. It gives us one indicator about what’s going on with our bodies so we can effectively modify our programs to ensure continued progress. It’s just a barometer — no more and no less and we should use it along with other factor to determine where we are at in our fitness journey.
If you are trying to lose weight, it can be helpful to weigh yourself once a week to once every 2 weeks — at the same time of day, on the same day of the week, wearing similar clothing, and most importantly, ON THE SAME SCALE. Keep in mind that your weight may fluctuate on a daily basis, and certainly on a weekly basis, because of hormones and fluid retention.
If you are trying to maintain your weight, once every 2 weeks to once a month should be good. In between weigh ins, use other, more relevant indicators of health and fitness to be sure you are on track. Do you have a lot of energy? How are your clothes fitting? Do you find yourself sleeping well? Are your workouts feeling strong?
Keep in mind, muscle is denser than fat so if you have been working hard at the gym you may actually gain weight on the scale but still have a tighter, leaner body as you gain muscle and lose body fat. I see this all the time with my clients!
Bottom-line…. break free from the scale. The number alone does not determine your overall health and fitness level!