When it comes to weighing yourself, here’s the best, most effective way to do it.
DON’T DO IT!
In all seriousness, there are two schools of thought when it comes to weighing yourself. The first is that it’s ok to weigh yourself to see the lbs/kgs dropping off (or packing on). The second is that you shouldn’t weigh yourself because muscle weighs more than fat (see below for clarification on this**) so as you build muscle and lose fat at the same time, the number won’t change too much or the number can actually go UP with the more muscle you build. This can be very discouraging to those who are strictly in it for the weight loss.
WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
There are quite a few people who are simply on a weight loss program. These are the people that are strictly looking at their food intake and making changes in the kitchen. For these people, I would say that weighing yourself is a good thing to keep you focused and motivated on your ‘number’ goal. Remember, make a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal for yourself. (Read about how to make a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal in MY BOOK!) Don’t go into it blindly with, “I just want to lose weight.” That’s not going to work to keep you on the program. Also, don’t get obsessive about it! (See below “If you’re going to weigh yourself”). Also, PLEASE REMEMBER that as you start to go down in lbs/kgs, you’re going to be burning fat AND muscle. This isn’t the healthiest choice for you. You’ll want to get into a fitness program so that you can keep that muscle and only burn the fat!
The next group of people are going to be those that are looking to get fit. A combination of weight loss and building lean muscle mass at the same time. My suggestion is to NOT WEIGH YOURSELF if you’re on this type of program. Look, people can get obsessed with the scale and the number, weighing themselves every day, even multiple times a day. This is simply obsessive and excessive.
When I first started my fitness journey, I did weigh myself to get a ‘starting’ mark. You can do this as well. But again, set a realistic schedule for weighing yourself throughout the program. I was doing it every month. There were significant drops in my weight each month until I started to get near my goal weight. Then the drops weren’t as significant. Again, this all depends on how overweight you are when you start. You’ll lose 5 lbs in the first week, but that’s going to be water weight (yes, that’s a thing). Spread out your weigh-ins and you’ll feel better about your program and stay focused.
Another aspect of this is the muscle building process during a fitness program. As I stated above, muscle weighs more than fat. **Let explain further, because to be honest, a pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle! Fat is ‘fluffier’ and muscle is more ‘dense’. Muscle takes up less space in the body, so what happens is the actual mass of fat to muscle changes and is different. You can weigh the same when you burn fat and are building muscle at the same time. Which should be the goal of a fitness program. If you’re on a fitness program and your personal trainer is only having you do cardio, GET A NEW TRAINER!
In simple terms, building muscle mass and making your muscles bigger. People on these types of workout programs will weigh themselves because they want to see how much muscle mass they are packing on as they go. I personally have not gone through this type of program myself, but I know when I do, I will want to jump on that scale and see where I’m at, even after I start to see my biceps and pectorals majors starting to bulge!
IF YOU’RE GOING TO WEIGH YOURSELF…
Look, I know that even if I tell you not to weigh yourself, the big thing for most people is seeing that number come down.
With that said, if you HAVE to weigh yourself, do it with these things in mind;
- Don’t Weigh Yourself Every Day
- Weigh yourself first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom and before eating anything
- Weigh yourself every two weeks to a month
- Always use the same scale throughout the program
In closing, don’t let the scale dictate your health and fitness regimen. Get on a good, healthy program that will help you progress to you peak performance in life.