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Why the scale is not a good indicator of Progress.

Weight is the product of mass of a body and the impact/acceleration caused due to gravitational force acting on it. So, essentially if there was no gravity, you wouldn’t have to worry about your weight!!

As long as you continue to live on this planet, gravitational force is going to pull your mass at about 9.8metres/ second. Now you can’t really change that.

The scale can go up or down for so many reasons that it doesn’t make sense for any of us to give it so much power to instantly make us feel happy or sad about our effort to improve continuously.

The scale moves because?

Training

  1. You had a very heavy workout yesterday. The inflammation can make the scale go up.
  2. Sweating: You could be losing more water by the way of sweating. You in fact need to rehydrate to replenish the lost
  3. You changed your workout time.
  4. Type of training, intensity and duration of the activity your weight may fluctuate.

 

Diet and Nutrition

  1. Salt: too much or too little salt can throw off your electrolyte balance and will affect the amount of water you hold.
  2. Too many carbs. Carbs again hold on to water and this will reflect on the scale if there was an increase in caloric intake.
  3. Foods that make you hold water:
    1. Fiber
    2. Lactose
    3. Dairy
    4. Gluten
    5. Legumes
    6. Artificial sweeteners
    7. Cruciferous Vegetables (e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc.)
    8. Anything that you are even mildly allergic to can trigger an inflammation response that may cause the scale to fluctuate.

Your macros changed over the course of a week. E.g.: if you’re carb-cycling and you have high and low carb days.

  1. You ate outside or ate any packaged food. You can never really be sure of the macros and sodium content unless you cooked that food item yourself.
  2. Medication: Certain antibiotics and painkillers can cause fluid retention in the body.
  3. Alcohol: Depending on how much you had to drink and what you ate, you can be dehydrated or bloated.
  4. Your tummy is not empty: Do I really need to elaborate on this?
  5. You ate too many veggies: the fiber sits in your intestine and the body continues to pull more and more water and tries to break it down until it leaves the system
  6. Your food isn’t digested properly: It is possible that your gut health isn’t supporting the digestion.
  7. Cheat meal: the carbs the sodium the water and everything else in between can paint a very distorted picture on the scale if you weigh yourself after having foods that are usually not a part of your diet.
  8. Just got back from a vacation
  9. Changing your meal timings: It will force the body to adapt its function to accommodate this.
  10. You ate something different from what you did the last time you ate before you weighed in

Other Reasons

  1. You’re using a different scale
  2. You’ve gained muscle: Muscle is heavier than fat
  3. You weighed yourself at a different time: Number of meals you’ve had before you weigh yourself makes a huge difference to that number
  4. Your clothes: They can easily add 200-800g to the scale.
  5. Ladies, it’s probably around that time of the month
  6. You didn’t sleep well enough: this is going to turn your hormones in another direction
  7. You’re stressed: Nothing good every really comes of that. Does it?

Weight measurement is a decent tool for the most simple and basic reason that it doesn’t take much time or effort.

You just need to stand on the scale!!

The best way to utilize the scale for it is to be very sensitive to the fact that it is perfectly normal for your weight to fluctuate from a few grams to even to 4kg…. and so, weight yourself everyday or every other day. You can then use an average to help you understand the progress you’ve made. Without consistency in all the above-mentioned variables, it is not very easy to use the scale as an indicator of progress.

You can use the tape, skin fold calipers, pictures, strength, clothes etc. to help you gauge and assess your progress better. As for the scale, it is going nowhere. It remains the easiest, least time-consuming way of measurement and will indicate overall progress when used over a longer time span.

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