So you’re going to lose weight. You’ve managed to follow your exercise routine for the whole week, you ate right, and then you stepped on the scale and it didn’t change. WTF mate?! Your natural reaction is to get bummed out and probably go sulk in the corner. Now, let’s say you push through to the next week and realize you’ve suddenly lost 7 pounds! You get all giddy and decide to celebrate by eating an entire birthday cake. That…was…an overreaction.
This happens all too often to people at the gym, and I’ve definitely been guilty of agonizing over pounds gained/lost on a daily basis. It’s not healthy, it’s not productive, and it’s only going to cause you unnecessary stress. You gotta think long term people! Don’t ride the roller coaster. If you’ve set a goal weight for 8 weeks from now, monitor your progress daily, but don’t beat yourself up over the numbers until the end. Our bodies are complex pieces of machinery – there are so many moving parts, so many things coming in and going out all the time, and so many processes taking place that your weight can fluctuate like crazy in the short term.
What you CAN do is evaluate how you feel and how strong you are compared to previous gym session. Sure the scale might say you’ve only lost 1 pound, but are you breathing easier? Can you lift more? Can you run a mile faster than you did last week? Then who cares what the scale says, you are on the right path. If you’re gaining weight and not getting stronger, then maybe there are things that you need to analyze, like your diet or workout routine.
Your weight can vary big time if you weigh yourself in the morning vs. at night, before a workout vs. after, on Fridays vs. on Mondays, etc. Hell, your weight could be way off simply because you ate a big lunch and chugged a gallon of water and haven’t been to the bathroom yet. It happens, so take individual results with a grain of salt. If you overreact and try to overdo your diet, you might end up doing more harm than good. If you want to track your weight properly, here’s what you can do:
- Weigh yourself every day at the SAME TIME. First thing in the morning is usually a good idea, because it’s before you’ve had a chance to eat food all day.
- Weigh yourself many times and take an average.
- Use a GOOD scale. The 10 dollar one from Walmart probably isn’t gonna cut it.
- Use the same scale every time. Your bathroom scale might be way off compared to the one in the gym locker room.
- Keep track of trends. Maybe average your weight on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and compare it to the average the week before for those same days (assuming you weigh in at the same time for every day).
Don’t get bent out of shape if your scale today doesn’t agree with you. Conversely, don’t get too excited if you’re suddenly down four pounds today, because it could just as easily change in the other direction tomorrow. Keep an even head, and recognize that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you get too invested in the numbers day-to-day, you could be screwing with your long-term results.
Stick with your plan regardless of what that scale said today. Two months from now, if you keep doing what you’re doing then you’ll eventually realize your weight is just a number and is far less important than how you feel and look. Muscle weighs more than fat anyways, which means you’ve probably lost more fat than the scale suggests.
As Frank the Tank says, “We can’t have anyone freak out out there ok? We’ve gotta keep our composure! We’ve come too far! There’s too much to loose!! We gotta just KEEP OUR COMPOSURE!!!” ::throws chair::