Friday, September 5, 2014

How often should I weigh myself?

Photo Credit: Jenny 

 There are many variables regarding an accurate weight measurement. Studies have shown that weighing yourself everyday can actually have more of a negative effect than a positive one.

What you weigh is a result of mass in versus mass out. However, you are often told that it is calories in versus the calories out. Both are correct and complement each other. Calories are measurements of heat and energy, which have virtually no mass. You use up fat and muscle tissue to give off that energy. By burning calories, you lose tissue/mass. Your weight is based on the mass of what you eat. For example, you could eat a lb of apples which are not that many calories or a lb of cake which is a lot of calories, but you will weigh exactly the same at that instant if you jump on a scale, because you consumed a whole pound. Therefore, you will be one pound heavier. BUT eating a pound of cake will not help you in the long run and is very unhealthy.

1 or 2 pound fluctuation each day can be attributed to the mass of what you consumed that day regardless of the calories. It's just a matter of time before you empty your bowels and/or bladder. Sometimes food takes longer than normal to travel through the intestines and this can be affected by changes in hormones, stress, and some medications. Remember ladies and gentlemen, that 1 or 2 pounds may only be 1-2 percent of your weight (depending on how much you weigh), which is an incredibly low percentage and can easily fluctuate based on what you eat and do not eat. Remember that measuring tools have error too. There's error in every measurement and readings can fluctuate based on the pressure in the atmosphere and the temperature. For example, metal and wood expand or shrink depending on the temperature, so depending how well your scale was made, there may be significant inaccuracies with each weight measurement. Also the reading on the scale can change based on your posture and position of how you stand on the scale.

So, David and I say- DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF EVERYDAY because what you eat everyday differs, and WEIGH YOURSELF ONCE A WEEK! (preferably on the same day and same time each week, such as 8 am every Monday)

Who dreads the yearly visit to the doctors office because the scale reads more than what your scale reads at home? I know I do. This is because most of the times I go to the doctors it is right after I have eaten a meal, my clothes are on, and/or I haven't used the restroom yet.

To get a decent reading:
  • Weigh yourself in the MORNING before eating or drinking. If you weigh yourself at night or in the afternoon, it will anywhere from 2-5 incorrect. 
  • Weigh yourself after using the restroom 
  • Weigh yourself naked or with a thin layer of clothing
Weight fluctuates so much. Do not get frustrated if the scale has jumped up a lb or two. It could be water weight, hormone fluctuations or muscle fatigue. A good way to really see how your body has changed is by judging your body by your clothes. Use the scale as a tool and not a judge of how you are supposed to be. You are still an amazing and intelligent person inside and out, and people love you because of who you are and your awesome personality. 

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