The scale is just one measurable
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
Some fear it. Some obsess over it. And some truly do have an unhealthy relationship with it.
Generally, I do ask most clients with weight loss goals to weigh themselves daily if they are comfortable with it.
This is not because it’s the most important measurable, but it is typically the fastest and most easily available.
Stepping on the scale can normalize it. The more we do something, the less we fear it. It also gives you data that shows how you change over time.
But it is important for people to know, you will not, and probably should not, see a decline in weight every day. Your weight will fluctuate from day to day. It can be impacted from simple things like what time you weigh in, how much water you drank, when you ate your last meal, how much sleep you got, the timing of your last workout, your last bowel movement, your menstrual cycle (for females) and how much sodium you’ve consumed.
The important thing is to see an overall downward trend over time.
This is because if weight loss is a goal, most of us want to see the numbers. When they trend in the right direction they can be very motivating.
But it’s important to point out that this is just ONE measurable. There are MANY other ways to gauge success. For example:
Measurements. Many clients report changes in their measurements before a change on the scale.
The fit of your clothes. How you feel in your favourite jeans for example
Energy level. Food is fuel for our body. Choosing consistent, high quality fuel will provide energy.
Improved sleep. Losing weight and getting good sleep go together like peanut butter and jelly. A good coach will encourage you to consider a good sleep routine, and typically if you are sleeping well, you notice you have more energy.
Improved physical performance. A good nutrition plan should support your physical activity and aid your performance goals.
Improved health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
Body fat percentage. While some are critical of scales that measure body fat due to their potential for error, using that same scale can still show you a decrease over time.
Mental clarity. Clients often report feeling more focused.
A general feeling of wellness. Clients often report an overall positive feeling about eating well, cooking and sharing quality foods with their loved ones.
It is important to remember that the scale isn’t always a good tool for everyone. For example, those diagnosed with an eating disorder or those with disordered eating behaviours. These are serious and potentially dangerous issues that should be carefully treated with the help of a medical professional.
If you find that you attach your self worth to the scale, step off it. There are many other ways to track success.
Finally, remember that your weight is just a number. You shouldn’t define your self worth from any number in your life… not your annual income, your blood cholesterol, your fastest 5k or 1 rep max back squat. So while it is perfectly fine to set a goal weight for yourself, don’t expect that hitting that number will make you any more awesome than you already are today.