Working with women for the past 10 years have shown me that so many of you get very frustrated when it comes to weight and scales.
I have decided to write this blog as the part of my own 'self discovery project' as I have been using scales for the past 12 months and I have found myself many times being affected by it, even though knowing what scales are used for.
Scales are a machine or an instrument for weighing. It gives an exact number or how much things weigh.
Many people ditch scales because it affects them emotionally, and really doesn't give an insight of how well we are doing.
Our weight and scales fluctuate because of the following reasons:
1. Scales measure absolutely everything
- this means that it will measure everything you have on you (clothes, shoes, hair, jewellery) and in you (food waste, fluid, water retention).
If you decide to weigh yourself, strip of all the clothes and accessories, so the scale can measure your body, without additional added weight.
2. Weight fluctuates in your cycle
- every woman reacts to cycle differently, but weight can fluctuate, due to increased water retention. Lack of sleep and hormone fluctuations can affect your mood, which can increase appetite and cravings - automatically leads to eating more food and being less mindful about food and drink choices (more consumption, more waste in your tummy, heavier on scales).
Be aware of your cycle as you will notice similar pattern each month. You will be less affected when you know the reason of your increased weight or increased appetite, if you weight yourself during that time.
3. Increased consumption of carbohydrates - pasta, bread, pastry, salty, processed foods
- consuming carbs our body connects for 1g of carbs 3g of water. This is the reason body feels puffed, kind of fluffy feeling under your skin, or bloated tummy after consuming carbs. Your tummy might not like gluten either.
- increased salty and processed foods increase water retention, which automatically will be shown on scales.
If you consume those foods on a regular basis, increase your fluid intake, but if you would like to reduce bloat, you can tune in in your food choices and you will recognise which type of food is causing it. You can try reducing the amount of finding a substitute for it that doesn't cause the same reaction.
- it is very common. If you suffer with constipation and if you didn't have a toilet trip for few days, there is really no point of going on the scales before you empty your bowels.
Constipation can cause discomfort, pelvic pain, haemorrhoids, weaker pelvic floor. It is something that can be solved with dietary changes and increased fluid intake.
Increase consumption of fibres, vegetables, salads, fruit that contain hard skin such as apples & pears, as fibres cannot be digested in your tummy, but it helps the waste to get out smoother. Also, keep drinking fluids.
5. Time of the day
I hear all the time that people measure themselves throughout the day. You weigh heavier each time you consume something, so after having potentially 3 meals a day, lots of drink and snacks along, your scale will weigh all that.
The best time of the day is morning, after you have completed your toilet trip, without consuming any food and drinks, it is the best time to weigh yourself.
6. Sleep deprivation
Sleep is one of the most important things in your recovery. Your body needs it and no matter how much you fight against getting enough sleep, your body will protest it. Your mood, energy levels, performance in training, appetite, cravings will go against you. You will start replacing sleep with more food and caffeine to keep you awake. Instead of fighting it, my best advice to you will be to get more sleep. You won't even notice how much lack of sleep will increase your food intake. So please do me a favour and try to go to bed earlier and focus for one week to get better quality sleep and you will notice how much your weight will be more manageable.
Psychological effect of scale and weight fluctuations will affect each person differently.
Sometimes going on scales few times a day, each day, will create an obsession with numbers, which will impact your effort on what really matters the most - your relationship with food, food choices, training efforts, quality of sleep, which can really impact the way you feel about your progress on your journey.
There is different ways to track your progress.
- measurements - you just need a tape measure and track it once a week, the same time of the day
- photos - fantastic, visible proof that doesn't lie
- clothes - another fantastic tool that can be an incredible source of motivation (when you feel your clothes getting loser)
If you are getting overwhelmed with scales and getting frustrated why your weight and scales fluctuate, please read again all the reasons above.
If you haven't had progress on your scales going down or up for awhile, it just means you haven't been able to be consistent with your calorie intake (food and drinks) and calorie expenditure (physical activity), or in other words you haven't been able to sustain calorie deficit over period of time.
You can stay away from scales for a while and use other measurement methods to track your progress.
But don't let the numbers be your focus.
Focus on how you feel, be aware of your food choices, cravings, portions and what you put on your plate, how much do you snack around your meals, why do you choose food that you choose, is it because you want convenience, quick energy fix, is it because you are tired or bored and also do you enjoy eating foods that you eat.
Bringing awareness to our food choices can be incredible guide and to see where is the room for improvement and change.
But don't let scales to control you.
Keep going strong and never give up if you want those numbers to go down!
If you have any questions, just give me a shout! I can help you.
Would love to hear your feedback on this blog, so please feel free to leave a comment :)
Wishing you a fantastic day!
Personal trainer & nutritionist
Being in fitness industry over 10 years, Adrijana is excited to help other women achieve their goals of finding happiness in their fitness & healthy lifestyle.