- Don’t weigh every day. Our body weight can fluctuate a lot, going through peaks and troughs as we lose weight. Weighing every day can be demoralising when you catch one of these peaks that may have nothing to do with a gain in body fat. A weekly weigh gives a clearer indication of your weight loss progress.
- Always weigh at the same time of day. Our weight tends to be heavier at the end of the day than at the beginning, so choose your time of day to weigh and stick with it for future weigh-ins.
- Always use the same set of scales and make sure they stay in the same place. It’s rare to find two sets of standard bathroom scales that weigh exactly the same. How a set of scales performs can also depend on the surface it rests on. To avoid getting inconsistent readings, use the same set of scales for your regular measurements and ensure that they never move.
- Scales can lie! (water or fat?). To gain a pound of fat requires consuming an extra 3,500 calories above your normal intake. If you step on the scales and discover you’ve put on 1lb since yesterday, is this the dreaded fat gain?! The question to ask yourself is – did I really have 3,500 calories more than my daily allowance (2,000 calories for woman, 2,500 for men)? Chances are the answer is no. The body’s need to retain water fluctuates depending on many factors, such as activity levels, hydration, and for women where they are in their monthly cycle. Don’t let a water gain fool you into thinking it’s fat. Barring an underlying medical condition, as long as you stick with your healthy diet and calorie deficit, you’ll make progress no matter what the scales sometimes say.
- Take some measurements. In addition to monitoring your weight, it’s worth taking other measurements to see how your progress is going. Knowing your waist circumference, chest and hips can show you how far you’ve come on your diet journey. These can always motivate you if you hit a plateau with your weight loss as toning and exercise continues making a difference to your body’s shape. And once you’ve reached your target weight you can marvel at how many inches you’ve managed to lose!
David Bowie, owner of Healthy Fit Life, is a mobile personal trainer and sports massage therapist working in the Farnham and Camberley area.