The scale is often viewed as the ultimate judge of weight loss progress, but its numbers can be misleading and demotivating during the journey if misunderstood.
It can be discouraging when progress stalls or fluctuations occur. Many people give up too early because of the scale. But by mastering the art of interpreting the scale, you can prevent it from becoming a source of frustration and stay motivated on your weight loss journey.
In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to demystify the scale, empowering you to interpret its readings accurately. By understanding what the scale can and cannot tell you about fat loss and health, utilizing correct comparison measurements, considering alternative progress markers, and exploring body fat measuring scales, you can navigate your weight loss journey with a clearer perspective.
Step 1: Understand What Weight Can and Cannot Tell You About Fat Loss and Health:
It’s essential to recognize the limitations of weight as a measure of progress. Weight alone cannot distinguish between changes in fat mass, muscle mass, or changes in water retention. When trying to improve your health, it is fat-loss that matters, but that is not always clearly displayed on the scale.
When weight does not change, that does not necessarily mean that body fat has not been lost and that the approach you are using is not working. Understanding these limitations allows you to take weight as just one piece of information. So then you can look elsewhere for reassurance that you are on the right path.
Step 2: Have a Comparison Measurement from At Least Two Weeks Ago
To accurately assess your progress, it’s crucial to establish a consistent and meaningful time frame for comparison. Comparing your weight to a measurement from at least two weeks ago ensures that you’re evaluating progress over a fair time period, accounting for natural fluctuations and short-term variations. Avoid judging progress by weighing yourself daily, as daily fluctuations can be misleading and discouraging.
So, every time you get on the scale, do not rely on the most recent weight in your memory. Instead, before you get on, look up your weight two weeks ago and have that in your mind as the comparison.
Step 3: Before Judging Your Progress by Weight, Check Other Markers of Progress
Weight loss is not solely reflected on the scale. It’s important to consider other markers of progress that can provide a more comprehensive picture of your journey. Here are a few alternative progress markers to assess:
a. Body Measurements: Measure your waist, hips, thighs, and other key areas using a tape measure. Changes in these measurements can indicate fat loss even when the scale doesn’t budge.
b. Clothing Fit: Notice how your clothes fit and whether you need to size down or if things fit more comfortably. This can be a tangible and encouraging indicator of progress.
Step 4: Consider Upgrading Your Scale to a BIA Scale That Measures Body Fat
Traditional scales only provide weight measurements. However, upgrading to a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scale that measures body fat percentage can offer a more comprehensive assessment of your body composition. BIA scales use a small electrical signal to estimate body fat, muscle mass, and other metrics. This additional information can help you better understand changes in your body composition and overall progress.
Many scales now sync with an app that will calculate the total kgs of body fat you have. That is the easiest way to measure change in your body fat amount- by subtracting the kgs of fat you had two weeks ago from the kgs of fat you have now.
Demystifying the scale during weight loss is essential for maintaining motivation and a healthy perspective on your journey. By understanding what weight can and cannot tell you about fat loss and health, utilizing comparison measurements, exploring other markers of progress, and possibly upgrading your scale, you can be more informed about your progress.