Scale Weight

8 Aug

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a fun and restful weekend!  I’m going to give you a quick recap of my workouts for the week and then talk about something a lot of my clients have brought up to me in the past and I think it is something important to touch on. 

Here are my 5 workouts from the past week:

Tuesday 8/2- Cardio on Treadmill Walking and Running

  • Time:  48 Minutes
  • Calories:  417 Calories 30% Fat
  • Max Heart Rate:  184bpm  96% max
  • Average Heart Rate: 160bpm  83% max

Wednesday 8/3- Strength Training (Chest, Back, Abs and Quads)

  • Time:  41:43 Minutes
  • Calories: 261 50% Fat (Remember after you lift, you will have a high after burn)
  • Max Heart Rate:  174bpm  91% max
  • Average Heart Rate:  137bpm  71% max

Thursday 8/4-  Cardio on Treadmill Walking and Running

  • Time:  44:45 Minutes
  • Calories:  368 Calories  40% Fat
  • Max Heart Rate:  183bpm  95% max
  • Average Heart Rate:  155bpm  81% max

Saturday 8/6- Strength Training (Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps and Hamstrings)

  • Time:  52:07 Minutes
  • Calories:  253  55% Fat
  • Max Heart Rate:  171bpm  89% max
  • Average Heart Rate:  118bpm  61%max (I was going slow this day)

Sunday 8/7- Cardio on Treadmill Walking and Running

  • Time:  47:55 Minutes
  • Calories:  390 Calories  40% Fat
  • Max Heart Rate:  181bpm  94% max
  • Average Heart Rate:  155bpm  81% max

If you are wondering, I use a Polar Heart Rate to track my workouts.  Also, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you may notice my workouts are a lot less strenuous then they normally are.  There is a medical reason for that, but I will get into it on Wednesday’s blog post and wont bore you with the details right now!

Eats from the weekend were all relatively healthy. 

Friday night we had homemade chicken stir fry with red and yellow onion. water chestnuts, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms and peanuts.  We also had some whole wheat pasta with it as well.

SAM_5597

Saturday night, we went out to dinner and I had salmon with a side salad, roasted vegetables and potatoes.  I didn’t bring my camera, but you all know what salmon looks like.

Sunday night we had a taco night.  We used lean local grass fed beef, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese and salsa.  I also used an organic taco seasoning kit and give it two thumbs up!  : )  I also like to drain the beef once it is fully cooked.  I empty the contents of the pan into a colander and let it hang out in there for a few minutes so I can make sure all the drippings (fat).

I will be buying this again, I didn’t check the sodium level, but I will for sure next time I buy it to make sure it is not too high.

SAM_5612

Taco fixings

SAM_5614

And my taco, I actually made a second one with just a little beef and cheese but could only eat a few bites.  Luckily my husband was there to finish up my leftovers so it didn’t go to waste.

SAM_5618

Before we go on, I want to share with you a fun fact I read about walnuts in the August addition of Self Magazine.

Walnuts deliver twice the amount of disease-fighting antioxidants as do other nuts, research from the University of Scranton reveals.  They contain Gallic acid, which is seven times more effective at lowering levels of harmful free radicals than vitamin E, the antioxidant that usually hogs the spotlight.  Get Cracking!

So, I hope you all get a few walnuts into your day today! 

Okay, now onto the important stuff!

The Scale Weight Cycle

I want to touch on the subject of weighing yourself because of two reasons.  One, I stepped on the scale this morning to find a two pound weight gain from the day before (I know it wont stick) so I thought I could use myself as an example and second, I’ve had many clients over the past 6 years feel defeated and want to quit working out and eating healthy when they didn’t see pounds melting off (although their bodies were changing in other ways).

Have you ever stepped on the scale in the morning and felt proud of your morning weight?  I know I have.  Even if you know you are dehydrated that doesn’t matter, it is the number looking back at you that matters.  The rest of the day you are feeling fantastic about yourself.  You confidence levels are sky high.

The next morning, you are so excited to see that number on the scale again, you even suck in your stomach thinking that somehow maybe it will help a lower number appear.  Once the number appears, you stare in horror at the number looking back at you only a day later.  Your confidence flies out the window.  You feel defeated, like someone just punched you in the gut.  You go through your day not feeling like yourself.

Once again the next morning, you walk into the bathroom and the scale is starring back at you.  Even though that little number on the scale essentially ruined your prior day, you step on it again.  Today, the scale is down a pound!  Yay!  You are once again feeling fab and great!  You can practically see a bubble of self confidence surrounding you.

