You are not alone if you said YES! Do you get frustrated when you eat that one extra salty meal or when it’s that time of the month and all of a sudden gained an extra 5lbs. on the scale? Aaagghhhhh! I totally feel you and want to take that scale and throw it out the window!
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the scale my entire life, even to this day. When I was a teenager and all through my 20’s I was OBSESSED with the number on the scale. In high school, I would weigh myself in the morning before school, then after my workout and then again before going to bed. I was pretty neurotic about it and it consumed my every waking thoughts and life. Every morsel of food I ate, I would think, “is this going to make me gain weight”? Even if I hit my goal weight, I still wasn’t happy and in the long run this wasn’t physically or mentally healthy. If I could turn back time, I’d tell my younger self, “STOP living your life around the number on the scale!”.
What have I learned as an adult? The number on the scale should not consume one’s well-being. Weight fluctuation is a part of most everyone’s life and we should just come to accept that. I can tell you now that it’s been months since I’ve stepped foot on a scale and I feel so mentally free from scale jail! Instead of obsessing about hitting a goal weight, I go by how my clothes fit and how I physically feel. If my pants are little bit tighter, I know that I probably have not been eating as healthy as I should, so I re-evaluate my current meals (mostly snacking) and make adjustments.
Ever notice when you do start a diet that the first couple days, weight drops quickly but then plateaus? That’s water weight and it can easily go up and down and shouldn’t be confused with fat loss or gain. Our bodies are made of about 60% water and causes our weight to fluctuate up and down constantly. Mentally, this can drive us nuts and sometimes feel frustrated.
What should we be focusing on if it’s not body weight? Without getting too technical or into extreme detail, you should aim to keep your body-fat percentage and muscle mass within the recommended range. In general, for optimal health, women should keep their body-fat percentage under 30% and men under 25%. Getting a body composition test done through Dexabody or InBody will give the most accurate analysis and include details like body-fat percentage, muscle mass, water weight and skeletal mass. We’ll save more info on that for another post
For now, focus more on how you’re feeling and keep up the good eating and fitness habits! If you’re feeling sluggish and lethargic, do something active instead of eating an unhealthy snack or meal. It can be something small like taking a quick walk around the neighborhood or doing a few push-ups and planks. Do whatever physical activity it is that makes you HAPPY!
In my opinion, don’t weigh yourself every single day! I’m not saying that you should never weigh yourself….just don’t weigh yourself obsessively every single day (or multiple times per day) and be a victim of “scale jail”. If you need to know your weight, minimize weigh-ins to once per week or month just to stay in check. When you do weigh yourself, do it first thing in the morning before eating or working out for the most accurate reading.
***The content in this post is my personal opinion. Please consult with a physician if you have any serious health issues or need medical attention.