You know where it is. That little contraption that holds so much power over us. THE scale. The number it displays doesn’t define you, it’s just there. Does your scale stare you down every morning? Or is it hidden away for ‘special occasions’ when you’ve been sick and want to see how much weight you’ve lost because you’ve been on bed rest and couldn’t hold down any food?! Yea…we’ve all been there.
I had alcohol poisoning many, many NYE’s ago and have never weighed less as an adult woman. 127 pounds. I still remember seeing that wild and crazy number on the scale. I remembered wondering if I could maintain it. But then I flashed back to reality, of course I couldn’t! It was an inaccurate representation of my ideal weight. To be completely transparent, I currently weigh 140 pounds which is just about right for my athletic frame.
I used to be a weekly weigher, sometimes even a daily check in from time to time. The number displayed on the scale didn’t usually affect my mood, but I wasn’t a perfect angel every single time. Definition would creep in. But as a trainer I know daily losses are usually attributed to water weight and not actual fat or muscle loss.
Let me say that again.
Daily weight swings point to water weight loss, not fat.
To achieve optimum health fat loss is key, to a certain extent, but water water weight is just another ebb and flow of our daily bodily functions. You could be hanging on to excess water weight because you’ve recently eaten sodium rich food, are experiencing hormonal issues or it can even come from being dehydrated.
To rid your body of that extra water weight exercise is key as well as eating high sodium and simple, high starch carbohydrates in moderation. Surprise, surprise, eh?
To keep your body flushing water in a healthy way, and not hanging on to the water weight staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet of protein/carb/fat that include water rich and high magnesium foods will help.
So many of my clients and friends talk about their goal weight. What perfect pound measurement they would love to be ‘back at’. In general this is a fine idea, but with my personal training clients some may have never been truly fit before. Their leaner, meaner frame will physically weigh more due to muscle mass.
Plus, our weight fluctuates so much on weekly basis! Seeing the magic number one day and then having it disappear the next can really wrangle your emotions, remember the water weight struggle and how to cope. But what if you focused on fitness instead of weight?
When you see a gorgeous, toned person they likely weigh a bit more than you’d imagine. Simply put, muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle is more dense yet takes up less space than adipose tissue. A strong body is an efficient body!
I find the goal weight conversation circling around new moms as well, and as any mother will tell you your body just isn’t the same post baby, right? The composition changes with pregnancy and childbirth. Honestly, this is something that instills fear in me when I think of becoming pregnant. But I know the extra weight is just apart of the package (she keeps telling herself while rocking in fetal position)! Hehe, just kidding. Or not.
So, how to get out of a daily weighing routine rut? Break the cycle and try these tips.
Ditch the scale all together!
But how will you know how you’re doing?! Gauge the following instead:
Most personal trainers can measure body composition AKA your body fat and it only takes a couple of minutes, I’ve got my setup down to 60 seconds! It’s practically painless, I promise. There are caliper tests and even electronic handheld machines, these sources aren’t 100% accurate but they will give you a good idea of where you’re at.
Dedicate a single item of clothing as your ‘fit test’ outfit. Choose something that is form fitting and that doesn’t stretch! This is the best case scenario with clothing to get a feel if your body composition is changing.
The camera doesn’t lie. Get front, back and side photos for best practices. Keep in mind that no one has to see them but you unless you choose to share. But it can be great for before and after sharing too! Be proud of your results!
OR if you just really can’t imagine getting rid of the scale…
Make a schedule!
Weigh yourself once a week or bi monthly. Take note and notice patterns that will likely match up to your eating schedule. Lots of dinners out may be an explanation for the extra lbs or a seeing a loss because you’ve been on the straight and narrow with your nutrition plan. 80% Nutrition + 10% Training + 10% Genetics = 100% You
Tip for weigh ins: do your best to step on the scale first thing in the morning, after a bathroom break and in the buff. It’s the best case scenario. Trust me!
Photo by Eurri Kim Photography
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