I always see on IG, athletes claiming the “Scale is just a number,” and “you should never focus on the scale.” I also happen to think that they couldn't be more correct. However, I do disagree that this so-called “number” is 100% bad for you. I feel that with all numbers, it is just about understanding what it means and how you can use the data. Yes, I sound like a robot but hear my points out THEN disagree with me.
Remember Creatine - people used to think that was a steroid before understanding that it is one of the best supplements out there. The number on the scale can mean so many things but it being 100% insignificant is bogus.
I will take you through my reasoning on why having a scale can be useful.
Before we dive in, the concept of weight and how much one weighs (daily) is constantly changing for millions of reasons. The key to using the scale is trying to keep the variables at a minimum. What this means is using the scale at the same time of the day so you know where your body stands. Make that even better and have no food in your system. This is why I suggest weighing yourself first thing in the morning before anything gets into your system.
What Weighing Yourself Does:
- Gives you a foundation for progress: Starting at a certain benchmark is vital knowing your progress. I started at X weight and need to hit Y by Z time. Like I said earlier, there are other factors that can alter this (like muscle) but it’s a great benchmark.
- Keeps you accountable: If you weigh yourself regularly, the scale will have no bias giving you the results of your diet. Is it working or not? The scale will tell you and not care about your feelings. This makes YOU the only person that can change it. (remember that weight loss takes time)
- Shows Progress: Like I said about the foundation for your fitness journey, the scale is your ultimate update on your progress and how close you are to reaching your goals.
- Allows you to set goals: How can you hit a goal if you have no metrics to start with or more importantly, one to end at. It's great to “look good” as a goal, but it’s much better to know what you did and how you got there using the scale as one of your metrics. The more knowledge, the better.
Should You Let a Bad Weigh in Affect Your Day
There can be a million reasons why you put on weight, lose weight, or stay the same (I sound like a broken record). You can do everything right and not see the number change. The number should not be the focus, but in fact, the “doing everything right,” should be. Unless you are a robot eating the same thing day in and day out or cook everything that goes into your body, the scale can fluctuate just on the food you consumed that day. You can be under your total calories, worked out like a FIEND, and drink your 8 glasses of water... yet somehow you put on a pound the next day. WHY? HOW? Is the world going to end? NO! Just log your weight and keep doing the “right things” and see what happens tomorrow. If the weight keeps going up, maybe tweak the total calories in your diet or switch up that workout plan.
This is another reason why the scale is so important, it gives you a daily report on what's going on with your body.
A lot of people will get upset when they see the scale not tell them they are not doing well, and they have every right to. However, at the same time, the scale does not lie and does not care about being “nice.” You made the decision to better yourself and being “nice” has no place in this game. Your friends will be there to support you but the scale will be there to tell you exactly how you are doing...and you need that. Just know that the goal is to use the scale to your advantage, and it will help you reach your goals faster and make you a better...you!
Ultimately, I think having a scale in your fitness journey is vital. Whether you are putting on weight/muscle or losing weight/fat, the scale will give you that unbiased report that we all NEED. The key is to not let that information weigh you down (pun soooo intended). It's just information and what we do with it will be the reason we hit our goals or not.