How Often Should I Weigh?

How often do you weigh? Are you paying attention to all your numbers and what they really mean, rather than what our insecure psyches make them mean?

istockphoto.com/sage

istockphoto.com/sage

I have had days where I have lost and gained three pounds from one day to the next. Now, do I think I’ve lost or gained 3 pounds overnight? No, not rationally. That would mean I gained or lost 10,500 calories (there’s 3500 calories in a pound).

The likely culprit is water gain or loss. 1gl of water weighs 8.34lbs, so it doesn’t take much water retention to make a significant difference in one’s weight. This is why I believe in weighing more than once a week. Be sure to continue to hydrate though. The body retains water when it is not properly hydrated, so don’t think you should avoid drinking water to avoid water gain.

Many fitness pros will say to weigh once a week and stay off the scale otherwise. Not I. Say you weigh on Mondays and Mondays only. If you weigh 3lbs heavier from a weekend of indulgences, you miss your lowest weight on Friday after a week of eating and hydrating well.

Let’s get away from an idea that we are one set weight. I like to weigh every morning, first thing, before I even have a drink of water, before I even brush my teeth. Then, when I weigh every day, I won’t miss when I hit my lowest weight of the week, and I can start to see a pattern in my weight fluctuation. I can see my low and my high for the week, and then each week my high and low go lower.

So one week my high might be 146.6 and my low 143.6, then the next week my high might be 146.0 and my low 142.8. My high/low has gone down. It’s a much more realistic picture of your weight.

We are not a static number.

The human body is a dynamic organism, not a static one, but we insist on stuffing it into a static measurement.

If your gym offers a body composition test, I highly suggest getting it done every six weeks or so. You can see your body fat percentage change and your lean muscle mass. If you’re gaining weight, it might be you’re building muscle and not burning much of the fat on top, or you’re burning fat and building muscle, so your weight is staying relatively the same.

Most gyms offer this service for $10-$30 for members, depending on their method of tracking body composition. Don’t worry, it’s usually just standing on a special scale that can measure body density, and not invasive at all, like using body calipers to measure skin folds.

Let’s get real about our weight and begin to understand the body as a whole, not just a single number.

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