For a normal human being, weight fluctuates on a daily basis. Your weight can vary, depending on how much food and liquids you have consumed, how much liquid or solid waste your body is holding onto, water retention, sodium consumption, carb consumption, etc.
For example, my bodyweight hovers between a 5 to 8 lb window on a weekly basis, meaning that it is entirely possible (but not common) for me to weigh 162lbs on Sunday, and 170lbs the next Sunday. Does that mean I’ve gained 8lbs of fat in seven days? No, it does not (and actually, that really isn’t even scientifically feasible). Does it mean I need to freak out and put myself on a restrictive diet next week so I can drop those scary pounds? No, it does not.
Weight trends vs. weight fluctuations
This is why I try to stress to my clients the importance of not weighing themselves every day, or even every week or month for that matter. I personally try not not to weigh myself unless I’m at the doctor’s office, and even then, I usually do not look at the scale. Why? Because those numbers are still a bit triggering for me. I still struggle with not allowing my weight to dictate my mood and my feelings of worthiness, but I am getting better.
Your body goes through weight fluctuations every day. A bodyweight trend is the bigger picture (see below).
“What if I weigh myself every day at the exact same time?”
Weighing yourself at the exact same time every day still doesn’t work. The sodium or extra carbohydrates in that meal from the night before might have caused you to retain more water this morning, therefore making it looked like you “gained” some pounds.
Why should you not focus entirely on your weight? Because when you choose to obsess over the tiny factors, you completely miss the bigger trend. Weight is only partial data. Weight should never be the ONLY thing you focus on. In fact, it’s MORE beneficial in the long run to NOT focus on weight. Measurements or how clothes fit should be the focus if weight loss is still your goal (usually taken every 6-8 weeks). You absolutely should also track your mood, your energy, and your sleep patterns. We often get so caught up in our weight, we don’t notice that we are losing inches, that we have more energy, and are sleeping better.
Good physical health includes a healthy cardiovascular system (which overweight people can still achieve while hanging onto some of that “nasty” body fat, who knew?!), good cholesterol numbers, a happy digestive tract, better moods, and good sleep quality to name a few. These aspects are just as important as, if not more important than, your weight.
Your Weight is Not Your Health
If you feel like you need to get skinnier even if your health does or does not improve then you need to take some time to really think about why you’re wanting to make these changes to your body. Is it because society is telling you to? Is it because you think you will be happier as a smaller person? Is it because somehow, wearing a size 4 makes you more attractive and more worthy than wearing a size 16?
I really hope not, because all of those notions are an unhealthy reason to get healthy!
“But I want to lose weight so I can get healthier.”
What if I told you that you have it all backward? If you focus on health first, your body will naturally align with the weight you are supposed to be. Sure, you may never get those six-pack abs like you wanted, and that’s probably because your body is telling you that six-pack abs aren’t reflective of a sustainable and healthy body for you. There is no one right body that accurately reflects a good level “health.” Because health looks different on everyone.
I hope this helps a little when it comes to monitoring your weight in relation to your health goals.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!