What if stopping to weigh yourself every morning was the answer to feel great in your body?
In this blog post, I am showing you why the scale can be detrimental to your health and why you should stop weighing yourself every morning.
When we talk about physical transformation, and especially about weight loss, the tool that instantly comes to our mind is the scale.
This device that can be a source of fear after the weekend, coming back from holidays, and for some people, daily.
Even though it can be a great tool to follow your progress when going through a physical transformation, the scale is still a tool that doesn’t tell anything about your body composition.
What does a scale weigh?
Though it might seem logical, it is important to remember that a scale weighs people as a whole.
That means that it weighs:
And your scale can’t tell the difference between those four things.
So yes, there are these new scales that “analyze” your body composition, but is it very accurate? I’m not convinced yet.
That means that when the number on the scale goes up, you won’t be able to tell if it involves water, muscle, or fat. No, a weight gain doesn’t necessarily mean a fat gain.
The mental health factor
Unfortunately, society had to put in our heads that gaining weight is bad. Therefore, when we step on the scale and see an increase in the number, we panic!
The problem is, panic mode is not gone by the time we step off the scale.
In the case of trying to lose or maintain weight, it becomes an issue that sets the tone for the day and creates stress in our bodies.
We already know that stress is bad for health in general and that is can prevent weight loss.
But that’s not all, this form of stress can influence us to make decisions based on a simple number.
We eat less to compensate, we starve ourselves, and end up binge eating on every food we see.
You got it, being obsessed with the scale can cause some damage to our mental and physical health.
Related post: How to Overcome Binge Eating Disorder
What can cause weight gain?
To prove to you that you shouldn’t worry about your weight going up, here are some of the most common reasons your weight fluctuates from one day to another.
Irregular water intake from one day to another is one of the most frequent reasons for weight fluctuation.
It only takes you drinking more water than usual to notice a higher number on the scale the next day.
However, this does not mean that you should drink less. It rather means that you should have a stable water intake. This way, your body has a “routine” and can eliminate accordingly.
Since we’re talking about eliminating, it is important to know that sometimes, the body struggles to get rid of its water.
The causes of water retention include hot weather and long-distance trips that encourage water to build up in tissues rather than flowing.
That’s not all, your diet could also cause water retention, for example if it is too high in sodium.
Again, this does NOT mean that you should drink less. Hydrating yourself helps liquids to circulate and therefore to exit the body.
As in many other situations, the menstrual cycle can be responsible for your weight going up.
Most of the time, it happens just before and/or during your period, which will be no surprise for women like me who get bloated and feel like una patata during this period!
This is due to the hormonal fluctuation that occurs when going from a phase to another, and maybe also to the fact that we tend to eat more foods that encourage water retention.
We’re mentioning elimination again since having regular bowel movements is essential to remove excesses from our bodies.
Having trouble eliminating food can inevitably cause to weight more. Many things can influence digestion such as diet, hydration, menstrual cycle, or stress.
Drinking lots of water, eating healthy and high in fiber foods, and exercising regularly helps to improve intestinal transit.
As mentioned before, stress can cause weight fluctuations, without us realizing it.
To schematize, stress is managed by cortisol, which is a hormone responsible for many things in the body.
When our stress (and therefore cortisol) levels reach a certain point, our brain receives a signal that “paralyzes” some functions, including weight loss.
Yes, this happens even if you’re perfectly following your diet and training program.
It is important to outline that stress doesn’t only happen in work and exams environments.
Stress can also develop when you’re not getting enough sleep, when you fight with your partner, or when you are implicated in any personal project.
Learn about the 3 types of stress you might be experiencing right now.
This last point concerns more the longterm than the other ones, but I think it is still worth mentioning.
If you recently started a physical activity, it is possible and likely that you will lose fat, but also gain muscle.
Sometimes, we think we’re not making progress because the number on the scale is not moving significantly, or is going up.
Once again, gaining weight is not bad. It is actually great since building muscle is essential to improve your metabolism!
Btw, did you know that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn while resting?!
Why you should stop weighing yourself
All the points listed above are the reason why I stopped weighing myself every day.
When fitness was still an obsession for me a few years from now, the weight displaying on the scale dictated my entire day.
By trying to control everything, I ended up losing control of myself, which had the opposite effect: so many sources of stress I couldn’t manage anymore.
When I stopped weighing myself every morning (along with giving up on counting calories), I felt liberated from this vicious circle that stopped me to live a normal life.
Since then, I noticed that I’m more prone to lose weight when I’m thinking about it the less.
How crazy is it knowing that when I put all my attention to it the number on the scale wouldn’t move?!
This is only here to tell you that if you’re over obsessing with the scale and that it affects your mental health, it is better to get rid of it.
You now have read it for yourself; there are numerous factors that can influence the number you see on your scale.
In the end, this number doesn’t mean anything and tells nothing about your body and your worth.
If you want to see how your body evolves over time, take picture of yourself regularly in the same posture.
You will see that pictures speak of themselves and that they tell you way MORE than a stupid number on a scale.
What about you, do you use a scale? Would you be able to stop weighing yourself? Let me know in the comments below or come chat with me on social media!