Why the scale isn’t the best indicator of progress
I get SO many girls asking me why the scale won’t budge, or why their weight has gone up despite being in a calorie deficit. I completely understand why though, as it’s so easy to become obsessed with this little number and let it define you and how you view yourself. Sadly, the diet industry has made losing scale weight the number one factor in determining the success of your health and fitness journey.
So, let me tell you why this is a lie.
Firstly, the scale can fluctuate for a number of different reasons, including:
- Where you are in your cycle
- Your hydration levels
- Whether or not you have trained
- How much sleep you got
- Your sodium levels
- Your digestion
I could go on and on, but basically the scale alone is actually a pretty inaccurate way to tell whether or not we are making progress, as it can be influenced by so many different things. Of course you can use weight to observe a trend over time, and see whether you are heading in the right direction, however the day to day fluctuations we see are pretty much meaningless. That’s why I often recommend weighing yourself every day and taking the weekly average, as this allows us to look past the daily fluctuations and see a pattern over time. I find daily weigh-ins also help to remove the pass or fail mentality we attach to a specific number, because when we start to understand how frequently we fluctuate, we begin to learn how irrelevant the numbers really are. Although if you find the scale does impact your self worth and you start becoming obsessive over it, I would recommend taking a break from weighing yourself and measuring your progress in other ways.
Here are some other ways to measure progress that dosen’t include the scale (and in my opinion are way more important):
- Body measurements
- Progress photos
- Progress in the gym (are you feeling fitter/stronger?)
- Improved mental health
- Better sleep
- More confidence
- Feeling in control of and enjoying your food sources
- Not letting one little meaningless number control your life!
Next time you step on the scale and find yourself heading down a road of self-criticism and negativity, stop, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are more than a number. There’s a lot more to progress than what the scale says.