The scale- your mood- destroyed !
So that might be dramatic and all but really, how many times have you stepped on the scale and got so pissed because of what you saw? I know it has ruined my day plenty of times. But why? Just like I tell my clients, your weight is a combination of things. When we talk about body weight, we’re talking about fat free mass + fat mass.Fat-free mass is everything that isn’t fat – muscle, bone, organs, muscles, water, etc. While fat mass is, well, fat.
Here is the million dollar question, which would you rather lose? Well duh! Fat mass. This distinction is important because, firstly: ‘weight loss’ is easy and can be easily manipulated, you see fighters, weightlifters and powerlifters do this all the time by extremely dehydrating themselves before a weigh-in to simply weigh less. Did they lose fat? No, they just manipulated a few things to cause a decrease on the scale for short term.
What is important to remember is that your weight fluctuates probably by the hour. What you weigh in the morning is not what you will weigh tonight. When we talk about scale weight we’re talking about your ‘actual weight’ plus all the ‘weight anomalies’. It's those anomalies that mess with your head. So let's look at what some of them are so you understand the next time your weight gets all out of whack,
-Carbs: The number of carbs you’re consuming will affect scale weight. Remember, 1 gram of carbohydrate comes along with 3g of water. This is why when people go on a low-carb, or ketogenic diet, they see rapid weight loss (not fat loss) initially as the body drops water. Inversely, if you’re ending a period of low-carb or ketogenic dieting, you can expect your weight on the scale to go up.
-Water retention. If you are dehydrated your body HOLDS onto water. Funny how what most people think is true, that if you don't drink a lot you will look thinner the opposite is true. More water means a better looking physique and less bloat.
-Sodium intake: If you’re consuming a certain level of sodium per day and then one day you consume more sodium your body will retain water, conversely, if you decrease sodium intake, your body will release water.
-Hormones, specifically women and your period. Your monthly cycle will make you retain water. I know, it sucks, but you’re awesome so smile.
-External factors like stress, sleep and working out affect your weight. Poor sleep can also increase stress levels = water retention = weight increase on scale.With increased stress comes water retention, and with water retention a spike in scale weight.
This is why I advise everyone to not get too caught up with the scale weight because it’s only one tool to measure progress.In fact, sometimes I simply stop my clients from weighing themselves altogether because it messes with their head, which only stresses them out further, increases cortisol, that in turn increases water retention.Instead, focus on body measurements, progress photos, and performance in the gym (strength gains) because they are far more reliable metrics to gauge trends in body composition and your progress.