A scale can be a valuable tool in any weight-loss journey. It can tell you where you started and help you track your progress over time. As useful as the scale can be, don't forget that when you step on a scale, you can’t see how much muscle or fat you have. All you see is how heavy you weigh. It's entirely possible for those numbers not to budge, even though you've been working out and eating healthy for a week. When used too often, the scale can drive you crazy! Especially if your main goal is weight loss.
If you find yourself weighing in often (multiple times per day or every day of the week) you're not doing yourself any favors. There are certain times when weight fluctuates, and it's important to remember that the scale does not tell the whole story.
Times When The Scale Isn't Entirely Accurate:
1. Right after you've eaten.
You ate a meal and now the scale is up five pounds? What gives? No, you didn't actually gain that body fat from eating a heavy meal. The weight of all that food is still sitting in your stomach and digestive system. You won't like the number you see on the scale after a big meal, but that doesn't mean the meal you ate caused any real weight gain.
2. Immediately after a workout. You just ran on the treadmill so you hop on the scale in the locker room to see how much fat you burned off. Sorry, but fat loss doesn't happen immediately. Any weight change you might see is lost water weight through sweating that will come right back as soon as you rehydrate.
3. You just drank water.
Just as you noticed the loss from sweat, you can also notice the gain of water from drinking fluids. A 16-ounce glass of water will translate into roughly a pound on the scale; your body will get rid of it, but immediately after you drink it, it's going to show.
4. At night.
The timing of your last meal, your last workout, your last drink of water, and how much your PJs weigh will all play a role in the number on the scale right before bedtime. This is one of the reasons weighing-in on the same day each week, at the same time of day, and using the same scale is the best way to get as accurate of a picture of your true weight.
Don't let those daily fluctuations discourage you or get you too excited when it comes to weight loss. At The Edge, we offer our Fit & Total members one Inbody Scan per month. Our InBody scales will show you what your weight really represents. The InBody test is a non-invasive body composition analysis that provides a detailed breakdown of your weight in terms of muscle, fat, and water. It's a quick and easy way to see where you stand, and help you identify next steps you should take in your fitness journey. The InBody will also track changes for you over time, giving you a better overall picture of your progress. We recommend hopping on our InBody scale at least once per month to get a pulse of where you're at. If you are someone who likes the scale, use your scale as a guide, not the definitive standard of success. Try to only weigh yourself on a regular scale once or twice a week and make sure you do it at the same time of day.
Interested in getting an InBody scan? Head to the front desk of your local Edge and schedule yours today!