A 2019 Triton Market Research established that the weight loss diet and weight management market in the United Kingdom is set to burgeon at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.35 during the 2019-2025 forecast period.
Weight scales are in more use than before because of the whole obsession around weight today. Well, the obsession is both positive and negative. On the positive flip, people are becoming cautious of their weight game to reduce their risk of diseases such as chronic heart diseases and high blood pressure. On the negative, society has perceived body size as a precursor of beauty and relative health.
You could be one of those people who is trying to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. You most likely step on weight scales a couple of times a month. Some even step on the scale daily.
But does your weight scale show a healthy weight?
Your weight scale does not necessarily show a healthy weight.
Starting your fitness journey can be characterized by frequent weight scale checks. You could be checking your weight every week or monthly. Fluctuations in your scale readings can get you worried over time.
The worst experience is when you feel you have been so good at your weight game that you expect the scale to move significantly only to get disappointed. This can drain all the motivation out of you.
Here are four reasons why you do not need to fully rely on your scale to determine your healthy weight.
Your body composition is changing
Weight scales do not account for fats and muscles. You could be discouraged each passing day when you step on that scale only to see no changes to your weight. Even worse, you could be trying to lose weight but see your scale adding a few extra pounds.
You need to know that when you start your workout sessions, your body composition starts changing. While you burn fats, muscles start building- and that explains the little to no change in weight in the first few months.
The first few months of exercising can also make you feel hungrier than before. You will then be consuming more food because your body needs the energy to sustain that weight lifting session in the gym. With that, you can notice that instead of losing weight, you are adding some- which is normal because with time your body will adjust appropriately.
The scale only shows your weight at that specific time but not overall health
When you step on that scale, the reading is for that specific time of the day or night. That single scale cannot determine whether your weight is healthy or not.
Your weight can fluctuate on the same or different days for reasons such as alcohol consumption, water retention, and physical activity. Not all days are the same, and a difference of 5 pounds from a previous day’s scale reading should not worry you.
Take note of significant weight fluctuations but do not let that discourage you from pursuing your fitness goals.
As you pursue a physically active lifestyle, remember that your weight scale can give a positive energy when you notice a balance in your weight. You can be happy if you wanted to lose weight and then notice a progressive weight loss over months. But do not let the scale fool you.
Other than being physically active, you need to pursue healthy lifestyle habits such as a good diet, adequate sleep, and general health behaviours such as seeking help, limiting smoking and alcohol consumption, and effectively coping with stress.
Remember you cannot see your blood pressure, cholesterol levels on the weight scale! Do not rely on the weight scale to measure your health.
How to positively use your weight scale
Weight scales do not necessarily reflect a healthy body. However, you can use the scale positively to attain a desired weight or fitness goal. Recent studies have shown that people who may themselves regularly are more successful at weight loss.
You can also use the scale to meet your fitness goals.
Here are three tips to help you use and see beyond the scale reading.
Have a consistent weighing schedule
If you choose to weigh yourself every week, establish some consistency. Weigh yourself on the same day every week or fortnightly and see to it that you find consistent scale readings.
Experts recommend weighing yourself in the morning with as little clothing as possible. Avoid heavy meals before weighing yourself as this may lead to less accurate weight readings.
Be objective when using the scale
What is usually in your mind before stepping on the scale? It could be that you want to be sure you have lost a few pounds because you cycled three extra miles last weekend. It could be that you want to confirm that the scale is accurate because the last time you stepped on it you were not very happy. Perhaps you simply want to weigh yourself to record in your weekly journal.
Whatever reason you have for stepping on that scale- be objective. Expect positive, negative, or neutral results. It is just a scale. No, it is a weight scale that can help you track your weight and make necessary lifestyle changes. Use the reading on the scale to make positive steps moving forward.
Do not let the scale ruin your day
Deciding and working towards a fitness goal is something that requires patience. You could be following a definite routine, perhaps using a premium health tracker to check your physical activities. You could also be in a support group with people who also want to lose weight in six months.
But a small scale reading can ruin your day. Yes, a number on a gadget can mess all the positive vibes you need for your day. Do not allow this to happen.
Take the scale reading at a face value and objectively reflect on why you started your fitness journey.
Weight scales help determine your weight. However, they are not perfect for showing your healthy weight.
A healthy weight goes beyond a scale reading. It incorporates other factors such as body composition such cholesterol levels and fat deposits. Genetics and psychosocial factors also help identify whether one is at a risk for illnesses or not.
Weight scales, however appealing your recent scale reading was, cannot account for overall health because aspects such as blood sugar levels and blood pressure cannot be captured on the scales.
Look beyond the scale reading and pursue a more inclusive healthy lifestyle. Be physically active, keep your body hydrated by taking enough water. Get adequate sleep and limit your intake of alcohol and substance use. Incorporate healthy habits in your daily life to attain optimal health and wellness.
Stepping on the weight scale should not scare you. Do not stop stepping on the scale now that you know they do not necessarily predict healthy weight. No, keep using the scale to monitor your progress in your fitness journey.
Be kind to yourself by not staying in a self-criticizing state for a long time because of a number on the scale. Take the scale reading as it is and push through your weight goals because you need to find ultimate fulfilment in the fitness journey you have started.