I always get a bit worried when someone tells me that they weigh themselves daily. Often, they say it’s to keep themselves “in line” and not stray with their nutrition and training plan. Yikes! This speaks of obsession and control-freakiness (I realise that’s not actually a word).
Here’s why weighing yourself too often can hinder rather than help your physique goals:
The Scale Lies
If you’re using the scale to monitor the effectiveness of your training program and diet, you’ll find that the scale doesn’t always give you good feedback. Even if you take your weight naked at the same time every morning, you won’t necessarily know what’s happening. Your weight varies on a day-to-day basis for dozens of reasons, including hydration levels, the current state of your digestion, hormones, and what you ate the night before. I’ve actually managed to put on five pounds over one weekend when I’ve eaten to excess (yes, I do occasionally do this, without guilt), including foods with more salt than I’m used to.
Did I put on five pounds of fat in a couple of days? Of course not! Some of the weight was water retention and the rest was food that wasn’t – ahem – dealt with yet. A few days later, after eating my usual foods, I was back down those five pounds.
A Rough Guideline
I don’t think it’s terrible to weigh yourself every week or two if you’re working towards a goal and you want to assess your progress. Just don’t get too caught up in it. Controlling every molecule you put into your mouth isn’t going to spare you weight fluctuations. Keep consistent with your nutrition and training and the changes will come.
Does Weight Even Matter?
Muscle weighs more than fat (ie. fat occupies more space) so you might put on muscle and look leaner, but the scale doesn’t budge. Who cares? You look better, right? Isn’t that what you really want?
I mean, some athletes need to get themselves to fit into a particular weight class for their sport, but what about the rest of us? Nobody’s going to ask you to get on a scale in your day-to-day life. Your co-workers will notice how much better you look though. They’ll ask what you’ve been doing to get such toned arms. Your date might take a second peek at your butt as you turn around. Nobody’s going to be doing any measuring.
Focus on what matters; a consistent training and nutrition plan that makes you feel strong, energetic, and good about yourself.
The numbers will take care of themselves.