Everyone and their mom is concerned with the scale. That’s not a bad thing. We just need to design some context around it, otherwise the fluctuation will drive you crazy!
Constantly watching that number fluctuate is the route source of many individuals troubles in conquering their fitness goals. For some reason, we look at the number without any context. If it’s up one day, that’s bad. If it’s down the next day, that’s good. But, it’s not that simple.
The scale’s ability to fluctuate is actually quite impressive. I could sit here for the next few hours noting all the things that can cause the scale to bounce around..
- Time of day
- Stress (In a plethora of forms)
These aren’t bad things. They’re just that.. Things.
Things to keep in the back of your mind when looking at that number on the scale.
Due to all these factors, I prefer taking weigh-in averages of the week. Taking anywhere from 3-7 weigh-ins per week and averaging those numbers to get your weigh-in of the week. This will help us get the most “accurate” number as possible.
From here, that number is your guide. By averaging things over, you actually give yourself an opportunity to see if something works. For example, if you eat sushi one night. Glorious, carb heavy, sodium heavy, sushi. But, you stayed within your target calorie goal!
While all might truthfully be fine and dandy under the hood, your weigh-in will likely be heavy due to those previously stated factors: sodium, water, carbohydrate. If you thought you ate the right quantity and calorie amount, but decided to cut more calories because you saw a heavy weigh-in, you’d be making adjustments too soon, derailing your pathway to your goals.
However, if you were to wait until you have your final average of the week, you might find that things flushed out to be right where you had planned to be. Be patient with yourself and the scale. Emotionally detach and follow a plan, don’t change things based upon a single high weigh-in.