Confessions of a Daily Weight Taker

Author Christopher Means

Part II of “Should I weigh myself everyday

OK, so maybe you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. That’s the premise many trainers use, and the subject of another blog post here. But I lean the other way… so I wanted to give yet another perspective. It may not work for you, but it does for me.

You see, I’ve been a distance runner / jogger for many years. That used to be enough to keep my weight in check. However, slowly but surely, over the years the pounds kept adding on. This year I finally said enough! I was ready to stop the progression.

I set a goal to lose 10 pounds.

Set a Goal via MVP ProgramWhen I set a goal, which you can now do with the Fitdigits apps, I want to see progress. I want to understand how things change.

I started weighing myself regularly. It started as just a couple times a week, but sometimes got to the every day habit. More than a few times, I weighed myself multiple times a day – sometimes to see how my weight fluctuated due to workouts, food, salt, etc. Let me tell you – it can fluctuate a LOT! I had a full 8-pound fluctuation in one day after starting the day with a nice workout, but ending with a massive sushi splurge (salt and carb/protein bomb anyone?). Overall, however, I take my weight first thing in the morning after a little coffee and the bathroom. Sound familiar?

I didn’t have a date I wanted to lose the weight by, but over time, I did start to see some trends. When I pigged out on ice cream and sweets late at night, that had a detrimental effect on my weight in the morning, sometimes up to 2 pounds or more. Ugh. No more chips and salsa late night? How sad!

I also started to realize that after a short workout (3 miles / 25 minutes or so) I’d lose a pound or two. All water obviously, a good reason why we always talk about the need to hydrate after workouts! It could be as many as 5-6 pounds on a long run (12+ miles).

Fat and lean mass % also fluctuates regularly. A couple percent here and there on a given day or even intra-day isn’t unusual. I’ve never seen really large (5% or more) fluctuations over a limited time period, but certainly a few % here and there in a given day or even week.

In the end, weighing myself every day, even multiple times a day, helped. I recognized that:

  • Fluctuations happen. Over a single day, hours, or even a workout. And they can be significant.
  • Late night snacks were killing the rest of my efforts. I can still remember the first couple nights where I told myself “no – no snacks tonight!” Had I not seen how they were killing my morning weight, I might not have cut them out.
  • More consistent, lower miles/time efforts worked better for me than longer, but less often, workouts.
  • Being active during the day helps a bit too – walks help (Fitbit helps with this, though Fitdigits Walks are another great way to track). In a single day, not so much, but over a week, it helps. Over a month, it helps a lot!

Overall, don’t sweat the small stuff. Big stuff, when you know what big stuff actually is, and what it means – that is reason to sweat. But sweat through effort and self control, not through stress, especially over weight. Oh – and try not to pig out too often on sushi or other favs –and limit the late night snacks. That helps too.  10 pounds, and less of a stomach, are mighty fine rewards.

Weight loss

PS – most weight scales that measure body fat also have a setting for “normal” and “athlete” – if you ever want to see that you have much lower body fat, simply set it to “athlete” – that will knock quite a few % of body fat with the flip of a switch! You got to love that!

Should I Weigh Myself Everyday? Part I


It is a question everyone trying to lose or gain weight struggles with. Should you weigh yourself everyday, and if not, how often should you weigh in?

In part one of two, we argue that weighing yourself twice per week is more ideal for evaluating your weight over time as opposed to weighing in everyday. To understand your weight fluctuations and what you might want to look at and consider, we offer a few suggestions.

Understanding Your Weight Changes

Evaluating your weight over time allows you to identify your natural weight fluctuations, which are normal and happen everyday. These weight fluctuations can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating a large meal, excess salt intake, water retention, constipation, hormonal changes or even a sweaty workout. All of the aforementioned causes of weight fluctuations can lead to an increase or decrease of five pounds in a single day! If you hop on the scale only to find you have gained five pounds since yesterday and you didn’t consume an extra 11,500 calories (one pound = 3500 calories), your extra three pounds is not likely fat mass. But how can you be sure?

Always Weigh Yourself at the Same Time Each Day

To take out some of those inter-day fluctuations, always weigh yourself at the same time of day. Withings recommends weighing yourself within 30 minutes after waking up in the morning to avoid the wild swings that occur during the day due to diet, digestion and physical activity.

Check Your Body Composition

There is more to your weight than just the number of pounds. To understand your weight gain or loss, it’s necessary to also measure the changes in your body composition and how much fat and lean mass you are carrying. Weight scales like the Withings Smart Body Analyzer measure both.

Lean mass is the weight of everything in your body but fat and includes your bones, organs, muscle, skin, hair, nails, waste and fluids. Women should have 75-78 percent lean mass to be considered healthy ,while men should have 82-85 percent lean mass. Lean mass can also be expressed in pounds, and can be affected by eating a big meal, drinking a lot of liquid, and constipation.

Fat mass is the portion of your body consisting of fat and is divided into two categories: essential fat and storage fat. Essential fat is necessary for normal, healthy function. Storage fat is the fat that accumulates below the skin when your calorie intake (diet) is greater than caloric burn (exercise), which results in unhealthy weight gain. When weight gain becomes excessive, your risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers can increase.

Understanding the Changes

Weight gain and loss, including lean and fat mass, fluctuate based your diet, activity, and digestion. Theoretically, drinking a glass of water or a long workout can affect your lean mass.

If you are strength training, you should expect to see your weight increase over time because muscle weighs more than fat. However, to be sure you are gaining muscle and not fat, your lean mass should increase while your fat mass decreases.

If you are exercising to lose weight, you should expect your weight to decrease over time; fat mass should also decrease as your lean mass increases.

If you are training for an endurance event, your weight may stay the same or could increase as your body adds muscle. Additionally, your lean mass should increase while fat mass decreases.

See the body fat examples in the graphic below to further understand how fat mass affects the body.

Conclusion

Watching your weight changes over time is more important than watching the daily fluctuations. If you weight yourself more than two times per week, be sure to pay attention to your weight and fat and lean mass changes overtime, and understand there will be minor fluctuations in between. My.Fitdigits.com shows a great “trend line” over time in the Weight section that can help show the true path you are on, and take out some of those day-to-day anomalies.

In Part 2, we will outline why it may be a good idea to weight yourself daily

Sync Fitdigits with the Fitbit Aria Scale

You can either link with your Fitbit Aria Scale on My Fitdigits or in the iOS version of Fitdigits vwithin the app so you can see your weight entries on My Fitdigits.

My Fitdigits

1. Login to My.Fitdigits.com with your Fitdigits username and password.
2. Tap Health -> Activity -> Link Accounts.
3. Enter your Fitbit login/email and password to authorize the link.

In App

1. Tap Health -> Health Partners
2. Tap Fitbit -> Link Account
3. Enter in your email address and password, and tap allow

Enter in your Fitbit login and password, and tap Allow

Tap Link Account


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4. Tap Done in the upper right. Your account is now linked!

You now will see your Fitbit Aria weights on My Fitdigits!