Are you obsessed by the number on your bathroom scale or do you avoid it like the plague? If you’re eating well and focusing on mindset and movement, it can be frustrating to see the scale move in a way you don’t like. Daily scale check-ins shouldn’t be part of your routine.
Being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline. We need to start focusing on what matters—on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselvesMichelle Obama
Unfortunately, many of us use a morning weigh-in to determine our mood and self-worth for the day. But there are so many things that go into what number is displayed (and none of it correlates to your value!). So, read on for some reasons to limit your weight check-ins to once a week or less. The scale doesn’t measure…
Scale weight is not a true measurement of your health. It is simply one of many variables you should be considering to determine your level of health and feeling your best.
Fluids and Waste
When you wake up after fasting – usually for around 12 hours, you’re completely dehydrated and at your lowest weight of the day. This is why you may have heard it recommended to weigh yourself first thing in the morning after you’ve voided, and before you eat or drink anything.
You can also experience daily weight fluctuations of 1-3+ lbs due to waste that could be lingering in your large colon. Who knew poop could be so heavy? Be sure to keep the bowels moving with plenty of fluids, plant-based fibre and targeted supplementation, if necessary.
Muscle vs Fat
Your scale doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, organs, water, and as you just learned – poop!
When you lose weight, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost body fat as the average bathroom scale has no way of telling you what bodily tissues you’ve lost. Losing weight on the scale does not always translate into healthy fat loss off the scale.
For instance, the scale can’t tell if you’ve gained muscle.
The more muscle you have the more energy your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around – due to the fact that it’s a metabolically active tissue. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is generally able to eat more than say the chronic dieter who is unknowingly breaking down and losing muscle.
Building muscle also makes it possible to drop clothing sizes (and lose inches) without a significant change, if any, in scale weight.
Think of it like this… a pound of muscle is like a small, compact brick, whereas a pound of fat is like a bulky, lumpy pillow. So that’s why when you gain muscle and lose fat, your figure appears slimmer and more firm – but your scale weight may not change much.
For all the ladies out there…it’s not you, it’s your hormones!
Some women can gain up to 10 lbs right before or during their period. No joke! This is because of the natural drop in progesterone just before your period often causes digestive issues like water retention and constipation. And, let’s not forget how heavy poop can be!
Our bodies also tend to lose magnesium in the days before menstruation, which drives our insulin levels up leading to an increase in food cravings – especially for sugar.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that manages blood sugar levels is also a fat storage hormone. Read more about balancing your blood sugar here.
Your changing scale numbers have nothing to do with your long-term progress. They are just part of the overall health optimization journey.
Simply do your best to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle and understand that daily weight fluctuations are completely normal!