The most common reason that adults may lead an active lifestyle is to their control weight. However, before using weight to measure your progress be sure to consider the following limitations.
1. First and foremost, when utilising weight as a progress monitor be sure to consider your exercise routine. Very commonly when individuals adopt a healthy diet as a means to lose weight, they also tend to adopt an active lifestyle in the health pursuit. In response to adopting this active lifestyle it’s important to consider that naturally, your body will build muscle tissue in order to improve your functional capacity towards exercise. Muscle tissue weighs approximately 3 times more than fat and so the more muscle tissue you develop through adopting exercise (particularly resistance exercise), the more likely the scales will show a higher value than is relative to your body fat percentage.
2. Water weight also plays a large role in what the scales tell you. The human body is made up of approximately 70% water which fluctuates significantly over a 24 hour cycle. So, if you consumed a large glass of water before you went to bed, the scales will likely show a higher value which again may not be relative to your body’s fat stores.
3. A really important point to consider when utilising weight through BMI scales is that your weight fluctuates over night. And so you may go to bed in one BMI zone and wake up in another. So to help control these abnormalities in measures, be sure to remain consistent in your time of day weighing routine.
4. Ladies, this one is for you. Each month when mother nature calls, your body weight will naturally fluctuate. Therefore, for at least one week every month the scales will remain an unreliable tool to measure your progress! Try to avoid weighing yourself during this week of the month as some days the scales will drop and some days the scales will rise!
Alternatively, taking photos and body measures such as waist circumference alongside the monitoring of weight can show a bigger picture of your progress due to the abnormalities listed above that may influence the scale readings.
Take home message: don’t always believe what the scales tell you!