The Right and Wrong Ways to Track Your Body Weight

The Right and Wrong Ways to Track Your Body Weight

Let’s talk about tracking body weight, which is more fiddly than many people realize.

See, one of the easiest ways to drive yourself to distraction in your fitness journey is to obsess over daily shifts in your weight, which often have nothing to do with gaining or losing fat or muscle. 

For instance, even slight swings in fluid retention, glycogen levels, and bowel movements can produce noticeable ups and downs.

A much better way to use body weight is to look at longer-range averages, which are less erratic and better register the stuff that we care about (fat and muscle). 

If, over weeks and months, these averages are moving down, you’re losing weight, and if they’re moving up, you’re gaining weight. 

Here’s the procedure: 

1. Weigh yourself every one-to-three day's first thing in the morning, naked, after the bathroom, and before eating or drinking anything. 

Record the numbers somewhere accessible like an Excel file or Google Sheets or the notepad app on your phone. If you want to take your weight-tracking game a step further, you can graph the numbers in a spreadsheet.
2. Every two weeks, add your weigh-ins together and divide the sum by the number of weigh-ins to get your average daily weight for the period. Record this as well.

Here’s an example of how this could look for someone cutting:

Monday: 163 pounds

Thursday: 164 pounds

Sunday: 162 pounds

Wednesday: 161 pounds

Saturday: 161 pounds

Tuesday: 160 pounds

Average daily weight: 808 (pounds) / 6 (weigh-ins) = 162 pounds

Simple and clean.

This method of tracking your weight keeps you focused on the bigger picture instead of fussing over meaningless day-to-day variances, which can cause unnecessary frustration and confusion. 

Also, for women, as your weight can shoot up a few pounds during your period, don’t be discouraged by this—just keep it in mind when you’re evaluating your progress, and focus on the biweekly averages of the weeks before and after your period weeks.

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