Why Scale Fluctuations Shouldn’t Freak You Out
Hey there! It’s Coach Ashlyn here to talk to you about fluctuations on the scale.
Have you ever thought, “I just don’t get it! I followed my macros to a T this week. Why did the scale jump up?”
I promise you that you aren’t alone in feeling this way. I hear this a LOT during check-ins! And I’ve been there too.
What’s going on?
We work hard in the gym, eat our veggies, drink our water, but when we step on the scale, and it’s up 2-4lbs?!?! Understandably, seeing a spike like this can be confusing and frustrating for a lot of people. Not to mention discouraging.
You may feel that the process isn’t working because the number on the scale went up, but before you give up, I want you to remember that you’re human!
Here’s the thing, our bodies are powerful machines, but they aren’t robots. There’s a myriad of factors that can affect the number we see on the scale, including:
- Stress levels
- Sleep quality and quantity
- Carbohydrate intake
- Water intake
- Period health
The list goes on. All of these factors can impact what the scale says, and while we can control some of them, we can’t always control all of them. It’s a part of life that some days we’ll be more stressed than others, some nights we’ll sleep better than others, and so on. We need to focus our attention on what we can control and try to let go of the things that we can’t.
I’ll say it a little louder for the people in the back:
IT IS NORMAL TO SEE FLUCTUATIONS ON THE SCALE!
Scale fluctuations happen to everybody no matter how consistent they are with their nutrition and exercise. That’s why we need to stop looking at scale fluctuations as a bad thing and accept them as a fact of life.
Let’s go through an example of what a week could look like:
Monday: You got a full 8 hrs of sleep. Weight was 160.
Tuesday: You had an unexpected deadline at work come up Monday afternoon, so you were up all night thinking about it. Weight was 163.
Wednesday: You get to the gym early and train legs HARD. Weight was 161.4
Thursday: You wake up and can hardly walk because of DOMS. Weight was 164.2.
Friday: You are off today, so you slept in and got 9 hours of sleep. Weight was 159.6
Saturday: You spend the day hiking with your family. Weight was 160.1.
These fluctuations are also why many people don’t have a specific weight they try to get to or stay at. Instead, they have a goal range. A range of 5 – 10 pounds is perfectly normal to stick within, and having a range as a goal, rather than a specific weight, can ease the anxiety you feel around the number on the scale.
What’s the alternative?
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “if the scale isn’t always reliable, then how can I accurately monitor progress?”
The answer is simple—BIOFEEDBACK!
Instead of worrying about what the scale is telling you (because it doesn’t paint a complete picture), consider the following:
- How do you feel?
- Are you getting stronger?
- Do you have more energy?
- Is your digestion better?
- Are you sleeping through the night?
- Are your clothes fitting better?
Remember, the scale is just ONE piece of the puzzle. You can measure your health using many different methods. The scale can be a part of how you measure your progress, but it should never be the sole determinant.
So next time you step on the scale and see that it went up a few pounds, do me a favor: take a deep breath and tell yourself that there’s so much more to you, your health, and your success than that number at your feet.