Scales: Never, occasionally or every day?

person the scales weighing themselves
Simon Long

Simon Long

Simon is a highly experienced personal trainer and behavioural psychology expert
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So I was reading a study that was performed by the National Weight Loss Registry, who are based in the USA. Their mission is to find out why weight loss maintenance is so rare and what  solutions for it we can put into place.
Although they found many common occurrences between those who had managed to keep weight off for a considerable amount of time, one stood out as particularly intriguing for me. This was the statement that those who managed to maintain their weight loss wee the people who stepped onto the scales everyday.

According to the study, doing this gave the advantage of keeping their weight, and so their activity levels and nutritional intake, at the front of their minds. It also gave the advantage of allowing them to catch any changes in their weight very quickly. This allowed them to quickly identify where the issues was, allowing it to be corrected.

This was an interesting find for me as it is something that I use. Most days I will step on the scale to see how things are progressing. Usually at the moment I am looking for the numbers to increase, as I want to gain muscle. But as I’ve just been through a cheat weekend I am on a cut for the next week or so. By weighing myself each day I can see if the tactics I’m using are moving the numbers in generally the right direction.

However there is a good argument for not doing this. In case you weren’t aware, your weight can fluctuate massively over a 24 hours period. This has multiple reasoning, including if you need the toilet, if you have a full stomach, if you have a full bladder, full or empty glycogen stores (energy stored in muscles) and water retention.

As an example my weight often fluctuates by a kilo and a half over a day. Since I just finished a cheat weekend my weight has increased by over 5kgs! But none (or very little) of this is fat. And this is the problem with daily weighing. Nearly all of your weight fluctuations are nothing to do with fat stores.

For this reason its often argued that scales shouldn’t be used at all, and instead body fat % or wasit and hip measurements are a better way to track fat loss.

Of course over time, say a few months, you will see a downward trend if you are losing fat. Which is where the argument.of weighing yourself, but infrequently, comes in.

So whats the answer? Well as with everything else in the Body Vision method, I think it comes down to the individual. For myself it keeps me focused and on track to be able to regularly and immediately see whats going on. I understand the daily fluctuations and how timing affects them, so I don’t become discouraged when the numbers aren’t exactly what I would have hoped for.

For others it was be very demotivational to see slight increases occasionally in their weight, in which case weighing every week to month would be a smarter idea.

Or maybe you’re happier working out your weight loss without the scales, and instead use a pair of jeans to gauge if your slimmer or not.

Frankly, whichever may allows you to judge if what your doing is working and doesn’t cause you to lose motivation is the best option for you.

So as always, test out each approach, and decide which your prefer.

Good luck! =]

If you want to get your weight loss journey supercharged then come and see Simon, Leicesters top personal trainer and weight loss coach. Book your free half hour consultation now!! Find out more at Personal Trainer Leicester

Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash