Do you use weighing scales as an indicator of weight loss or gain?

If so, how do you find it? Do you log regularly?
Is the number that the scales point to predictable?  Reliable?

I’m going to give you some reasons why weighing yourself might not be the best tracker for changes in weight.

​1. Reliability. The average household’s weighing scales are several years old and probably have never been checked or serviced. The older the device, the more likely it is to be out because sensors or other measuring components can wear out over time.

2. Hydration levels. A normal glass of water weighs about 300g or 1/2 a pound. So your state of hydration could easily be affecting the readings. Did you just guzzle that glass of water by your bedside? Did you sweat loads while at spinning class last night?

3. Food in transit. Equally the amount of food in your digestive system will affect the reading.

4. Carbs. Carbs are especially good at messing with weight. not because they automatically make you fat but because when they get stored in your muscles as glycogen, they also retain around 3 times the amount of water.

So what’s a better solution?

My advice is to use a range of tools:

1. Measuring tape. I like to use three measurements: Narrowest part of the waist; widest part of the hips, widest part of the leg. Keep a relaxed stance (no sucking the belly in) and take measurements once a week.

2. Take an average of a number of recent weigh-ins. So I was kinda joking when i said you should chuck the scales away. They are pretty useful to demonstrate a trend. I like to weigh myself every other day and calculate an average from the last 5 weigh-ins. This helps to smooth away any of the abnormalities mentioned above.

Tip: Create an Excel spreadsheet and enter in formulas to do the work for you. And if you really don’t feel like calculating the averages on your own, there’s an app called “Happy Scale” that will do it for you.

But the BEST solution is…

3. Before and after photos. These are really THE best way of tracking changes to your body. You’ll be able to note postural changes and changes in muscle tone as well changes in size. Definitely recommend this one. Serves a great motivator to keep you on track too!

Do you think you could implement any of these to help track your progress?