Does this sound familiar?  Like I mentioned above, I too have succumbed to letting that little number on the scale dictate to me how I would feel that day.  Sounds silly right?  Well, more people than you realize and who care to admit have this same problem.  I was luckily enough to realize that letting that little number on the scale determine how I felt was ridiculous and I am so happy I no longer really care what the scale says.  I still check my weight every morning to make sure I’m not gaining too much weight or losing too much weight.  I have about a 5lb range I like to stay in, but usually only waver by about a pound.  Let me also say this, I don’t encourage people to weigh themselves every morning and usually have my clients weigh in only once a week.  But if you want to weight in more often I don’t have a problem with it as long as you don’t let the number of the scale tell you how you should feel for the day. 

So, lets get discussing.  What factors can cause your weight to suddenly drop on the scale?

  • dehydration
  • lack of food
  • after a trip to the bathroom
  • weighing first thing in the morning if you normally weight at a later time
  • weighing with less then normal clothes on
  • weighing in after you were sick
  • weighing in after you had a great sweaty workout

Factors that can cause your weight to suddenly go up on the scale?

  • Weighing in after a heavy meal
  • Weighing in after eating a lot more than usually the day before
  • Weighing in after an intense gym workout (FYI-you can retain water from working out)
  • Eating salty foods
  • Weighing in with more clothes on than usually (think a big comfy cozy sweatshirt)
  • Weighing in later in the day
  • Weighing in after being sick
  • Weighing in before going to the bathroom

There are also plenty of other explanations as to why the scale would fluctuate day to day, but I think the most common ones I listed above.

I highlighted the two most common reasons why our body weight changes from a day to day basis. 

Dehydration

I drink a lot of water.  If I drink most of my water earlier in the day my weight will nine times out of ten be less the following morning.  I also chug water while I sleep.  If I don’t drink my usually 1/2 liter minimum in the night, I’m always a pound or two lighter in the morning.  Makes sense right?  Dehydration can also come from being out in hot weather without properly hydrating, sweating a lot during a workout and most simply from a lack of fluids.

Eating Salty Foods

This post was actually inspired because I woke up today weighing in about 2 pounds heavier than I normally am.  I didn’t flinch when I saw the number, but I immediately thought about all the extra water I drank before bed, and all the salty foods I ate yesterday.  We tend not to eat a lot of salty food in our house (it is bad for you, plus I am highly sensitive to salt), but we do have days where more salt is consumed than normal.  Take yesterday for example.  I had a breakfast/lunch of a chicken sausage (they tend to have high levels of sodium), for a late lunch/pm snack, I enjoyed leftover stir fry (hello soy sauce marinade), and for dinner I had 1 1/2 tacos with packaged seasoned beef.  No wonder I weighed more on the scale this morning.  My body is stocked with sodium and I am retaining more water than I normally would on the average day. 

So, today I will be drinking plenty of water, probably a little more than usually (if that is even possible) and once I’m home from work, I’ll be drinking lots of water with fresh squeezed lemon.  Lemon is a natural de-bloater.  : )

If I had my old thought process I used to use in college, I would have let the 2lb increase on the scale dictate how I felt for the day.  What a waste of a day huh?

Sounds easier than it is.  I ask each one of you to not let the scale tell you how you are feeling.  Look at the number and let it be a guide, or source of information for you at its best.  Nothing else.  Don’t spend more than a minute thinking about it.  Move on and if you need to, tweak your diet, water consumption or workouts if you are looking to change the number.  Just promise me you wont get caught up in weighing yourself daily and then scrutinizing over why your weight is one way or another.  If you can’t help yourself and you do let your emotions get attached to the number on the scale, try cutting back how many times you weigh each week.  Try ever other day and then every three days until you are only weighing in once a week.  This will help you keep your sanity during the week and still allow you to keep tabs on your weight.

Remember…

…the best way to keep tabs on your weight is by how your clothes fit and by how you feel!  If you can zip them up and feel fit, you are doing great!  : )

…it takes 3,500 additional calories your body doesn’t use to gain a pound.  So, if I were to believe I actually gained 2lbs over night it would mean I had to of consumed an additional 7,000 calories yesterday that my body didn’t use.  I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. 

… to be logical about the number on the scale and never let it determine how you feel about yourself!  You are so much more than a number! 

…stay motivated to eat healthy and stick with your workouts no matter what the scale say! 

…to give yourself a break.  We are all only human.  Don’t be hard on yourself if you know you are working hard to reach your goals.

Questions:

  • Have you ever let the number on the scale affect the way you felt?
  • Do you weigh in daily, weekly or just go by how your clothes fit?
  • Have you ever known anyone who has given up working out/eating healthy because they are too consumed with what the scale says and not with how their body is physically changing and how they feel?

 

 

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24 Responses to “Scale Weight”

  1. Maren August 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    I’ve let the number effect me far too many times to be worth saying. I think it’s hard to differentiate the little weight gains and weight losses from the things you stated above with actual loss and gain. I know from when I did weight watchers that I was losing weight the healthy way and some weeks I’d only see a .7 or 1 pound difference. I think this is what makes the little weight fluctuations hit home more than they used too.

