I realise there is a trend of “body beautiful” and not placing emphasis on the scales, and parts of this I completely understand and agree with. The part I do not agree with is when the message is used to ignore blatant issues, it’s like telling someone who is in debt to never look at their bank balance.
What is crucial to point out is that your worth or health is never defined by a single statistic such as your weight, this goes for both men and women. So often you’ll hear that Sarah wants to “lose a stone” or that Tim wants to bulk until he’s “220 lbs”. While it’s good to have a goal in mind, these goals are very limited in that they give no context, and ideally we need to be tracking more than one variable to really judge our success.
It’s possible that in the quest to “lose a stone” that Sarah could substantially improve her body composition (more muscle / less fat), but without losing much if any total weight. Unfortunately this can lead people in this situation to feel like they have failed, when in fact great progress was made. In the case with Tim, so what if he reaches 220 lbs, it means nothing without context and understanding other variables such as his bodyfat %.
You can see why ditching the scales gets recommended, however it’s completely missing the point. The issue isn’t with the scale measurement, it’s with not including other measurements along with it. No context, no likey!
Personally I would recommend taking your weigh in every day. Why?
It takes seconds to do, so no real inconvenience
Establishes a daily consistent habit. Asking someone to take a measurement 2-3 times a week will often cause missed measurements and eventually forgetting all together
Doing something daily can desensitise you to the process. You no longer have to dread the weekly, bi-weekly or monthly weigh in
Gives you a better understand of daily fluctuations. This is especially important for women as the monthly cycle will affect water weight which can really screw up less frequent weigh ins.
Taking everyday allows you to establish a weekly average, this is important!
Every additional measurement you track (upto a point) gives greater personal accountability. You no longer wake up “shocked” that you’ve gained 5lbs over the Christmas holidays. This empowers you to take action much sooner.
Lastly it’s been shown in multiple studies that those who keep track of variables such as weight are more likely to reach and just as importantly maintain their physiques.
How to take
Always take your weight first thing in the morning, consistency is key.
Get naked or wear the same amount of clothes
Step on scales (2-3 times and take an average)
Write down weight in journal or on phone app
Other measurements to take
Bodyfat - highly recommend the manual bodyfat calipers
Measurements - shoulders, chest, waist, hips etc…
Photographs - same clothing, lighting and position
Combining body weight, body fat and measurements gives you a rounded statistical view of your progress. Adding photographs to the mix can be the perfect blend of stats and visual confirmation. All of these can be taken manually in the privacy of your own home for next to no money. There are countless youtube videos detailing body fat calipers and body measurements.
Take only your weight, panic, then make rash decisions or get disheartened
Take only your weight, and use this purely as a reference point
Take your weight, plus at least one other measurement and use these to help give accountability and guide your future actions / goals