This one I get asked alot- and for good reason!
Society is now telling us not to count calories and not to check our weight- so what should we actually do?
If you feel comfortable with less body fat- then it’s fine to want to lose some weight and to monitor this. But don’t let it dominate your life and always focus on other factors too.
The scales are just one tool to measure weight - that’s all. They shouldn't cause upset and frustration or dictate your mood for the day. You shouldn't feel embarrassed to talk about weight- to tell a girlfriend, husband, partner if you’ve gained. For so long there has been a big focus on scales only, look beyond that and aim to feel good, energized, fit, and healthy.
It's also important to remember that weight loss is not linear, it's also only one measure. If you gain a lot of weight suddenly- this could be fluid shifts due to salt intake, muscle soreness, hydration status. Also it doesn’t account for muscle mass. If you check your weight then use it as a reflection tool- ok my weight has gone up today- is there a logical reason for this? Did I eat a salty meal yesterday? Maybe I have just been overdoing my portion size at dinner? Use it as a tool to monitor. Don’t be so fixated on the number- If you want to lose 5kg and are dead set on this- you may notice that you feel and look great after losing only 3kg and with your change in diet and exercise are more toned and energised. It’s good to set some goals be flexible with these and be mindful of other things in your life that are improving at the same time.
I am a big fan of also using other measures at the same time. This could be related to your body shape and size like body fat %, a photo, a tight pair of jeans- or your energy, mood, sleep, the time you're dedicating to self-care, or improvements in stress levels. If you have a fitness goal then focus on this- are you getting stronger or faster? Are you able to walk or run for much longer? This is a huge success and should really be celebrated. Keeping a journal helps to track these and keep you in check so you don't go spiraling.
So final messages- weight loss is not the only measure of progress, it is never linear, and weight can vary hugely depending on many things that aren't body fat related. Start tracking other aspects of your life and reflecting on these to see progress and results. The more that you can find positive outcomes with your good habit changes, the more this will reinforce the importance of what you are doing and keep you heading on the right track towards achieving your goals.