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I long debated asking my clients to weigh themselves daily, partly because most of my female clients freak out when weighing themselves more than once a week.
They’d have the usual sweats ‘but what if it’s gone up’. ‘What if I’ve put on weight? ‘ and it’d be a lot of back and forth before they mustered up the courage to step on the scale.
But finally, they would do and it seemed that their entire self-worth was to be reported in 3 digits (I use kg to weigh, always have). And if those numbers didn’t go down, guess what?
It would ruin their week. And the workout would be a struggle to get anything productive done.
But then the scale owned them. Whatever it said dictated their mood, energy, and life. Which when you think about it, is pretty absurd, right?
And that’s why I switched to daily weigh-ins. When you have a fear, stepping through that fear and tackling it head-on is the only way to not let that fear take over you. In this case, it’s not weighing less, that would only give the scale more power.
Instead, we weighed more often.
And suddenly that fear started to subside. No longer did the scale dictate our week or the mood of the workout, it became just a number, without attachment and just another metric to report.
But I didn’t weigh more frequently to just combat their fear, there were other reasons too, like these.
Better self-awareness of intake and weight.
Better appreciation for weight loss across the week
Improved adherence to dieting protocols
Improved mindset around weight loss and body
Understanding of food intake and how that manipulates weight
See if we’re building muscle (more on this at the bottom)
And others that I can’t seem to remember
The case for daily weigh-ins
This study proves just how useful daily weighing can be. Not only did the daily weights lose more weight, in fact, 6.1kg more than those who weighed themselves less than daily (over a period of 6 months) but they also improved in other health behaviours too.
And it’s what I found with my clients as well. Those who weighed daily actually lost more per week than those who only did it once or twice a week.
What you’ll find over the course of the week is that your weight fluctuates – it just does and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Even if you’ve been incredibly restrictive with your diet, you can still gain weight.
This is down to a number of things, and not limited to:
Carbohydrate intake (you store water for every g of carb)
Salt intake (makes the body retain water)
Sleep quality (water retention)
Stress levels (increased cortisol = water retention)
Menstrual cycle (time of the month dictates hormone levels)
Whether you’ve gone to the toilet or not (you regular?)
Whether you’ve just eaten
And whether you’ve just had a workout or not
If you’re building muscle
Plus a whole lot more, too long for an email
See, these factors influence weight loss/gain but they do not influence body fat and people presume weight increase on the scale = body fat increase.
On top of that, weekly weigh-ins failed to show weekly trends. (which is really super-duper important and definitely overlooked when it comes to weight loss).
Let’s take my client, for example, Clair.
Her weight loss has been steady throughout and her weight loss in one week looked like this:
If you’d only be looking at Sunday to Sunday you’d say there was just a 0.2kg weight loss – which to some is really frickin’ annoying for all the effort and energy afforded during the week. I mean who wants to lose 0.2kg when you’ve grafted 4 workouts, dropped your calories, and been more active?
However, her average weight the week before was 78.7kg and if we take the average of Clair’s weight during this week it’s 78.1kg.
Which actually shows a 0.7kg weight loss – which nailed our target of 0.5% per week.
Weighing yourself once a week just doesn’t give you these insights. And not only that, Saturday was Clair’s rest day, she ate a little more, increased carbs, and wasn’t as active which explains the 0.6kg jump from 77.8 to 78.4.
And Clair realised this before she would have freaked out that her weight loss was too slow, and the following things would have happened.
Decreased calories further as it clearly wasn’t low enough
Increased exercise and more cardio
And restricted her carb intake because, you know, *carbs = fat.
Which obviously wasn’t needed.
Maybe you’ve done that before?
And lastly, because I’m sure you wanna crack on with your day.
The scale doesn’t = body fat.
For some of my clients, there’s very little movement on the scale, which is a good thing even though they want to drop weight.
What they’re referring to instead is body fat. And I’m sure you want the same too. You have weight to lose, but it’s not just weight you want to lose – I mean weight could be bone density, hydration, muscle mass, etc.
I could just tell you not to drink for 2 days and your weight will decrease but instead, you’re referring to excess fat.
And in that instance, the scale doesn’t budge much because you’re doing this thing called body recomposition. It’s where you lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time which means the scale doesn’t budge much. What you lose in body fat is simply being replaced in weight with muscle.
→ Which is like the goal for most of us.
And so, by weighing daily, it means we can begin to see trends, If weight isn’t budging but strength is increasing and measurements around the waist, thighs, and arms are going down it means we’re heading in the right direction.
And that is a win-win situation.
So in short, whether you want to lose weight or gain it, weigh yourself more often to get a better insight into your journey. The more markers you have – the better you can navigate your journey going forward. Perhaps the plan is working, but you just can’t see it with the amount you’re measuring yourself.
See you in the week,
This is a joke, a big fat lie. Do not listen to this.