3 reasons to throw your bathroom scale in a corner while losing weight
Talk to people who successfully followed a diet and they will summarize the outcome with one statistic: the amount of kilo’s they have lost over a period of time. When you start doing a diet, often combined with some sort of exercise program, you probably have a target weight in mind that you want to reach before a certain date. And while your total body weight is easy to measure with a bathroom scale, we would recommend you to throw your scale in a corner and forget about it. Let me give you 3 reasons why this would be a smart plan.
1 Your weight can easily be manipulated
You have probably noticed already that your body weight will fluctuate heavily during the day. In the early morning, after going to the bathroom, your weight is often at its lowest point of the day and as soon as you start eating and drinking your weight increases. If it is that easy to manipulate your bodyweight, why would you set it as your major goal? What if you are 2kg away from your ideal weight, would you allow yourself to stop eating a drinking for a day to reach your target weight and be done with your diet? Probably not, as the weight will be back on as soon as you start eating and drinking again.
2 Weight loss will not go at the same speed all the time
With a good diet and exercise program you will lose weight, but the speed with which you lose weight will not be the same every week. Some weeks you might lose 1kg while some other weeks you only lose 0.5kg. By measuring your weight frequently you set your expectation too high: after losing 1kg in a week you expect to keep losing at that speed and when you lose a little less the week after you have a good chance of becoming demotivated and kicking your diet and exercise plan into a dark corner. Instead of stepping on the scale that often you can better focus on the long term and stick to your plan for at least a month before weighting yourself again.
3 You want to lose fat, but you are not measuring your fat
Your scale only gives one number as an outcome while it actually measures several different components of your body composition and just adds them all up. When you are trying to lose weight you probably try to limit your body fat. But when you start an exercise regime you will not only burn off fat, you will also build muscle. And you should be happy to build muscles as muscles use energy, making it easier to lose more weight or keep your weight under control, and muscles give your body a nicer composition: you will look better. But a scale does not distinguish between muscles or fat. When you lose 5 kg of fat (which is good) and also build 5 kg of muscles (which is good), your bodyweight will stay exactly the same (which is bad when you try to lose weight) and you can be demotivated by the results.
So how can you measure your progress if you are supposed to throw your bathroom scale in a corner?
One of the most reliable ways of measuring your progress when you are trying to lose weight is by just looking in the mirror and seeing the difference. It might be hard to see your progress on a day-to-day basis but you could consider taking a picture of yourself on set intervals so you can compare your body composition over time. Or just try on that pair of paints that did not fit you anymore, you will notice that you come closer and closer to being able to wear them comfortably again.
And notice that we said that you should throw your scale in a corner, and not throw it away completely. You can measure your total body weight on a monthly basis under comparable circumstances, but keep in mind the flaws of looking at your bodyweight only as mentioned earlier.
All together you should put most of your focus on executing your diet and exercise plan. Your goal should be to enjoy your workouts so it is easier to stick with them, and break your own records on every cardio machine you do or with every exercise you perform. This way you will reach your goal of losing weight without thinking about it all the time leaving enough room to enjoy your day and your new life of healthy food and exercise.
Originally published at thailandfit.com.