It is because of the fluctuations that I weigh myself every day. I used to only weigh myself first thing Monday moring. Then one Sunday I went to a picnic and lost control. I binged and drank a bunch of beers. On Monday morning I weighed myself and the scale said I gained four pounds. Well the device has yet to be invented that could measure the amount of self loathing I felt at that instant. I am a grown man and I wanted to break down and cry. I worked very hard all week, even keeping my calories at the bottom of my range for most of the week. I exceeded my exercise goals. I even ate before the picnic so as not to binge, and yet I binged, and now six days of hard work were down the drain with a four pound weight loss.
I tried to do damage control and estimate to the best of my ability how many calories I had consumed on Sunday. To my best estimate, I went over my calories for the day by a whopping 2600 calories. I also reminded myself that I ate at the bottom of my range on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Worst case scenario, I should have gained a pound at most, but more likely, not lost anything. To have gained four pounds I would have needed to eat 14,000 calories over my range. So I tried not to let it bother me. When Tuesday morning came around I weighed myself again and I was back to where I had been the previous Monday. No loss is certainly better than a gain, and it was as I expected, I hadn't gained four pounds it was impossible. Also, I hadn't lost four pounds in a single day, that's impossible too. So when Wednesday came around I weighed myself again. I was thrilled to see that I was now a pound less than the previous week. Imagine if I had only weighed myself on Monday? Sure I would be thrilled to following Monday to see that I lost five pounds, but I would have spent an entire week of agonizing, putting myself down, and generally feeling depressed-OVER ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. On Sunday I overate salty foods and washed it down with six beers. That extra weight was all that stuff inside my body, NOT fat. Now I weigh myself several times a week and use my lowest reading as the official weight for the week.
If you want to break your negative relationship with the scale, you need to understand what the scale is telling you and not put too much emphasis on a number. If you are trying to lose weight (body fat) the healthy way, you should be losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. The problem is that the magnitude of daily fluctuations of body weight that have nothing to do with body fat are equal or greater than the amount of fat you are trying to lose each week. You can still be losing fat, but the scale might tell you otherwise for a variety of reasons.
Another thing to consider is that if you are building muscle it can show up as weight gain as well. I have also found that fluctutions you see can simply be the scale. When I first started dieting I had a very old scale that had been around for years. I found that I could get different readings depending on how I stood on the scale, and even if I leaned one way or the other. I went out and invested in a good quality scale and calibrated it against our shipping scale at work. My new scale really isn't sensitive to how I stand on it, but I have noticed that if I put any part of my foot on the piece in the center I can get a lower reading. So when I do take a reading, I step off the scale, step back on, and check again. I do this before I get into the shower and after I get out. I want to make sure my reading stays consistent.
The scale really is a way to track a trend. How often you weigh yourself and what day is rather arbitrary. LIke I mentioned earlier, I used to weigh myself first thing every Monday. There is nothing special about that day. Even if I did weigh myself on other days, I did not count those readings because it wasn't the official Monday weigh in. How silly it all seems to me now. Over time, tracking your weight will allow you to develop a general trend.
- 8/27/2014 3:08:36 PM