When you’re struggling to lose weight, the bathroom scale can become a constant source of tension. Even after weight loss surgery, the bathroom scale can have a significant effect on how you feel. If the bathroom scale is driving you crazy because the number seems to oscillate wildly from weigh-in to weigh-in, you may be making some of the following mistakes:
- You weigh yourself daily. Some people use daily weigh-ins for accountability. However, obsessively weighing yourself can cause anxiety and stress if the number isn’t consistently decreasing. The scale can’t give you a complete picture of your health, and several factors affect the number it displays. If you’re stressing about your weight, you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts without realizing it. Stress increases the levels of cortisol in your body, which can cause cravings for sugar and fatty foods.
- You weigh yourself before bed. Your weight is likely going to be higher in the evenings than in the mornings. You’ve eaten several meals and drank plenty of water throughout the day, all of which artificially increase your weight. Weighing yourself after a shower can also affect the scale as your skin absorbs moisture and your hair weighs more when wet.
- You weigh yourself at different times. Because so many factors affect your weight throughout the day, it doesn’t make sense to weigh-in at varying times on different days. If you weigh yourself in the morning one day, but in the evening on another, it may seem like you’ve gained weight when you haven’t. Weighing in at the same time of day will give you a more accurate snapshot of your weight.
- You weigh yourself after a workout. You may expect to see some weight loss after an intense workout since you just burned some major calories. However, any weight loss you see on the scale is likely artificial. If you sweat heavily during your workout, you’ve lost water weight. As you rehydrate, the number will go up on the scale accordingly. You may even see weight gain after a workout if you drank a lot of water as you exercised.
- Your floor is uneven. Most people leave their scale in the bathroom, but this may cause inconsistent or inaccurate readings. Carpet, uneven tiles, or wood can cause the scale to wobble or have difficulty calibrating, which can cause inaccurate readings. Make sure your bathroom floor is level, or find a new place for your scale that has a hard, flat surface.
- You’re wearing bulky clothes. If you step onto the scale while wearing thick clothes and heavy shoes, your weight may show as higher than it truly is. Clothing and shoes can add 2-3 pounds. If you’re not comfortable or in a position to weight yourself undressed, be sure to wear the same or similar lightweight outfit for every weigh-in. Make sure to step out of your shoes first as well.
- You let the scale control your day. Seeing the number on the scale tick upward can be discouraging, but you shouldn’t allow it to sway you into healthy behaviors. Skipping a meal or over-exercising can hurt your weight loss efforts in the long-term; it can also lead to injuries. The opposite is true as well. If you let the scale discourage you, you may use it as an excuse to indulge in a snack or skip your workout.
How much do clothes and shoes weigh?
Clothing and shoes can add 2-3 pounds.
Here are some rough estimates for common types of clothing and shoes:
- T-shirts: 4-8 ounces
- Jeans: 1-2 pounds
- Dress shirts: 8-12 ounces
- Dresses: 8-16 ounces
- Sneakers: 1-2 pounds per pair
- Dress shoes: 1-2 pounds per pair
- Boots: 2-4 pounds per pair
Should you weigh yourself after a workout?
It is generally not recommended to weigh yourself immediately after a workout, as your weight can fluctuate due to several factors such as hydration level, muscle soreness, and inflammation. As mentioned above, due to water intake, you may weight slightly more after a workout. Although this will be very marginal.
The scale is a useful tool to monitor your weight loss and help you achieve your weight loss goals. However, like all tools, you have to use the scale appropriately for accurate results. If you’re struggling to lose weight despite consistent efforts, bariatric surgery may be right for you. Contact us to learn how bariatric surgery can help you achieve your weight loss goals.