Ever since scales became available in small, personal home versions – there has been an increased obsession with checking them & lamenting or celebrating the results.
Since you are reading this, you are likely someone who feels the nagging curiosity that drives you to check your own scale…
So as they say – if you’re going to do something…make sure you do it right.
To get the most accurate results from the scale – be sure to weigh yourself after using the bathroom, without any clothes on & a biggie: first thing in the morning.
Why The Scale Changes Constantly…
It is important to keep things as consistent as possible in order to get the most accurate results as possible from the scale. Below are 5 things to remember before you weigh:
1) Always Use the Same Scale – Scales are not all calibrated the same. If you are looking to see a difference in your weigh don’t compare numbers across different scales, compare the results of the same scale as close to the same time of day as possible.
2) Keep The Scale In The Same Spot – Placing the scale on a different type of floor, can make a difference in the results.
3) Never Weigh on Carpet – In keeping with the point above – make sure that the consistent ‘scale spot’ is a hard surface (i.e. hardwood, tile). Carpet is soft & can make for inaccurate or fluctuating results.
4) Check Your Batteries – Low batteries in a digital scale can give you inaccurate results
5) Use the Bathroom First – If possible try to go #1 & #2, obviously, there will then be less to weigh & you will get more accurate results about how much your body actually weighs, not your food & drink.
6) Scale Quality – As a rule, the cheaper the scale the less accurate the results can be.
What You Are Weighing…
Remember that when you are weighing yourself, you are weighing everything in your body & every function taking place within it at that time. Below are 3 reasons why you can see different weights at different times throughout the day.
1) Muscle – You are weighing muscles which can swell & contract depending on how recently you’ve worked them out or rested them. (*Also, remember, if you’re looking for weight loss but also engaging in a strenuous workout routine you may be losing fat but building muscle. Muscle is denser than fat so you may see a gain on the scale despite a positive change to your actual physique.)
2) Water – Approximately 20% of meals are made up of water and of course you should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day. Therefore, the amount of water in your body at any given time can make a big difference to the number on the scale. (*This is not to say you should dehydrate yourself simply to see a lower number on the scale, just keep it in mind.)
3) Stress – Believe it or not stress can make a difference to the number on the scale. When you are stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol through the adrenal glands. Unfortunately, too much cortisol can inhibit the body from burning fat, making the scale appear to stay where it is when you’re trying to lose weight or even cause you to gain.
Why First Thing In The Morning…
Ok, so you’ve heard what not to do, but now why is weighing in the morning the thing TO do? Let’s revisit some of the factors that affect the scale and why they are less of an issue first thing in the morning:
Food – After sleeping 8 hours (hopefully!) it should be the longest amount of time your body has gone without food & drink in a 24 hour period. Therefore – after using the bathroom you should be as ‘emptied out’ as possible. Meaning that this is the best time to weigh just your body – your skeleton, muscles, & organs – not any food or drink you ingested.
Muscle & Stress – After sleeping, your mind & muscles should be the most relaxed they will be all day. It is best to weigh your body when it is unaffected by any stress-inducing situations or strenuous, muscle-engaging workouts.
Consistency – Above all, it is important to compare ‘apples to apples’ so to speak. Meaning – it’s important to compare as many of the same factors as possible. Try to weigh yourself as close to the same time each & every time you weigh. Also, if you choose not to weigh naked at least weigh on the same scale, in the same spot & wearing the same amount of clothing.
In the long run, remember that the scale is only one measurement tool & there are a number of other ways to measure changes to your body. If your goal is to lose fat & gain muscle, the best way to determine these measurements are by working with a BioSignature Practitioner. If you live in London you can find a practitioner here.
Also keep in mind how reps become easier & your endurance becomes greater as you continue to exercise & eat right. Remember also that obsessing about the scale will just increase the stress & therefore the cortisol levels mentioned above so the more you relax – the better the results will be!
In closing, know your weight accurately but do not become obsessed with it. Use your accurate weight measurement & body fat % to inform you of your current level of health & physical state.
To Your Best Health
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