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      I hear you. I wanted to get the message across that if you scrutinize your weight on a daily basis, it wont lead you to a healthy life/mind. I think an easier way to tell if you are actually losing or gaining is weighing in once a week or if you do weigh in more frequently, maybe taking your Friday’s weight and having that be your base weight for the following Friday. This will give you a more acurate picture of if your losing or gaining. Since we are humans and bodies do strange things, its hard to look at the scale on a day to day basis to determine gains/losses.

  2. Erica August 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    The stir fry looks awesome! Hope your health issue is nothing major and that you feel better fast! I definitely have let that number talk to me on more than one occasion. Love your thoughts on the subject

  3. jessica c. August 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    This is a biggie! It can be hard to keep in perspective sometimes because weight feels like a way to measure the success of your efforts. I know for myself I can be up or down almost 3-5 lbs in any given day, so I need to really remind myself not to get too caught up on the number itself. Maybe I am salt sensitive! I should look into that. I know sometimes my wedding/engagement rings will be super tight or super loose and my weight will go up and down.

    Thanks for the reminder to find other ways to keep track of healthy living.

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      No problem! : )

      I get the same thing with my wedding rings. That usually is a good indicator that your body is holding on to too much water. Although it sounds odd, but you need to put even more water into your body in order to get the extra water out of your system!

  4. Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner August 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi! Just found you through the fitnessista! I am a very new trainer and have been trying to explain why the scale isn’t the only way to measure progress to my clients. Great post!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

      I’m glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by! Something for your new clients to remember is they will first notice a change in their attitude, then change internally (for example lower blood pressure) and then finally externally (newly built muscle and a drop in body fat percentage) they will see changes.

  5. allieksmith August 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    It was very interesting to learn about the scale, etc! I don’t weight myself because well.. I don’t care haha I’m still a teen and I have a fast metabolism so I only get weighed at the doc 🙂

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 8, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

      You’re still in that fun growing phase! Lucky you, but once you become a little older you need to pay a bit more attention to what you eat and how you live you life. But you still have years! : )

  6. Lauren August 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    That number on the scale affected how I felt today – It was also up 2 pounds from yesterday. Obviously, it was from water weight however I did eat alot yesterday.

  7. Lisa@HealthyDiaries August 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I hope everything is ok with your medical issue!

    I try to cook with little salt all the time.

    I don’t weigh myself that often. I usually can tell by the way I fit in my clothes if I’m gaining weight and then I’ll pay more attention to my diet to get back to normal!

  8. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) August 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    I actually really needed to read this. Your reasoning as to why I don’t own a scale is all explained. I would get into a viscous cycle. Weigh myself. Be happy. Weigh myself. Be sad. Ect ect. I just have been so much happier in the last year when I threw it away. What a great post!

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 9, 2011 at 6:34 am #

      I’m happy you liked the article. Sometimes the best thing to do it throw out your scale and just go by how your clothes fit!

  9. Kiah August 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Kjirsten,

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve pretty much done away with the scale because it effects my mood too much, and doesn’t accurately reflect my fitness. For example, I was at my heaviest when playing basketball in college, because I was all muscle (but I was also at my fittest). Crazy (-:

    • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life August 10, 2011 at 7:23 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed this! Scales can be evil and they should never make you feel bad about yourself. Especially when you are working hard to achieve optimal fitness and health!

  10. Shayla @ The Good Life September 1, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Love this post! It’s good to know I’m not alone when those thoughts creep into my head – especially the one where I suck in my tummy thinking it was make the number all lil lower…haha yes I’ve succumbed to that one! I’ve had times where I weigh myself one day and it’s a pound higher and I get so annoyed and think back to what I ate and can’t understand the increase?! Then the next day it’s down again, ha! It just goes to show the reasons you mentioned for an increase are so true, for me it seems to always either be dehydration or sweat from an intense exercise class. And like you said, I have to remember it takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound, which can’t happen over night! Thanks again for such a great post 🙂

  11. sweetlyvegan January 2, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    what a great post! Just like all the other girls said, I def needed to read this too! It’s hard tho bc being pregnant I feel like the number is constantly increasing!!! Rarely is it ever down. I am so excited for after our baby comes into this world to see the number be steadily decreasing! It will be so rewarding having our daughters here and then to lose the weight!!! YAY for spring/summer 2012! And after I get back to my pre-preg weight I will def start going by how my clothes fit instead of the dreaded number I see more often 🙂

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life January 3, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! The scale can be both good and bad and if its making you feel bad for a day, it is not worth stepping on. You are worth so much more than what the scale says and bodies naturally flucate in weight on any given day of the month even if you didn’t do anything out of the norm.

      On another note, I can’t wait to lose my baby weight! Working out this morning I was thinking how nice it will feel having my old body back! I can’t wait to get into even better shape than before I was pregnant! That is my goal for now!

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