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Scales – Friend or Foe?

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We all use these to see where our weight is, but are these devices a good way to measure success from your fitness program and eating plans? Well the answer is not really. While scales do measure your weight, there are reasons why this should not be your only way to measure success. I will break down my reasoning for this in this blog.

  1. Your weight will fluctuate day to day, or even hourly so measuring daily is not that helpful. It measures your weight at that exact moment in time. If you weigh yourself at different times during the day you will see different results.
  2. During the first 30 days of a workout program, your weight may or may not change much. Some people it does and some it doesn’t. There are a few factors for this. First is that your body composition is changing. You’ll be adding muscle and losing fat. The second factor is that often times when you start intense workouts your body retains extra water. After about a month or so it stops and you’ll feel like your losing a pound or two a day. I say this mostly in case this happens you won’t think that you’re doing something wrong or that the program isn’t working. For me, the magic started around day 30. The reason for that is also a bit of protective “swelling” and some irritation. Intense workouts break down muscle tissue, the body’s natural response is swelling, one for protection, two for healing/rebuilding, three to flush out lactic acid built up during the activity.
  3. It doesn’t measure your health – just your weight. Are you eating better, clothes fitting better, junk food cravings reduced or even your medical conditions may have improved. The scale doesn’t look at that.
  4. The scale also can de-motivate you when you see a number you did not expect or want to see.

I am not saying to never weigh yourself, but I would suggest to do it monthly first thing in the morning each time. But make sure you factor in everything else going on as well, not just your weight. Remember, you may still weigh the same but your fat is now more lean muscle and your body’s shape is different. That is what really counts.

Let me know what you think.

Coach Mike

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