Though even accurate scales seem fickle, a few simple things can be done for more reliability.
Dust Off Your Scale
Are you someone who panics at the mere sight of a scale? This can be more common among women but let’s not exclude our portly brethren. To be clear, I am not referring to hard plates that protect fish flesh. I’m talking about the flat surface with numbers on it that reveals everything Spandex tries to conceal.
One aversion to scales is they seem to lie. You can do well, sticking to a healthy meal plan. Your clothes feel looser. A scale confirms the loss of a few pounds.
The next day, after eating your favorite snack, that scale snatches the lost weight back. Yes, some scales are deceitful. If one returns different numbers in succession, it either needs to be calibrated or discarded.
As a youth, food seemed to exit with the same haste it was consumed. Thanks to a fast metabolism, three meals or five meals per day, without counting calories, had no effect on weight.
By contrast today, every meal choice has consequences. Our metabolism slows with decreasing muscle mass, which decreases with activity, which decreases with age.
Stop Fighting The Scale
Even accurate scales seem fickle, but with a few simple steps, reliability can improve. First, answer whether you are doing anything to point the needle higher. In other words, move—more than your fingers—on a smartphone or keyboard throughout each day.
Consuming more calories than the amount burned is no fault of the scale. Nutrition is also important. Model meals according to guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Between 5000 and 10000 steps per day burns calories—if they are at a vigorous pace. Aerobic exercises, not sit-ups or crunches, reduce abdominal fat.
Crunches and planking will, however, build muscles lurking beneath abdominal fat, strengthening your core (transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and many other deeper muscles). So combine strength building and cardio for optimum results.
You will likely shed subcutaneous fat more quickly than visceral fat. Weight loss combined with strength training is likely to reach a (temporary) plateau since muscle weighs more than fat. Don’t get angry with the scale. Celebrate a stronger physique.
Calibrating Your Measurements
Weight naturally fluctuates throughout the day. There are variable amounts of solid and liquid wastes in your digestive tract. Clothing adds a few pounds too. Take a baseline measurement wearing little-to-nothing in the morning, following an evacuation. Weigh yourself at the same time each day. An accurate scale can provide valuable feedback along your weight loss journey.
If you are having difficulty adopting a healthy lifestyle, speak with your personal physician. An appointment with a registered dietitian may be warranted. Consider a support group. Feel the satisfaction of progressively reaching small goals that lead to better health.
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Modified main image of woman holding scale licensed from Adobe Stock.