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.
When 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.
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!
2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Daily Weight Taker”
I weigh in daily, but that's only for tracking purposes. No daily weigh-in will affect what I do one way or another. But it helps to see the numbers if you have other data to go with it. I have an Excel worksheet that tracks many things that along with the weight tracking gives me a better picture overall. The problem most people have with weighing in daily is they aren't tracking much of anything else, so for them, just seeing numbers go up or down is maddening to them. They workout and the numbers go up? WHAT? But what they don't realize is maybe they drank an extra few bottles of water that day, so they may only be up a pound or two of water they haven't expelled yet. Same with strength training, many people new to it don't realize they will retain water while their muscle repair, it's normal and needed. But they see the scale go up and it's discouraging.
So I don't suggest people weigh in daily unless they are tracking as much as they can with their diet and exercise, otherwise it's just not going to make any sense to them.
I do weight myself every day since I want to stay within the range of my ideal weight. I am learning to recognize the bad habits that derail my efforts. One of the things I've learned in this process has been to reduce my dinner size.