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Scale Stress Syndrome

ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member
The scale is the one tool that the majority of people use to gauge their progress on weight loss/gain and physical transformation. Unfortunately there are so many variables, scale weight can fluctuate so much that people are so dismayed that they quit their weight loss attempt when they see 3-5lbs gained after busting their butts on a single day or week. So I'm here just to let you know that weight loss isn't linear.

You can do the same exact routines, with the same exact foods, the same exact sleep patterns, etc. and lose weight one week and gain the next. Why? Because the body is complicated. There are lots of things we don't control such as hormonal balance, water fluctuation and body repair. These all play a part on the number that's displayed on the scale every time you step up on it.

It's really not hard to gain some water weight either. Step on a scale. Get off drink 8 oz of water. Step back on and you'll have gained 8 oz. in weight. Was it fat weight? Muscle weight? Of course not. Yet so many people freak out when they weigh so many pounds one day and then the next day after a good workout out weight 3 lbs more even after being in calorie deficit. Or only slept 4 hours instead of their regular 7-9 hours. Again no muscle or fat gain, so the obvious answer is that water retention upped the weight.

Remember that the scale is only a tool. It gives current weight of what's on it. It cannot distinguish if it's someone with clothing on or off. Tall or short. Fat or fit. So don't let it define your total progress either. Yes the number going down is an indication of weight loss, but what if that weight loss was more lean muscle than fat? Would that be good?

Just remember, if you look the way you want, can wear the clothes you choose and people are applauding your look to you, does it really matter what that number on the scale shows?

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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edited June 2015
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Replies

  • saraonly9913saraonly9913 Member Posts: 468 Member Member Posts: 468 Member
    Thanks for your post.
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,777 Member Member Posts: 14,777 Member
    Just giving this a bump.
  • barbecuesaucebarbecuesauce Member Posts: 1,779 Member Member Posts: 1,779 Member
    Caitwn wrote: »
    This is exactly why I like to weigh myself daily. It was upsetting at first, but I felt I really needed to get past the place where the number on the scale had an emotional charge, and reach a place where the number on the scale is just a data point that is also informed by things like how I feel and how my clothes fit (among others).

    That doesn't mean I'm not happy when I see sustained weight loss, but for me seeing a steady downward trend has become far more important than seeing what a given day's weight is.

    Same for the first several months. I now weigh myself only once a week--I know I'm doing well logging, I know when I will have water weight, I know my losses are slow, so what's the point?
  • Sued0nimSued0nim Member Posts: 17,500 Member Member Posts: 17,500 Member
    An excellent and accurate OP

    This is my last 3 months on trendweight at a very steady maintenance, logging accurately, exercising the same amount ..black dots are real scale readings

    88b2h6ep91ik.jpg

    Any my net calories over exactly the same period

    0edum69rqn13.jpg


    edited June 2015
  • zoeysasha37zoeysasha37 Member Posts: 7,133 Member Member Posts: 7,133 Member
    Bump so more ppl will see this. Awesome information.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member
  • scr183scr183 Member Posts: 49 Member Member Posts: 49 Member
    Thanks for this -- it was a timely reminder for me today. :)
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,777 Member Member Posts: 14,777 Member
    Thread needs more bumps.
  • auddiiauddii Member Posts: 15,410 Member Member Posts: 15,410 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Personally myself I weigh everyday, but only as a gauge to see how what I may have eaten the day before and what activity or event I participated in may have affected it. There was I time when I was stressing out about winning a fantasy football ball game that the next day, I was up 3lbs having met my calories and not exceeding. The day after (I won), the 3lbs were gone.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Huh, that's something I haven't thought about before. My weight has been steadily climbing recently, but I also have become very lax about logging (and I've been binging a lot). But, I've also been under a ton of stress at work (doing the workload of 3 people for a few weeks). Here's hope that at least some of my gain is water weight due to stress levels.

    And at least I know what I need to do to clear up the actual weight gain...
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,777 Member Member Posts: 14,777 Member
    Had to look this up because I forgot to add it to my useful links. Giving it another bump for the afternoon crowd.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member
    auddii wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Personally myself I weigh everyday, but only as a gauge to see how what I may have eaten the day before and what activity or event I participated in may have affected it. There was I time when I was stressing out about winning a fantasy football ball game that the next day, I was up 3lbs having met my calories and not exceeding. The day after (I won), the 3lbs were gone.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Huh, that's something I haven't thought about before. My weight has been steadily climbing recently, but I also have become very lax about logging (and I've been binging a lot). But, I've also been under a ton of stress at work (doing the workload of 3 people for a few weeks). Here's hope that at least some of my gain is water weight due to stress levels.

    And at least I know what I need to do to clear up the actual weight gain...
    Stress does create more cortisol release and any disruption of hormones will usually have an effect on fluid balance levels in the body.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member
  • Emily3907Emily3907 Member, Premium Posts: 1,460 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,460 Member
    LOVE this and really needed it today.
  • zyxstzyxst Member Posts: 9,131 Member Member Posts: 9,131 Member
    Came in to find out what Scale Sphynx Syndrome is. I am disappoint.
    sphynx2.jpg
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 43,322 Member
    zyxst wrote: »
    Came in to find out what Scale Sphynx Syndrome is. I am disappoint.
    sphynx2.jpg
    I going to edit it. Now that I look at it, it sounds dumb. :D

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

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