Scales Are For Whales???

We've heard the above saying before, it seems to be in reference to the fact that scale weight isn't that important. We think it is. It just shouldn't be the only factor to determine if your diet is working or not.

They should be used in conjunction with other measurements. Calipers are great if a professional is using them, tape measurements are great if you know where to measure. Bod pods/DEXA scans are very informative yet pricey and not easily accessible. Photographs are brilliant if done under the right light consistently. They all have their place and limitations. They all can be used in conjunction with each other.

The confusion over scales is that there are so many variables as to why you may differ in weight from one day to the next. Let's say you eat a lot of food or more veg than normal this will cause you to hold more food in the gut, and guess what your weight will be up the next morning. Carbs hold 3g of water for every 1g eaten, if you eat an extra 150g carbs, that would result in 450g water weight. Thats a 1lb increase. If you eat more processed food containing salt and sodium this will affect your weight (by making you retain water)

Then we have the worst culprit of them all. Stress. How you deal with day to day stress, finances, relationships, work, sleep patterns. These will all create stress. When your stressed you RETAIN water. If your diet is too extreme, or your training too intense this will cause stress. So you can see how many things will affect what your weight each morning. There will be natural fluctuations on a daily basis. The swing in weight can be anywhere from 1-5lbs.

But, if you record your weight on a daily basis, and your tracking your food, we have lots of data to compare to each other. This means we can narrow down margin of error and find trends and answers to any issue. I'll give you a example of client of mine was consistently losing weight for 2 weeks then it jumped up 2lb overnight. I asked was it veg? Was it too much water? Did he eat more carbs or food in general? All of which was a no. The answer was his sleep, he'd had a bad night with his baby being unwell. This would of caused stress to elevate resulting in fluid retention.

Our stress hormone (cortisol) can bind to our water hormone (aldosterone) and make the body hold on to water. So you see scale weight, is not as useless as it may seem. It can provide us with feedback. In the case of muscle gain or performance it can also be used. If the weight stalls, or even increases slightly do not worry. If your performance is improving, your recovery and stress levels are great, and your lifting heavier. Odds are you've gained some muscle mass!

Not only does daily weighing remind and refocus the individual but it's also acts as immediate feedback. Remember measurement is motivation!

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