Streetly bootcamp trainer answers the modern age old question, should you weigh yourself when trying to lose weight?
We love a number don’t we?
It’s our way to measure progress and keep score.
And – if I’m honest
– I believe we should measure and track all the things important to us.
Including – our weight.
But (and it’s a BIG but) you need to know the rules of the game before you can keep score.
Have I lost you?
Let me explain…
I can lose as much as 2 lbs overnight.
And during a heavy 90 minute workout I can lose as much as 4-6 lbs.
Now before you get excited and ask how I do it…
Let me make it clear that this isn’t real weight loss.
It’s all water.
My point is this:
When I step on the scales in the morning or after training the number I see isn’t my real weight.
It’s a dehydrated me.
It’s not accurate.
My scales do not and cannot take into account how much I sweat, how much I drink or how much I have eaten.
And because of this my weight (and your weight) can vary significantly over a 24 hour period.
But it’s not just water that will change how much you weigh.
The energy stores in your muscles affect it too.
For example if you embark on a low-carb diet combined with intense exercise you will deplete the glycogen (energy) stores in your muscles.
When these stores are full you weigh more.
When they are empty you weigh less.
When you deplete your glycogen stores you can lose as much as 4lbs in just a few days.
Remember this is thanks to empty muscles – not fat loss.
So the next time you fill up on carbs your body is will replenish itself and suck up the energy to fill its glycogen stores.
In a nutshell the weight goes back on.
That’s not a bad thing, you need these energy stores.
And these are the rules of the game I was talking about.
These are the things you need to take into account when you are weighing yourself and monitoring progress.
Hopefully you now appreciate that weight loss and changes to your body composition can be difficult to measure with weighing scales.
That’s a fact and it’s the reason most top personal trainers use a range of tests to monitor their clients progress.
You should too.
In addition to weighing yourself I recommend you also:
1) Use the picture test
Quite simply take a picture from the front, back and side then watch for differences as the weeks go by.
2) Determine your body composition
This is a breakdown of how much body fat and lean muscle you have and can be measured with special scales or skinfold callipers you can pick up cheaply online.
3) Take measurements
Measure your thighs, waist, hips, chest, shoulders, upper arms and calves to see how they are changing with time.
4) The trouser test
A true measure of how your appearance is changing by simply seeing if your trousers are getting looser.
The four methods combined with your weight are a more accurate and motivating way of measuring change and monitoring your success.
On its own, weight is just a number.
It doesn’t always tell you if you’re getting bigger or smaller.
It goes up and down.
It can deceive you.
It’s not always the best indicator for weight loss.
Instead take a picture, find out your body composition, check your trousers, measure yourself AND weigh yourself.
Let the combination of measurements guide your progress and keep you sane.
See you soon!
P.S. Would you like to lose 1-2 stone before Christmas and enter the new year with a bang’in body?