Should I use a scale?

Yes and no. 

This is the age old question. Some people argue this is a great way to monitor your “progress” while others argue that basing your perception of progress based on the number on the scale is not only inaccurate, but it can drive you crazy.

I don’t see a problem with using a scale to be aware of your weight, in a broad sense. It is important to know your BMI (which is not always going to be the best judgment of your health especially if you have a lot of muscle mass) and make sure that your weight stays in a healthy range.

For example, at the start of last summer I was 130 which for my short stature is technically in the “overweight”(BMI >25) BMI just slightly. Thus, I worked out and made sure I dropped it down at least a lb or two to get into the “normal” range (18.5- 25). Now, every so often I will check up on it just to make sure I stay in a healthy range. That not only means not gaining too much weight but not losing too much either (which doesn’t seem to be an issue I face).

Now if you are going to use the scale broadly, even if it is daily, you must keep in mind 3 key things:

  1. Your weight fluctuates a couple of lbs. day to day, even during the day. For example, I could weigh myself right when I wake up but be 3 lbs heavier midday. This doesn’t mean I gained it all in one day it’s simply a mix of water weight and the food you’ve been eating. So don’t get upset when the number on the scale is a few lbs higher. FitTip: If you are going to weigh yourself regularly pick a similar time to do so, I suggest first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom.
  2.  If you are building muscle then you are going to gain lbs. in muscle. What this means is if you are working out and trying to get in good shape there is a HIGH chance, in fact you should be, building muscle. Many people find that if they are following a healthy regimen of eating and working out that when they look in the mirror and feel that they look better the number on the scale is higher than before (but that is okay it means you are getting healthier!).
  3. It’s not about the number on the scale – it’s about how you feel about yourself. Now, there are occasions where the number does matter somewhat (such as the BMI scenario I mentioned earlier) but for the most part it does not matter. You should workout and eat healthy because your body deserves that. Workout to feel your best not to achieve a meaningless number. Plus, the lower the number does not necessary mean the better. Just because your friend is 100 lbs and that weight is healthy for her body type does not mean that the same goes for you.

So if you are going to use a scale keep those things in mind and if you aren’t going to use a scale, well keep them in mind also.

 

 

 

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