That stupid bathroom scale! – Estes Park Trail-Gazette


Are you a victim of weighing in every morning and do you look at the ounces that you may or may not lose on a daily basis? Does it frustrate you as much as it frustrates me? I’ve learned over the course of my own weight management obsessions and then my non-obsession times of my life to “chill-out” when it comes to weighing in every day of my life. It can be the most frustrating time of your day, the minute you step up on the scale and wait for the numbers to beep in. To weigh-in or not to weigh-in, that is the question!

There are so many reasons why we should throw our scales into our back-yard fire pit! Yet, there are equally as many reasons why we shouldn’t and I think that it comes down to our overall attitude and understanding to what the scale is telling us on a day to day basis.

As a quick preface to this topic, we must keep in the back of our minds what society has done to our thinking patterns when it comes to weight management. Keep in mind the daily, weekly, minute-by-minute media coverage on what the media considers healthy in the minds of the media world. Talk to your husbands, kids, girlfriends and family members about what is physically beautiful, I think you’ll be surprised!

There is good scale use and bad scale use! I’m reminded of an article that I read a while ago about the scale and the one thing I remember from this article is that the scale is a good tool for weight management, when used properly.

It’s been proven through research that individuals who use a scale on a regular basis, with a healthy understanding of weight management, are able to control their body weight much better than those who don’t use a scale. If body weight is checked on a regular basis (weekly or monthly), then “creeping obesity” is easier to stop. One to two pounds creeping up on you one month can be seen on the scale and then lost the next month. One to two pounds on the scale can’t be felt in your jeans, which I believe still remain the all-out best weight management tool. Throw out the stretchy pants!!

Daily fluctuations of weight on the scale can be affected by so many things! That’s why the difference of a few ounces and a pound or two need to be understood. On a daily basis our body weight can fluctuate up to five pounds. That’s a lot of weight when you are trying to lose five core pounds of body fat. It’s impossible to lose five pounds of body fat in a day. In fact five pounds of body fat will take you three to five weeks (or more) to lose depending on what you are doing to lose weight.

On the other hand, gaining three to five pounds of “muscle” is also a myth, particularly if you are a woman. Yes, we can all gain muscle mass which will equate to a few extra pounds on the scale, but it won’t be muscle weight that you gain after a few strength training sessions. Like weight loss, muscle gain takes a few weeks to be seen on the scale.

The biggest misunderstanding with regards to muscle weight is that we are only talking a few pounds of muscle, not tens of pounds. So for a woman who strength trains regularly, you might convert four to seven pounds of your mass to muscle weight. That converted muscle weight should burn equal to more fat weight off of your structure so that the scale in this instance doesn’t matter.

Understand that daily fluctuations of body weight as measured on a bathroom scale is affected by hydration, bowel movements, menstruation, food, sleep, medications, exercise and perspiration.

The best use of the scale would be to keep track of body weight on a week to week/month to month basis, weighing yourself first thing in the morning with no clothes after a few days of regular living (eating and exercising). So maybe a Wednesday morning weigh-in is a little more honest than a Monday morning weigh-in. That’s for you to decide.


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