Go Home, Scale, You're Drunk—Why Bathroom Scales SUCK
Most of us have, at some point in time, lived our lives according to that number on the bathroom scale. The way we experienced our day would begin and end with that number. You know exactly what I'm talking about! One morning you hop on the scale and it tells you that you've lost a pound or two from the day before and you're feeling on top of the world! The following morning you do the same thing (it's like a ritual for you) and what comes next ruins the entire day for you:
"How in the heck did I gain 5 pounds from yesterday?!?" (Cue emotional breakdown)
First off—take a big deep breath and stop letting your mantra be "why am I gaining weight?". Stressing out over it isn't going to do you any good—actually it'll make things worse for your midsection (article about the effects of cortisol and belly fat coming soon, I promise). Now that I've got you focused and centered again, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Your bathroom scale SUCKS. Ok, not a surprise, but at least I have the pleasure of telling you why...
That bathroom scale isn't telling you the whole story. It doesn't tell you that the 5 lbs you gained overnight is water weight or muscle gain. Let me give a couple of examples to ease your mind regarding that 5-lb overnight weight gain.
Did you know...
• That muscle soreness will cause your body to retain as much as 5 lbs of water in order to repair and recover itself?
• That drinking a 16 oz glass of any kind of liquid will translate onto the scale as a one-pound gain?
• That if you just ate a quarter-pounder with cheese, that one-fourth pound will register on the scale until that food is digested and eliminated?
Now that you know this, when you step on the scale a few days from now and experience the same overnight weight gain, will you automatically remember all of this? Probably not. You'll just see the increased number and automatically think the weight gain = fat gain.
Let's put an overnight 5-lb fat gain into perspective shall we?
It takes an extra 3,500 calories to gain one pound of fat. So in order for you to gain 5 lbs overnight, you would have to eat 17,500 calories OVER what your body requires to function. Ridiculous, right? But do you think about this when you see that number on the scale? Nope.
How about a better way to track your fat loss progress?
Use a tape measure instead! No matter what the scale says, if you're losing INCHES--you're losing fat! Inch loss = Fat loss! The scale can't tell you that!
So, the next time you step on that scale and it tells you that you "inexplicably" gained 5 pounds overnight; instead of getting distraught and upset at yourself, remember to put things into proper perspective.