In recent weeks I’ve become a bit of a more health conscious person and all about working out and raising my fitness level. This admittedly does not seem like a bad idea … depending on how you do it.
I really just want to work on raising my energy levels and toning up a lot more, but for those who workout to lose weight I will say one thing; throw out your weighing scales! This may seem silly. ‘How will I know when I’m losing weight and gaining it’ etc etc. I hear you. But honestly, the only scales you should have, should be in your kitchen for weighing flour.
I read quite often about how our weight fluctuates during our cycles (sorry for all the guys reading this but it could get a bit intimate), and even during the day. So I’ve been conducting a little experiment. I’ve been weighing myself multiple times a day for three days now. Always after the loo, for two reasons: it removes a variable and the bathroom is where the scales are. It is crazy how much it changes from one end of the day to the other. I could apparently lose or gain almost 2kgs every day! Once I weighed myself, realised I’d done so before using the facilities, so weighed myself again. I’d gained 400grams after going to the loo. What?! I don’t pretend to understand exactly how our bodies work but that doesn’t seem very logical to me. I.e. they’re not accurate for tracking weight loss!
According to fitness professional Cassey Ho, if our diets contain a lot of sodium the week before ‘The Dark Days’, that’s why we retain water; trying to regain balance in our bodies. People sometimes forget that this is just water-weight and not fat, so they workout harder or eat less because of it but that’s not the healthy answer.
The point I’m making is that the weighing scales probably hinders people who are trying to lose weight more than it helps them. One might get too focused on the numbers and beat themselves up after a workout even though they’ve done a great job. And let’s not forget the whole ‘muscle weighs more than fat’ fact, so consistent working out will build up muscle and mass, but the scales doesn’t tell you it’s not fat.
I’ve been working out using the Blogilates videos by Cassey and I think they are fantastic! In her blog and some of her videos she confirms many times that our weight fluctuates all the time and I think as a fitness professional, she should be heeded. She says the best way to know if your dropping the fat is to listen to how your body feels and especially pay attention to how your clothes are fitting: are your jeans tighter, fitting properly or looser than they used to be?
I think this is such a wise way to monitor weight loss and the effects of a new diet or workout routine, and so much more accurate than the scales too. So since ending my experiment I have vowed never to step on a scales again (I can’t throw it out because it’s not technically mine). And quite frankly I don’t care about my weight, as long as I feel good and look alive!
As a sidebar I would like to elaborate on monitoring weight loss by how your clothes fit. I do NOT mean buying something teeny weeny and working out and dieting ’til you can fit into it. I mean comfortably fitting into clothes that are your actual size. We shouldn’t be discouraged or encouraged by the numbers on sizing labels; sizing differs between stores so you can’t stick to one number, even in the same day. I don’t know about all of you out there, but I’d rather look good in a size 10 than a squeezed sausage in a size 8, just because i usually get a size 8.
So to all of you fitness fanatics or pound-droppers I reiterate: toss out your scales!