Why the Scale is Not Your Friend
So you’re fasting and losing weight! Everyday you get on the scale and you’ve lost a little more.
You’re so excited! It’s working!
Then you hop on the scale one morning, and what? The number is the same? Or worse, it’s gone up?
How can that be? All this fasting and no changes on the scale?
Now you’re frustrated. And feeling defeated. Which leads to self-sabotage.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, or will be there, at some point.
Let’s talk about why the scale is not your friend, and what you can do differently.
The scale is fickle
There are so many things that can affect the number that you see on the scale.
Your weight can fluctuate by as much as three or four pounds a day one way or the other.
Some of the things that can affect the scale:
- Water weight
- Waste material
- Muscle gain
- Medication or supplements
- Menstrual cycle
- Even the clothes you’re wearing!
Let’s get one thing straight
Weight gain is not the same thing as fat gain!
Just because the number on the scale goes up does not mean you’ve gained fat.
For the body to gain fat, you have to be in fat storage mode.
What puts you in fat storage mode? Insulin.
When you eat, insulin goes up, and signals the body to store fat.
So if you’re getting in some good fasting hours, and staying keto or low carb on your refeeds, then you know you are burning fat, not storing it.
Plus, let’s be real … there’s no way you can gain three or four pounds of fat overnight.
Fat loss is not linear
The journey to your goal weight is not going to be a straight shot.
It’s a curvy road, with lots of ups and downs.
There will be days when the scale goes down (yay!), days when it stays the same, and days when it goes up.
But that’s completely normal.
There’s more than fat loss going on
The scale cannot possibly reflect all the good things that are happening in your body when you fast.
It can’t tell you all the healing that is taking place.
We have that magic number we’re aiming for, but along the way we’re improving our health, and creating a better future for ourselves.
And that’s something the scale can’t measure.
If you’re only measuring your progress by the scale, you tend to forget what a great job you’re doing.
So I shouldn’t weigh myself?
It’s okay to use the scale. It’s a tool and it’s good to know where you are and where you’re going.
But it’s not a good idea to weigh everyday.
I suggest weighing once a week. Choose a specific day, and let that be your weigh-in day.
Try to do it around the same time, and before you break your fast if it’s an eating day.
Mornings are best, after you’ve emptied your bladder and before you’ve had a lot of liquids.
Write down your weight each time, or use an app.
Many of the digital scales now have apps that you can use to keep track.
By doing it this way you should be seeing a consistent, steady downward trend in your weight.
But I’m addicted to the scale!
I get it. It feels so great when you step on the scale and see more weight loss.
But it can be so demotivating when it goes the other way. It can really mess with your mindset.
And fasting is hard enough, you don’t need anything that’s going to discourage you.
If you’re one of those people who can see that number go up and not be moved by it, then by all means, go ahead and weigh as often as you want.
So what should I do instead?
As already mentioned, weigh once a week.
And there are other more reliable ways to track your fat loss.
Many times, you will be losing inches, even when the scale isn’t cooperating.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again, both personally and with my clients.
If you haven’t yet, go ahead and take your current measurements to get a baseline.
I suggest measuring your waist, your chest, arms, hips, and thighs.
Record those numbers somewhere, either on an app, or even just writing it down in a notebook.
Now take your measurements every few days to see what’s happening.
This is especially helpful if you do decide to keep weighing everyday.
If the scale is being fickle, you can check your measurements to see if there are any changes there.
How are your clothes fitting?
Are your clothes feeling any looser?
Once a week or so, try on a pair of pants or a shirt that was too tight before.
How is it fitting now?
Take a before picture, and then take pics once or twice a week and compare.
Also, have other people look at the pics. Sometimes we can’t see the changes ourselves, but other people can.
If you’re part of a fasting community (highly suggest our fasting group on Facebook, Official Fasting for Weight Loss), post your pics there.
Or if you’re not comfortable with that, ask a trusted loved one if they can see a difference.
How are you feeling?
The weight loss is the goal, but again, there’s so many other great things that fasting does for us.
It would be a shame not to appreciate those things.
How do you feel physically?
Are you breathing easier? Less inflammation? Does your gut feel better?
Notice the improvements!
Some patience is required
Don’t let the scale decide whether you’re doing a good job or not.
Keep fasting, and trust the process. It works!
Author: Roo Black
Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group - one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.