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There’s so many reasons why you should measure your weight loss without a scale!
How many times have you stepped on the scale after a week or two of eating right, cutting the soda out, exercising and drinking plenty of water and got so discouraged you could cry?
Did you quit after stepping on the scale? How many times did you head straight to the cupboard and binge on the Little Debbie snack you’ve worked so hard at staying away from all week? Me too.
Almost every time I stopped my weight loss journey has been from the direct result of stepping on the scale. Our emotions get so tied to the scale and that becomes our obsession. Guess what…
That’s right, I said it! Deep down you know it too!
You’ve heard people say, “Muscle weighs more than fat!” This is true but there’s more to it than just that.
(I was also told the scale will read differently depending on where it is, carpet vs hard wood floors so it needs to be in the same spot every time. Now whether or not that’s true, who knows but I didn’t risk any chances so I kept it in the exact same spot for the longest time!)
Before I dive into the scale and why it’s not the BEST way to track your weight loss results, let me ask you a question? If you have a goal weight you are trying to obtain, why that number?
What made you pick THAT number and what makes you think that’s the magic number for you?
Were you a size 4 in high school and weighed 120 so now you think at 45 to be sexy again it has to be that same destination?
Do you want to be skinny and lean or do you want to have curves?
Do you have visuals in your head on what you want your arms, abs and booty to look like?
If so the scale isn’t the best for you. Maybe instead of a number on the scale you should think about what your body goals are.
The biggest factor in the scale being a lying son of gun is WATER. Water makes up 60% of your body and it’s fluctuation and retention plays such a huge role in the scale.
The body can shift it’s weight by 2 pounds at any point in the day because of water and that has nothing to do with calories or water intake. That’s just how it rolls.
Lets talk about retention of water. Did you know that the less you drink the more water your body holds in?
The slightest sign of dehydration and our body goes into survival mode. It holds the water you are drinking in fearing it may not get enough in the future. Our bodies do amazing things and the scale can’t keep up.
Most of the time we don’t even realize we are going into dehydration until it’s too late. Once you “realize” you’re usually pretty far into it.
Did you also know that most of the time that belly growling feeling we get is due to needing water and that’s why we hear to drink a glass of water before we eat? That helps you not eat as much because you realize you’re full and don’t really need to be eating.
So basically, drink water all day!
Get the flavor packets to change it up some but it’s so important to take in as much water as you can throughout the day and oddly enough you’re body will quickly begin to crave it.
Once enough water is drank on a daily basis the benefits start to show.
Salt intake affects the scale in a drastic way as well. Every TSP of salt is equal to 2,000 mg of sodium. This also causes you to retain water when you’ve had too much salt because the body is only supposed to have between 1,000 to 3,000 mg of salt DAILY! Also, higher processed foods carry more sodium therefore, you retain more water from eating processed foods.
Another interesting point about food is, if you eat a meal that weights 5 pounds and then weight yourself it IS going to affect the scale!
Check out my blog on fighting cravings and avoiding sodium.
Women also hold in several POUNDS of water prior to menstruating. It usually comes off after our periods are over but if you weigh yourself around that time you’re not getting an accurate number.
Another reason that can affect the scale, warm weather. When the weather is warmer our bodies get an excess of the hormone Aldosterone which causes us to retain water. (example, fingers swell during the summer months) Do you notice that your rings spin around your fingers in the winter time? That’s because your fingers have shrunk back down.
Weight loss and body fat percentage loss are two different things and quite frankly the scale doesn’t know the difference. The scale is measuring so many things all together like your organs, bones, water, fat, and muscles.
It doesn’t know when you gain or lose what it’s coming from. You don’t want to lose muscle because the more muscles you have the faster your metabolism burns throughout the day.
Which brings me to the intro to my next blog, Women and Weight Lifting. Please come back to read why that’s so important.
So what do I use to keep track? Glad you asked!
Measuring tape is probably my favorite.
Get yourself a cheap tailoring measuring tape and use it on your body parts. All over your body, such as arms, chest, waist, hips and thighs. There are plenty of downloadable or printable charts online and some apps to help keep track too. It’s very motivating to see the line drop down on the apps.
Pictures are gut wrenching in the beginning but work. Take front, back and both sides against a plain backdrop and try to use the same outfit when possible. Comparing those weekly will help keep you on track and help with the frustration!
Are your clothes fitting any better? That’s been a fast way to see results. Do your favorite pants still pinch your waist like they used too?
Lastly, if you absolutely MUST weight yourself, do it once a week first thing in the morning! Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t do it daily!
There are scales that measure body fat. If you think you will still measure yourself obsessively at least invest a couple of extra dollars in better scale. Check out this scale which shows body weight, plus whole body composition analysis including 9 important measurements such as; Body Weight, BMI, Body Fat and more.
Please leave a comment below on your experience with the scale and what ways you find best to seeing your hard work paying off!
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