Is the scale a bad way to measure progress?

Checking your bathroom scale  – is it a good thing or a bad thing for measuring  your progress?

As with most things fitness and health related the answer lies in the gray area of “It depends.”

Are you the woman who obsesses over the number on the scale, weighing yourself every day, twice a day or even every hour? Trust me, it happens (I might have even been that girl a long time ago!)

On the other hand, some women are the other extreme – refusing to hop on the scale…EVER, even fighting with their doctor about stepping on the scale for their annual visit.

But here’s the deal – for many women, the number under our bare feet (because you weigh yourself butt-naked, before you eat and after you poop first thing in the morning) dictates how we feel about ourselves and that’s just not right!

That number can be thrown off by a variety of things that can change frequently and don’t reflect the hard work you’ve been putting in.

Things like water retention.

Water retention is temporary and can be due to what you ate last night (lots of salt or carbohydrates – both cause water retention).

How about a hard workout? Your muscles retain water when you have soreness due to training, but it’s temporary.

What time of the month is it? Your menstrual cycle or the phase of the moon can also effect the number on the scale.

What if you haven’t pooped in a couple of days? Yep, the scale is reading that, too.

A few pounds in the wrong direction can send some women spiraling in a bad direction even when they’ve been doing everything right!

But you do need to track your progress, right?

Measuring body fat/musclehow your clothes fit, what your energy levels are, how well you are sleeping, how your mood is and if you feel bloated or not are all great alternate or additional ways to measure progress.

I’m not saying the scale is evil and should never be used. I use it for myself and I use it for my clients.

It is a tool that measures and if you are trying to change what you eat and how you exercise in order to lose excess body fat, the scale can tell you if you are going in the right direction.

Give yourself a few pounds of give-and-take.

If the scale stays up 4-5 pounds, your clothes are tight and you don’t feel great, then it’s time to take some action.

If the scale is up those same 4-5 pounds and your clothes (jeans, not stretchy pants!) still feel good, you feel good overall and you are exercising regularly, it’s likely a temporary gain, not true fat gain.

If you can measure your muscle or amount of fat, that’s a better way to measure your progress.

Either way, don’t let the scale dictate how you feel as a person! Your positive energy is needed in this world!

Seriously, when you shine, it helps us all to shine! 🙂

So be wise about what a scale can do for you and don’t obsess over it, because it could be lying to you;)