I used to be adamantly against weighing yourself. It seems ridiculous now.
But I spent years aggressively against it. I didn’t owna scale. I was so proud that I had no idea how much I weighed. I also discouraged other people from weighing themselves.
“Don’t obsess over the scale!”
“It’s all about how you feel”
“The scale just lies, just ignore it.”
I thought because I’d watch people freak out when their weight was “stuck”–or when their weight “inexplicably spiked overnight”–that the scale was a useless and deceitful tool.
Turns out the scale doesn’t lie.
It just summarizes. It paints in broad strokes and all the details get blended together.
Avoiding the scale only exacerbates this issue. Instead of having a pattern of data that shows the actual trend over time, you are left with erratic data points.
It might make for some fun abstract art, but random data points are useless for making informed decisions.
I have lost count of how many of these little incisive questions have completely reoriented me.
I had spent a lifetime of feeling at war between my “good” bits and “bad” bits. I just couldn’t seem to stomp the “bad’ bits out (ironic process theory or something like that).
After months of having Dr. Kashey listen to me monologue about my successes and failures without judgement and labels, I began to be able to observe my own thoughts and actions without judgement labels.
Dr. Kashey taught me how to recognize my actions at face value, understand their motivators and weaponize those in a way that made me happy.
This is why I so appreciate his treatment of Dr. Daniel Kahneman’s hit book, Thinking Fast and Slow. In case you missed it, or you just need a quick refresher:
Your System-1 Brain is “fast” and impulsive, while your System-2 Brain is “slow” and rational.
When Goblins Make You Fat Overnight
But what about when I inexplicably wake up 5 lbs heavier?! And I even did a killer workout yesterday?! What about that?
This happens. It can make you feel feelings. It makes me feel feelings. These feelings are okay.
Over time, these feelings will become less potent. Once you have access to your track record, you can rest confident that one data point will not end your world. If nothing material has changed in your intake and movement, your overall progress will continue to chug along.
However, to set your mind at ease, here are some things the scale might be talking to you about when you weigh in heavy
1. Poor Sleep
This one absolutely floored me.
When I finally started weighing myself every day, I was shocked every time I saw how much sleep impacted my day to day weight. More than anything food related, I could see how I’d been sleeping based on my daily weight.
Had a luxurious night of uninterrupted sleep? I’d probably see a weight drop.
Stayed up late and forgot to turn off my internal alarm clock? Hello, weight spike.
2. Work Out
This one cracks me up.
I’ve seen a lot of people “prep” for a weigh-in by killing themselves at the gym. Friends, I’m here to tell you that when you destroy yourself with a workout, your loving body is ready to help. It helps by retaining water to protect you and assist in healing. (read: inflammation)
Train hard every day, and you’ll consistently retain water, so you won’t see giant weight spikes
Take a break, come back, and hit it hard? The scale will be there to tell you what’s up.
3. You Ate Something Different
Trying new foods is great! But eating foods that you’re not used to–especially if they are foods you have sensitivities to–will show up on the scale. This is true EVEN IF YOUR CALORIES ARE ON POINT.
Now, if you tried your daughter’s new cookie recipe and then ate 10 more cookies than you intended to, the scale is probably also giving you feedback on that overconsumption.
Eat something you are sensitive to, but stay within your calorie boundaries? Your progress will not have been interrupted despite what the scale tells you.
4. You Ate Late
No, it’s not because eating at a certain time of day turns food into fat. Sheesh.
Think of it logistically:
If you eat later than normal and wake up earlier than usual, YOU’RE PROBABLY STILL FULL OF POOP. Literally.
If you ate 3 lbs of food late at night, and then you woke up in the middle of the night and to weigh yourself *shock and dismay* you’ll probably find that you are 3 lbs. heavier.
Again, if your total calorie intake is on point, your progress marches on.
5. You’re Getting Sick
This will also screw with your weight.
Your body is amazing and has all sorts of mechanisms to help you along the way. Sickness will often bring both local and systemic inflammation. Often, this will mean a number on the scale that you dislike. But one more time for the people in the back:
If your intake has remained on point, and your activity level hasn’t changed. Your progress marches on.
Did Goblins Make You Gain Weight overnight?
No. That’s silly. That weight spike is probably all fluid from any of the five causes listed above, or a million other variables.
Now, can all of the above mask fat loss?
It takes roughly 9-10 days for retained water to circulate out.
But water retention and fat loss are two completely separate systems .
During those 9-10 days, your weight will be up.
But if you remain in a consistent calorie deficit, you will be losing fat. You will still be heavier for that time, but when all that water comes off, you’ll be significantly lighter and leaner.
Stay the course.
Make informed decisions.
Be the amazing human you are.
Stay the course. Measure things. Make informed decisions. Be the amazing human you are.
Did Goblins Make You Gain Weight Over Night?
Here are somethings that might be making the scale change:
- Poor sleep
- Work out
- You ate something different
- You ate late
- You’re getting sick
About Jacquelyn Laporte
Jacquelyn LaPorte has had the privilege of working with TKN since 2018. The journey has been a wild one, but it has ushered her into the driver’s seat of her own life. She learned how to ask questions, answer them honestly and act on the answers. She has used this process to become a better parent to her 3 kids, a better wife, a better boss, a better learner, a better human. She believes that no experience is wasted, (not even majoring in a dead language with no career plan😊 or starting a business with 0 entrepreneurial spirit). Each experience gives the gift of new eyes. Perfect choices are not required, and that makes her free to choose.
“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, and every one of them sufficient.”
Team TKN cultivates, curates and shares Dr. Trevor Kasheys’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.