So, how often should you dare to face the scale when you are on a journey to a large loss?
Well, like most things, that’s going to be a very individual decision. Some people love to jump on that scale every day after their workout. They love to see their hard work pay off. I highly recommend not weighing in daily, especially women, but really everyone. When you are more than a few pounds overweight you also will find this even more important not to do. For most I would recommend weighing in once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. I wouldn’t go longer than a month without checking in if you are actively trying to lose weight.
So, why shouldn’t you weigh in every day? Shouldn’t you see a loss every day if you are following a diet and exercising? In a perfect world, yes you would see a loss every day because you technically should be losing every day. Do we live in a perfect world? That would be a resounding No!
Everyone’s body will retain water. That retention level can change by the hour, much less the day.
Ate something extra salty? Bam! More water retained.
Tried a new exercise and have sore muscles? Bam! More water retained.
Drank some alcohol last night? Bam! More water retained.
Didn’t sleep well or much? Bam! More water retained.
Be about to have or having a period? Bam! Mega water retained.
Didn’t drink enough water the last day or two? Bam! I think you see the pattern by now.
And, not only water retention can make you not appear to be losing weight, when you really are. If you happen to not have bowel movements as often as average (most healthy people should have at least 1 every 24 hours or so) then you literally are carrying some extra waste weight.
Then, we get into the muscle building. Muscle is far denser than fat. It takes up about half the space. If you happen to be doing some major weight training or other muscle building activity you actually could be adding muscle tissue as you lose weight. If you happen to be adding muscle faster than losing fat (which can and does happen, especially to the very out of shape) then you may actually see a scale say you gain slight weight in a given week. If you had sore muscles that week, don’t believe that scale.
Always keep in mind that this is a journey. You are looking for a downward trend if losing weight. If you have a lot to lose (like me) then this will be a long journey. If you have one week where you don’t lose or gain a bit but at the end of the month you have lost 8 pounds that means you lost 2 pounds a week on average.
Don’t let the scale rule you. Yes, seeing the numbers go down is so encouraging and shows progress, but so many other things do that as well. I will discuss those in another post. Just keep the scale put away if it starts to discourage you. You are doing well.
Keep it going