Scales, Part 2: Are “Fat Days” and “Thin Days” Real?

 

Weighing yourself can be motivating and depressing — but did you know the number you see on the scale can change almost as quickly as you blink? As the Tony Robbins quote says, if you are weighing yourself day-in and day-out and don’t like the read out, what do the numbers really mean? Why do they make you happy or sad? And last, what are you going to do about it?

All of the factors listed in this graphic, and more, contribute to our body weight:

Some scientists have studied subjects who weighed themselves every hour throughout the day. If you ever had the time to do that, you would see the big changes on the scale even from hour to hour. This is because so much goes into the number on the scale. All of the factors listed on our fun graphic above PLUS so many more determine the weight of your body at any given moment of the day. And, no, not all of it is based on your food intake or quality.

Even if you haven’t been diligent – say, you spent a weekend at BBQs cheating all over the place – “it is not possible to gain 5 actual pounds in one day or one weekend,” says Dana Hunnes, PhD, M.P.H, R.D, senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and adjunct assistant professor at the Fielding School of Public Health. “It is possible, though, to retain 5 pounds of fluid in the body, particularly if you have been eating super clean.”

Experts will tell you to ignore the number you see on the scale simply because of the myriad of factors listed in the graphic. Instead they will caution you to take an average of the last ten or fourteen days. After that, do it again and again and review how that average is changing over time. That’s where the real truth lies.

Be on the lookout for the last in our series on the scale about how to approach your weight emotionally and with success (click here if you missed the first in the scale series).

Happy Fit Day!

 

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