The bathroom scale is one of many useful tools to keep you focused on your fitness goal, but get too obsessed and it can spiral you down a dark and miserable path. Here’s why relying too much on the scale could hurt your motivation and what to measure instead.
Whether your goal is to fit in your pants better or pack on pounds of muscle, it’s important to realize that the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, as this article on Born Fitness explains, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t put too much stock in the number you see:
- Your weight changes constantly throughout the day, especially if you haven’t peed or pooped yet.
- Your weight fluctuates based on your hydration levels.
- You get more stressed out from the number on the scale, which could lead to unnecessary or drastic measures.
- A single meal could dictate the number. If you had a huge meal (like at Thanksgiving), you could be heavier because of increased carbohydrate storage.
- The scale doesn’t tell you what really matters, like muscle to fat ratio and actual improvements in your health.
Instead, use the scale as just one piece of data to give you a more complete picture of what’s really happening. Other valuable feedback to evaluate your progress include taking progress pictures, looking at body fat percentage and waist measurements, tracking your strength and energy levels in the gym, noticing your mood and sleep patterns, and so much more.