Why is it important to have multiple means of assessing progress?
Too often during our fitness journeys we get caught up in the number on the scale, which deters our progress. However, there are so many variables to consider that may cause our weight to fluctuate. Some examples are outlined below:
The time you ate last
The time you last consumed a meal can affect your weight on the scale. If you eat later than usual, you likely have reduced the window of time your body has to digest, which may result in scale weight fluctuating. It’s important to always weigh yourself on an empty stomach to ensure the most accurate reflection of your current weight.
It's important to note that hormonal changes you experience throughout your menstrual cycle can improve/hinder strength and energy levels. You go through 4 phases during your cycle: the menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase. During menstruation, it is common to experience fluid retention which can result in scale weight fluctuations.
Increase in lean body mass
Not all weight gain = fat gain. This is why it is so important not to rely on scale weight alone as your only measure of progress. You can experience body composition changes that are reflected in photos, how clothing fits, muscle definition, and measurements.
Did you consume a meal out? It is likely this meal contained more sodium, which can result in fluid retention. This fluid retention can result in your weight on the scale trending up. This is why it is important not to rely on the data from one weigh-in, as this may not be an accurate depiction of your weekly average.
When you last went to the bathroom and your digestive function will have a direct impact on your scale weight. Do not be discouraged by weight fluctuations as a result of not having gone to the bathroom yet!
Sleep deprivation raises the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases the satiety hormone that keeps us full (leptin). This can result in an increased appetite throughout the day which may lead to weight fluctuations.
This is why it is SO important to have multiple means of assessing progress. We recommend:
How clothes fit
Performance in the gym
By ensuring you have multiple means of monitoring your progress, you are able to shift your focus from the scale and focus on all of the positive changes you are making. The scale is only one metric to measure your progress, so don’t let it cloud your perspective. Non-scale related victories deserve to be celebrated too! Maybe you fit into an old pair of jeans, feel more confident in a bikini at the beach, don’t feel the need to cover up at the gym, hit a new deadlift PB… These are all forms of PROGRESS. So, celebrate the little wins, because in the end, these are what will keep you going!