The human body is complex, to say the least. It is possible for your weight to fluctuate a lot even in the span of 24 hours. If your plan is to lose weight, you should do it the healthy way. You should only aim to lose 1-2 pounds in a week.
You should be aware that your weight doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. The scale can lie too. A weighing scale doesn’t determine the amount of fat you’ve lost and the muscles you’ve built. And, although muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, since a pound is a pound, it is still more dense than fat. Therefore, you may work hard at the gym for 6 months, but don´t notice any changes in the number on the scale. That could simply mean that you’ve replaced the fats in your body with muscles.
The scales can prove to be your worst enemy when you set out on a weight loss journey. Although it may appear that the scale is doing a terrific job of tracking your weight and measuring your progress, it can actually serve as a counterproductive and discouraging medium.
You shouldn’t let the numbers on a scale determine your success or failure. When you start your journey, you shouldn’t only focus on losing weight. After all, unhealthy weight loss can be detrimental to your health and mind. If you have a scale-focused mindset, that mentality and train of thought can tempt you to starve and even go on fad diets.
So, when should you ignore the scales?
- You should ignore the scale right after you have had a meal
You should not weigh yourself after a meal. If you do so, you will notice an increase in your weight. However, you shouldn’t be alarmed because the increased weight is not due to increased body fat. It´s more likely that your blood volume has increased because of the quantity of food you have consumed. The weight of the food is also still in your stomach and digestive system. Therefore, you will experience this temporary increase in weight for a few hours or days. However, you should understand that the weight gain is anything but permanent.
- You should ignore the scale during the first weeks of a new diet or exercise routine
Of course, it is tempting for anyone to check their weight on the scale to track their progress. However, you shouldn´t do that when you have just started following a new diet or exercise routine. If you fail to see significant results, it can discourage you. It is natural for you to lose weight in the first few weeks of a weight-loss program. During such times, the body is deprived of the calories it is normally used to. However, it gets its energy by releasing its stores of glycogen. Now, glycogen holds onto water when glycogen is burned for energy, water is also released. Therefore, you will lose a lot of water weight in the beginning of your program. Now, the loss of water weight can fool you into thinking that you’ve lost a lot of weight.
- You should not use the scale immediately after a workout
So, you think that you´ve burned a lot of calories after running for an hour on the treadmill. Now, you are excited to witness the progress you have made by hopping onto the scale. However, you don´t notice any changes. That is because fat loss doesn´t happen pronto. If you do notice a change in your weight, it is most likely because of the lost water weight due to excess sweating. And, you will immediately gain the weight back after you rehydrate.
- You should not weigh yourself after drinking water
You will notice that you have lost weight (water weight) after a rigorous training exercise because of the excessive sweating. However, it is also possible for you to gain weight (water weight) after drinking plenty of water. Basically, a large 16-ounce glass of water will roughly translate into a pound on the scale. Of course, the weight gain is temporary. But, if you aren´t aware of it and you weigh yourself after drinking water, you will be discouraged by the increase in weight.
- You shouldn´t weigh yourself before bedtime
So, it appears that you want to check the progress you’ve made in the day before going to sleep. However, you should stop yourself from doing that. In most cases, when you do check your weight before bedtime, you will find yourself a few pounds over or under your morning weight. But, that doesn’t mean that you have suddenly lost or gained. The decrease or increase in your weight could be attributed to the supper you had a few hours ago, your last drink of water, and even the weight of your pajamas etc. We recommend when using the scale, you should only weigh yourself the same day each week, at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes, and using the same scale.