You wake up each morning, hop on that scale, and hope it will tell you something wonderful and magical about your weight loss goals, success from yesterday’s workout, or at least let you know you are on track. While these might be the case on occasion, they are never an everyday occurrence. If weight was a perfect measure of health and fitness improvements then this would perhaps be a more justified solution, but the sad truth is that it is not.
There is an ongoing argument whether weight itself is also a risk factor for many of the “obesity” diseases, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and more. The majority of studies show that people carrying a few extra pounds that exercise regularly are less susceptible to many health issues than a thinner less active person. This shows us that physical activity is a greater determinant of health than weight is. So, let’s stop stressing over that scale, and just get up and move!
When you step on the scale it simply tells you how much you weigh at that very moment, and nothing else. The scale doesn’t know if you just drank your whole water bottle (2 pounds), are retaining water (2-3 pounds), or just ate a large meal (1-3 pounds). These variables make it possible to weigh in multiple times each day at drastically different weights, but your fitness and health isn’t changing every hour or so, so isn’t that a far more consistent measure? A good place to start is to ask yourself some questions about your physical activity:
- Am I exercising regularly?
- Am I gradually increasing my distance or intensity?
- Am I feeling better?
- Do I have more energy?
- Am I seeing improvements in my ability?
You should be able to answer yes to most of these questions if you are looking to drop those excess pounds. The physical changes will come in time if you are doing what you should when it comes to nutrition and exercise. There is no magic cure or fad diet that will allow a sustainable, healthy weight loss program. It all comes down to getting that workout in as often as you can and making healthy decisions. Always remember though that the scale is not a measure of success, but simply a measure of weight. It only has the power you give it.
Becca Capell, iFit Head Trainer