Even with a healthy diet, regular exercise, optimal recovery, and enough sleep, it’s natural for your body weight to fluctuate. Here’s what factors affect the scale and how to weigh yourself most accurately!
It’s great to set ambitious goals about how much weight you want to lose, how much muscle you are going to gain, and when you hope to achieve those goals.
It’s also normal for your body to not get on board with those expectations.
The key to not driving yourself crazy is NOT putting too much stock into the number you see on the scale; otherwise, you will be far more likely to get discouraged, and far more likely to give up.
Here’s how to set appropriate expectations about your weight, and how to make sure you get the most accurate reading when you do weigh yourself!
What Causes Weight Fluctuations
Weight fluctuations are completely normal, and everybody experiences them. Not just you! In facts, your weight can fluctuate or not change at all, even when you’re doing everything right — like working out, eating right, eating enough protein, and getting enough sleep.
This can be particularly true If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose. You might experience numerous fluctuations or plateaus in your journey.
It’s hard to say what causes weight fluctuations. There could be MANY reasons. Sure, the way you eat or train could play factors, but so could a range of factors like:
- Food Volume
- How often or intensely you’re working out
- Stress levels
- Sleep quality or quantity
- Sodium intake
Daily weight fluctuations of 5 or more pounds are completely normal. The good news is that even when the scale isn’t going down, that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress! Important, valuable things are still happening in your body when you eat better and follow a well-structured weight-loss workout plan.
Remember: Building and rebuilding your body is the project of a lifetime! The more workouts you keep nailing and the more quality meals you keep eating, the more you’re setting yourself up for success, no matter what the scale says.
When To Step On The Scale
It’s a good idea to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before consuming any food or liquids, without clothes on, and if possible, right after using the restroom. This is the most commonly recommended technique to get an accurate reading.
Here’s what not to do: Weigh yourself in the middle or at the end of the day, and freak out if the number looks high. The number on the scale will always be higher compared to the first thing in the morning!
And we don’t recommend mixing the two approaches. If you weigh in as soon as you wake up on Monday and then 2 pm Tuesday, you will most likely get very different and misleading numbers.
But here’s the thing: Even if you consistently weigh at the same time of day and under the exact same circumstances — your weight will likely still fluctuate day-to-day.
This is also why many coaches, including V Shred’s team of custom nutrition and workout coaches will have you weigh in multiple times a week or even daily. This allows you to get a weekly weight average, which is more telling than any particular day.
The Scale Is Only One Way To Measure Progress
When used correctly, weighing yourself does have some value. But there are other things you can do to measure your progress. At V Shred, we talk a lot about these “non-scale victories” or NSVs. These are things like:
- Having more energy
- Your clothes fitting better
- Your workouts feeling better or easier
- Getting better sleep
- Having an improved mood
These NSVs are every bit as important (if not more) than what the scale says.
If seeing the number go up and down still stresses you out — we suggest stepping away from the scale for a while! Many of our clients have TOTALLY ditched the scale and ONLY rely on NSVs to measure progress! One example is Iolee, who relied on weekly progress pictures and measurements, not scale weight, and still lost 44 pounds in a year.
If the scale gives you anxiety — it’s perfectly OK to avoid it until you feel more comfortable.
Need More Support?
And if you need an expert to guide you through the journey to your ultimate goal, consider a V Shred custom diet plan created by one of our team of certified personal trainers and nutritionists.