Slim and Trim Tip – Scales
Do you weigh yourself daily, hourly, weekly, monthly, never? Does the number on the scale influence your mood? I have seen clients get very upset when they have gained two pounds or through the roof excited when they have lost 5lbs.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with you checking your weight every few months but you must know that it doesn’t always give you a clear picture of what’s really happening.
A scale doesn’t measure the weight of your memories or your daily stress, the smiles you display and the lives that you touch, the hours that you sleep, the level of your hormones, the brightness of your future…it just measures your physical mass when you step upon the scale. And for all these reasons and many more, we don’t need a scale ……- Tanya Willis
If you do step on a scale, have a look at these factors presented by Richard Talens of www.greatist.com that can affect the variations in your weight…
- Glycogen stores. This amount depends on your current consumption of carbohydrates. For every gram of carbohydrate that your body stores via glycogen, it also stores three grams of water. If you are carbohydrate-depleted, you will be at the lower end of your variance. Conversely, if you consume a crapola of carbohydrates, you will be at the upper end of your variance.
- Water retention/depletion from sodium. If you suddenly consume more sodium than you are used to, you will likely retain water. Conversely, if you suddenly consume much less sodium, you will release water. Your body adjusts to the new levels accordingly via the hormone aldosterone, so don’t think that you can keep this value low just by cutting sodium out from your diet.
- Cycle bloat. Women will retain water during their cycle. For this reason, it’s best for women to only compare weight from month-to-month.
- Dehydration. This obviously comes into play, but we’re going to assume that everyone here is well-hydrated.
- Binged on food…Typically they will retain a ton more glycogen afterwards and see a massive increase in the scale. This is only water weight. Too often, I’ll see people defeated because they “gained all of the weight back.”
- Those who go on Paleo or ketogenic style diets usually cite the rapid loss of weight at the very start, as well as the rapid influx of weight when they cease their low-carb diet.
This isn’t due to some magical powers from copying the diet of pre-historic man. Rather, this is due to the rapid depletion and replenishment of glycogen. Similarly, the rapid drop in weight that occurs when one starts a diet can usually be attributed to a drop in carbohydrate intake.
- Other reasons:Lyle McDonald talks about “the whoosh effect,” in which scale weight will often lag behind true weight loss.
- Clients will also often gain lean mass and/or increased glycogen capacity during a diet, especially with a mild deficit. For that reason, scale weight may remain the same even if fat loss is occurring.
Interpreting the Scale
The true secret to interpreting the scale is building a story. Most people use the scale as a final number, rather than piece together a story using relevant pieces of data. The scale number alone is useless when you need to troubleshoot.
Instead, we can create a powerful story by pairing scale readings with the following data:
- Waist measurements. This is the most powerful piece of accompanying data. That’s because waist measurements are far more useful at determining overall direction of fat loss. Take measurements at the navel, two inches above, and two inches below. Compare with last week’s measurements and assign the measurement either -1, 0, or +1 if the new measurement decreases, stays the same, or increases respectively. Now add the numbers together to determine overall direction that fat loss/gain is occurring.
- If your strength is increasing, then you are likely increasing your weight from lean body mass.
- Bloat. This tells you how much variance is going into your measurements. Be keen on noticing whether or not you are holding water in key parts. This will vary from person to person, but it will be areas that seem to swell up after a binge.
After that, check out this chart to interpret your data.
Hoping you can look at the scale differently,
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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