When weighing yourself to get a measure of your progress, it is important to get accurate data so that you can make an informed decision on whether to change up your game plan. Let’s take a look at four common mistakes that are often made when stepping on the scale.
1. Weighing in too often
Weight fluctuates drastically over the course of the day. Try weighing yourself before and after going to the bathroom to see one example of a difference. As we eat and drink and go about our day, our weight changes. Trying to weigh multiple times a day can just lead to frustration, or at the least, confusion. Weight also fluctuates day to day. Maybe you had a large meal and are retaining water. Maybe your cycle is about to start. Weighing in too often can lead to discouragement when the scale jumps up and down constantly.
2. Not weighing in often enough
Conversely, you don’t want to go for long periods without checking in on your progress. You want to make sure you are on the right path, and not accidentally veering off course. Periodic check ins will let you know whether or not you need to make any changes to your diet.
3. Not being consistent
It is important to be consistent in how you weigh yourself so that you can get data that accurately represents where you are. If you tend to eat more on weekends, and one week you weigh in on a Friday after a week of diligently sticking to your diet, and one week you weigh in on a Monday after a big family meal the previous day, you’re going to get vastly different results. Pick a day and time and stick with it. Since I tend to program in a “cheat day” into my diet plan, I weigh myself first thing in the morning on that day after going to the bathroom, but before eating or drinking anything. Also, if you can, be sure you are wearing the same clothes when you weigh yourself. Ideally, just weigh yourself completely naked to eliminate any variables. If you prefer to weigh in less often than once a week, choose the same time each month to account for any bloating around your cycle. If you prefer to weigh in daily, measure yourself at the same time each day. Also, there are apps available that will track daily weigh-ins, but give you an average of what your weight is doing, so that if one measurement spikes up, you can still see that the trend is moving downward.
4. Relying solely on the scale
Don’t forget to measure yourself in other ways too! You can take some pictures to compare to how you looked months ago. You can try on some old clothes to see how they fit. You can also get out the measuring tape to see if you’ve lost some inches. The scale is merely a tool, and only one of many that you have available to you!