You stepped on the scale to do your weekly weigh-in, and to your absolute horror, you gained weight!  What in the actual hell?!  You did everything right; worked out, ate your meal prep, etc, and that wretched scale is STILL not showing your hard work!!  UUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!  Annnnd end scene.

That right there?  That has been a reaction that all of us can relate to, I’m sure.  It is the most frustrating thing in the history of weight loss.  You’re putting in the effort, so why are you not showing a significant weight loss?  If you want to learn about the top 5 reasons you’re not losing weight, check out my post here.

As for right now, instead of going into those pesky little reasons, I’m going to go over ways to combat the psychological warfare that the scale puts on us.  And if it doesn’t mentally just screw you up in the head when you see that number go up, instead of down, bless you.  Also e-mail me and tell me your secret.

woman with measuring tape taking waist measurements for weight loss

The Weight Loss/Psyche Connection

Now, before I go into the tips about how to combat the negativity floating around your head after weigh-in day, I wanted to give you a little background into how and why, I became such a fan of using other methods than the scale.

Growing up, I used to play sports almost year ‘round, but my goodness.  I felt like I was a professional yo-yo dieter.  I was suuuuper chunky as a kid, and then forced myself to do something about it before I got into high school.  Ya girl wasn’t about to be the chunky freshman, no siree.  So I did Weight Watchers.  I hacked into my mom’s account and figured out everything to do it successfully.

Well….that helped for a bit.  I lost all of my baby weight and was extremely skinny.  Like, to the point that one of the girls on my volleyball team said it “wasn’t right” that my hip bones stuck out as much as they did.  I also overheard my mom telling someone on the phone that she had asked my doctor if I could be anorexic (I wasn’t).

At first, I didn’t let it bug me, I just thought it was rude and not true.  However, I’m pretty sure that’s where my yo-yo-ing started.  I didn’t play sports year ‘round when I started in high school, so in the off season I would gain weight.  And it went up, and down, and up, and down.  After high school it was even worse. 

Weighing myself became a total mind f*#$ and I mentally and emotionally couldn’t handle when I stepped on the scale because of how nervous I’d be that the scale went up.  Again.  It wasn’t until I started learning more about fitness and working out, that I learned the glorious trick of using methods to track my progress that don’t include the scale.

Non-Scale Victories

Have you ever heard of non-scale victories when it comes to weight loss?  If not, come along friend.  I feel like you’re going to love what I have to say.  Non-scale victories are when you accomplish something that has nothing to do with the scale.

Do your clothes fit better?  Did someone compliment how your face looks like it’s thinned out?  Does your energy rival a 5yr old who just drank a liter of Rootbeer?  If so, then HELL YES!!  THOSE, my dear friend, are non-scale victories. 

To put simply, they have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SCALE, and just how freaking great is that?!

Methods Of Measuring

Now that I’ve covered the non-scale victories, I also want to point out that your weight loss journey does need to be measured, because:


“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” -okay it said like 3 people said this so….just know I wasn’t the genius behind it

Look how fancy I am, using quotes to prove my point.  Excellence right there. *sighs with pride* oh.  Yeah. Moving on.  Okay so I knoooow I said to not use the scale.  And I stick to that.  If it messes with your head, stay far away.  Here are some alternatives that will keep you going:

1. Measurements

Oh how I love measurements!  While I was working at gyms, it was required that we weighed and measured our clients to track weight loss progress.  When I became an independent personal trainer, I did away with the scale completely.  I now only base progress of my clients on measurements and strength (1RM—1 rep maxes).

Why do I do that?  Well let me just tell you.  I could care less about weight.  Honestly.  Do you know how quickly our (especially women) weight can change?  Heaven forbid if we have a high sodium meal.  The scale could say that we just gained 5 pounds over.night.  That, friends, is NOT fat.  You did not gain 5 pounds of fat overnight.  I promise.

Here’s a little case study to further prove my point:  I weigh more now that I did about a year ago, and I’m more toned now, than I was when I was 10lbs lighter.  Thank you, I’ll take the nicely toned muscles instead of the fat skinny, k thanks. 

I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen those pictures floating around of women who are heavier now than a before picture but they look 10x better now.  Measurements.  They don’t lie.  Watch the measurements go down and the weight stay the same, and I promise you won’t see weight the same.

2. Progress Pictures

This is another way to see how far you’ve progressed.  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  Well those words are just saying how different you look.  You might not see it because you see yourself every day, but if you put a picture of you now after doing everything right, next to a picture right before you started, I promise you’ll see a difference.  And if you can’t see it, ask someone else to point out what they see.

I would recommend taking pictures about once every 4 weeks and keep track of them!

3. How Clothes Fit

Okay so this one can be kind of tricky because jeans shrink in the dryer (why.  Just, why).  What I would recommend here, is to pick one outfit that you compare.  Maybe you have an outfit that you would love to fit back into, or one that you bought small on purpose as a goal outfit.  Use that as your guide.  Is the outfit getting bigger?  Is it fitting looser?  Can you pull a drawstring tighter?  Are pants just falling off your body?!

I recommend trying the outfit on once a month as well, preferably on the same day, same time.

If You’re Willing to Risk the Crazy…

Okay, so.  If you don’t have major issues with the scale, and want to know how much weight you’re losing, then by all means; use the scale.

Here are my recommendations if you decide to ultimately go this route.

  1. Weigh yourself either every day, or 2-3 times a week
  2. Wear the same thing every time
  3. Weigh-in at the same time every time

Multiple Weigh-In Days a Week

There are a couple of reasons that I say to weigh yourself more than once a week, so stick with me here.  A number of factors go into weight loss; sleep, water intake, calorie intake, exercise, stress levels, hormones, etc.

Let’s say, your weigh-in day is tomorrow and your husband decides he wants to treat you to sushi.  Do you say no for the sweet gesture?  Um, no.  Don’t be rude.  But what comes along with sushi?  Sodium, aka water weight.  No good for the weigh-in tomorrow. 

Here’s another scenario.  What if you’re hormones are actin a fool and you just bloat like a beached whale cause it’s that time?  Also no good.  Lack of sleep and not enough water the day before?  Again.  Not good.

If one of these happen and you only weigh in once a week, you might not feel like you’re progressing at all.  That’s exhausting!  If you weigh in every day, you can take the average of the week to find out how much you’re really progressing.  If you weigh in about 3 times (on non-consecutive days), you can see if certain foods or days affected you more, and see what the reasons were for it.

Ultimately, with every day or 2-3 days a week, you’re going to feel less like a failure if there’s a gain because you know it’s most likely temporary.

Wear the Same Thing

This one is pretty simple.  Clothes weight more than being naked.  Jeans weigh more than knit basketball shorts.  Shoes weigh more than socks.  You get my drift?

Weigh-In Same Time

My preferred time to weigh in is right after I pee in the morning (TMI?  Sorry).  This way, I have nothing in my stomach, and I’m the lightest I’m going to be all day.  With the day comes food, and maybe some water retention, which, you know, isn’t fun.

If you weigh yourself once in the morning, and then the next time after having a meal, you’re not going to know the actual difference. 

The key to successful weigh-in’s is all about controlling the factors that you can to be the exact same.  Less deviation = more accurate results, you dig?

Conclusion

Here’s the thing. I’m with you when it comes to the scare that comes with weigh-in days. I’m hoping that these tips and tricks will help show you how much you’re actually progressing and gets you out of your own head!

Choose one or two of the methods and let’s see that progress! Which one are you going to try? Hit me in the comments!

Your Fellow Badass,