Fearing the scale
Creative Commons License photo credit: dno1967b

 

The more and more I train clients and create weight loss programs the more I find the scale to be increasingly intimidating. From what I gather there are two types of people when it comes to the scale:

Type 1:

Scared shit. These people avoid the scale as if it were Satan’s face. They pretend like it doesn’t work when they step on it for 0.2 seconds or relay on the fact that it’s out of batteries when it’s plugged into the wall.

Type 2:

OCSU, or “obsessive compulsive scale users”. These are the opposites of type 2, they jump on the scale every other hour to see the weight loss in real-time. Some of the favorite times for them to jump on the scale includes: just waking up and after a 12 hour fast. Relentless anger due to fluctuating weight has also been reported.

Perhaps you fall into one of these categories, no worries! We have plenty of ways for you to come to terms with it and battle the scale once and for all:

 

 

Understanding the Scale – The Five Rules to Success

First, let’s make 2 obvious points. One, the scale is not Satan, and two your weight will always fluctuate. Things such as your last meal, water absorption and even working out will cause the scale to fluctuate throughout the day. This brings us to the first rule:

 

Rule #1:

Weigh yourself the same time, every time.

Weighing yourself today after a meal and tomorrow after not eating for 24 hours will be great ego boost, but will mean nothing in terms of measuring progress.  Each time you weigh yourself write what time it was, and how long after your last meal it has been. Clothing could even play a part so best case scenario, rock the B-day suit.

 

Rule #2

Use other measurements for progress in conjunction with the scale.

The scale is not enough. If you have been doing more than jumping on and off the scale for exercise then you most likely will be gaining muscle. If this is indeed the case, your weight might actually go up! The only way you can be sure is to take other measures such as girth measurements or skinfolds. I also take before and after pictures with my clients.

 

Rule #3

Track behavior goals not outcome goals.

You have no direct control over what you weigh now. You do have control over what you DO now. This is where your focus should be. If you are working with a smart trainer they should know this, if not then you need to determine a specific behavior goal that will lead you to your outcome goal. Example:

Outcome goal: To lose 10lbs in 10 weeks.

Behavior goal: For the next 10 weeks I will Crossfit 4x/week and not eat sugar or high processed foods.

The outcome goal you cannot directly affect right now. Your focus should be on the behavior goal. How much you weigh in week 2 does not matter, if you went to Crossfit and didn’t eat sugar or a processed foods, you are doing great.

 

Rule #4

Only use the scale with pre-planned, monitoring checks.

OCSU, this one if for you.

Weighing yourself everyday will do nothing for you. Your focus should be on the behavior goal. That being said, you should have progress checks scheduled before-hand every 2-4 weeks. During these “check-ups” your weight along with girth measurements and skinfold measurement should be taken (rule #2). This is to make sure the program you are on is working.

There are times when you may be following your behavior goals to a T but the results do not improve. If this is the case then the program itself, and the behavior goals along with it, need to be changed, this brings me to the last rule:

 

Rule #5

Be honest with thee self.

If you weight has gone up, and your skinfolds and girths measurements follow suit you need a different tactic to go about your goals. If you did not see “enough change” then you may also need to spice things up. See these other articles for some help: CrossFit Programs, CrossFit Nutrition, SWOT Yourself.

Note: This is one of MANY reasons why it is difficult to plan a weight loss nutrition plan on your own. It is best to let someone who is qualified and who understands these important concepts to guide you through.  If you are interested in working with me both onsite or remotely contact me.

You see, the scale is not so bad after all. Just fracking relax, and focus on what you are DOING rather than what your WEIGHING. If you can do this your progress will double. BAM.

 

Devin is a 5 times regional competitor, owner of CrossFit Transcend and full time athlete. He loves to share the knowledge he has learned with all who will listen.

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