Should You Weigh Yourself or Not?
In a weight loss process, the scale is often the tool we use at home to assess the ‘’quality’’ of our endeavour.
The numbers we see on the scale become so important to us that they can even dictate how motivated we are to stay on track and adopt healthy eating and exercise habits. ‘’What? After exercising like a lunatic and eating flawlessly for the entire week, I didn’t lose a single pound?!?! That’s it for me, tonight I’m having poutine and I quit this idea of exercising!’’ Does this little inner voice sound familiar?
Of course, although I’m not a fan of the scale, it is still a monitoring tool, as long as we know how to use it properly and understand how to process the information it provides.
When is it time to verify your weight? First of all, you should only do it once a week at the most. ALWAYS use the same scale, as it allows for a better comparison of the variations from one week to the next, and do it on the same day each week after a complete bowel movement, preferably when you wake up in the morning.
How should you interpret the number you see on the scale? This number provides an estimate of your overall weight and makes no distinction between fat, water, and muscle. Because these elements can increase or decrease on an individual basis depending on your new habits, the status quo can leave you with the impression that your efforts are fruitless, whereas in truth your body composition has changed (less fat, more muscle and water). For a more accurate assessment, use various measuring methods, including circumferences, the sum of your skinfold measures, and bio-impedance analysis in body composition.
The scale should not be the only tool you use to measure your progress (and motivate you). Even if the number you see is not what you would like it to be, keep in mind that your health will always benefit from the healthy choices you make. Therefore, do not adopt healthy habits only for the sake of finally seeing the magic number you wish to see on the scale; above all, do it for yourself, and be proud of each healthy choice you make!
By Karine Larose