If you have recently embarked on a fitness and weight loss journey, the scale can cause more than a little bit of apprehension. The number on the scale becomes the way you judge your progress, and yourself in general. One question you may have is "How often should I weigh myself?" This is a good question, and we’ll tell you what we know.
Should you weigh yourself daily?
Some people swear by daily weigh-ins. This can be a great way to track progress and get valuable feedback on a daily basis. It is important to realize, however, that the number on the scale can fluctuate wildly from day to day based on many factors that are not a reflection of your progress.
What does the number on the scale really mean?
Some of the things that can affect your weight are fluid retention and an increase or decrease in muscle mass. One day you may weigh in and find that you weigh several pounds less than the day before. What a great feeling, until you go in the next day and find that those pounds are back, along with a couple more. Days like that can leave you feeling as though you did something wrong. That is why it is important to really understand that while the scale is a useful tool, it doesn't represent the whole picture, and it isn't the final word on your progress.
Many people, especially when first starting a diet and fitness routine, find that a once-a-week weigh-in is sufficient to track progress. While you will still have fluctuations, you are more likely to have a realistic look at your weight loss, without the stress of a daily weigh-in.
It is important to talk about the other factors that influence those numbers on the scale. For example, if you are working out on a regular basis, you are most likely building lots of new muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. The scale may not be moving, but that doesn't mean that you aren't burning fat and becoming healthier. The scale doesn't show you how you are improving your cardiovascular system, or toning up your arms. Better to check your measurements, or notice how your pants are fitting better.
If you do choose a daily weigh-in, try doing it the same time each time you weigh. Morning is best. Weight can fluctuate a few pounds even within the same day! The biggest reasons for this are water retention and undigested food.
Remember, feeling good is the best measure of success!
Making the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle is exciting. When you eat healthy foods and get regular exercise, you will not only look better, but you will feel physically and mentally better, too. You will have more energy, sleep more soundly and enjoy the benefits of a better immune system. These are the real rewards of a healthy lifestyle, not the number on the scale.
Remember, the scale is a tool, not a judge.
Do I need a personal trainer to help me reach my fitness goals?
Please take the number on the scale with a grain of salt. To reiterate, muscle does weight more than fat. And you shouldn't base your health on the number on the scale; base your health on the way you feel. If you are looking for additional support in your fitness journey, or a personal trainer to help you get the most out of your workouts, contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts to find out how you can benefit from one-on-one personal training.