If one of your goals is fat loss, fitness and wellness, then you must have experienced a love hate relationship with the scale at one time.
At most the numbers that the scale comes up with sometimes can be misleading and frustrating.
The scale is not a bad thing if you know how to handle it, but for those people who climb on the scale every day, sometimes 3-5 times in a day, the numbers can be brutal.
It keeps you awake obsessed and agonizing about the number while it calmly stares at you daring you to climb again.
Once you climb on the scale the only thing you see are those numbers and then you jump to the inevitable conclusion and it’s always one of these two;
- My weight is going down yeah
- My weight is going up and the desperate – what do I do now? What did I do wrong? I need to work harder? The nutrition plan I have been following is not tough enough; I have to starve myself to get the job done, I have to go on longer, more brutal cardio to make that needle obey me and go down!
The thing is that the scale is not a know it all truth teller of what is really going on in your body. When you climb on the scale 10 times in a day, do not be shocked that it shows you 10 different weights that will leave you more confused.
Does it mean that the numbers on the scale are all lies?
Not really. But there are lots of things that can change your numbers and it is not all fat gain.
Let us look at the different things that are capable of making the scale tell lies about your weight.
Bowel movement: When you have a bowel movement, you will feel lighter, like a weight has been removed from your body, of course something just left your body. Climb the scale immediately after and the needle will drop indicating fat loss.
But the moment you hold on and there is no bowel movement, you will feel heavier and when you climb on the scale the needle will creep upwards.
Meals: Checking your weight after a meal, heavy or light will cause the needle to creep up. When you skip meals your weight will go down.
Your water intake: Let me just say this first: water does not make you to put on fat. Water has zero calories. However, your water intake and the amount of water you lose through sweat and going to the bathroom can cause your weight to fluctuate.
When you reduce your water intake because you forgot or for whatever reason, your body will hold on to available water in your body.
Your monthly Period: If you observe yourself closely you must have noticed that your body seems bloated and a bit heavier just before your period starts, mostly 2-4 days before. The scale will show this change.
The scale does not understand the difference between muscle and fat: Two people might climb on the scale and weigh 90 kg each. What the scale does not know is if that weight comes from fat or if the person is muscular from body building or from their body type. So it will label both of them as obese.
The truth is that you may lose fat but when you add muscles which will be seen as more defined curves it may seem as if you gained weight.
If your booty were non existent and suddenly from all the squats and lunges it becomes more obvious it will register in the scale as a +
If the truth is told, the scale is not always honest about your weight. What it tells you is what it feels literally when you climb on the scale. It cannot tell if you lost fat and added muscle, it cannot tell if you have hormonal issues or if it is that time of the month; all it sees is you as a whole person standing on it. And so it says what it feels there in real time.
There are other more accurate ways of checking fat loss.
# 1- The first one is the good old body tape measure (the type normally used by your tailor). Most times the person that notices if you are really putting on fat or reducing is your tailor. They use your measurement to make your clothe, so if you add or lose it reflects on the clothes they have made for you. Buy your own and measure yourself or have someone do it for you.
- your waist
- Your hip
- Your thigh
- Your arms
Record your numbers on your phone or on a paper. Measure yourself every 2 weeks and check your progress
# 2 Observe your body and ask questions
- What have you noticed about yourself?
- How does your clothe fit? Are your clothes looser or tighter on you.
- Are you more energetic and happier?
# 3 Take pictures of yourself
Pictures do not lie unless you want them to. If you want them to tell you the truth about your fat loss then take the following steps:
- Undress completely; leave only your underwear on (not the body shaper)
- Find a place that is well lit and take pictures of your front, side and back.
- Do not engage your tummy by sucking it in. Just stand and take the pictures
- Do not discard the picture. Keep it and then take new ones every 2-4 weeks
- Check what changes in your body.
The spare tires may be disappearing but the scale might not see it and label you the same weight.
# 4 And check your weight with the scale
Yes, please. Check your weight and record it. If you are also checking the other 3, it will no longer have a stranglehold on your happiness because they will be able to track what the scale cannot.
Your aim should be to check your weight once a week and not every day or several times in a day.
In case you get stuck and plateau then take the following steps.
The scale is not the be all and end all when it comes to accuracy in fat loss. Do not come down from it and feel devastated and hateful towards yourself. Check the other things that we discussed.
You can also check what you have been eating by keeping a food and activity journal to help you track your progress and find out if you have in any way derailed from your wellness plan.
Check your weight and if you are doing your part as you should; then let the numbers just be for information not the judge of whether you have been good or bad.
I WILL LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU. Leave your comments and questions below.
3 thoughts on “Is The Scale Really An Accurate Measurement Of Fat Loss? 3 things you should also be checking”
Thanks a lot for this basic information Ma,
I’ve always been a victim of this up and down movement of the scale needle, but since I began to consider other members of the panel of judges for weight loss, like the measuring tape, I got encouraged by their judgement.
The scale actually can speak falsely.
Thank you so much dear.
Thanks Joyce. I am glad that you are now considering the other members of the panel of judges for weight loss. I appreciate your commitment to your goal. Keep it up.