Getting derailed by the scales

This is one for those trying to change their body composition. Whether its losing weight or gaining muscle, the scales can be a problem! The scales are just one way to measure weight loss or muscle gain, and not a very precise one at that, especially for weight loss.

When we talk about weight loss what we really mean is fat loss and that’s what we want to measure. But you can’t measure this from day to day – it needs to be measured from week to week or month to month so you can see a trend in weight changes. Your weight will fluctuate considerably over a day, depending mainly on fluid changes. If you weigh yourself every morning then you aren’t really going to get a true reading of weight loss, because of natural fluctuations. If you drink a pint of water you are going to be half a kilo heavier. This doesn’t mean you have gained half a kilo. Equally if you go to the loo, which makes you lighter, you haven’t lost weight.

The other thing that often derails people is that they feel great and they feel like they look better and their clothes look better on them, but they get on the scales and they discover that there is no change in their weight. This does not mean that their body isn’t changed for the better. It may mean that they have lost fat but gained some muscle, which is heavier than fat. The key thing to remember is don’t let what the scales say override the changes you can see and feel.