The scale is such controversial item. Some people hate it, some are scared to step on it, others haven’t weighed themselves in months and never even think about it. But why has the scale become such a hot topic?
Similar to the whole BMI debate (don’t even get me STARTED on that), the scale has come under criticism as an unreliable form of measurement when it comes to weight loss. However, unlike the whole BMI debate (again, let’s not go there), I do believe that there is a time and a place for the scale. So here’s when I believe the scale is helpful, and when it’s a real jerk.
If you are overweight and have weight to lose, the scale can be a very helpful tool of measurement.
Particularly for beginners who do not have muscle mass to consider, the scale is a great way to know your starting point and to create a baseline of measurement. If you are overweight, the scale is an accurate way to measure progress because you will still need to drop those pounds before becoming concerned about muscle mass affecting the number on the scale.
If you are an athlete who has been working out for some time and is already fairly lean, the scale is not a very helpful tool of measurement.
This is for the people who are avid exercisers and do not have a lot of weight to lose. Maybe you want to drop 10 pounds, and maybe you want to lean out a little bit before summer. You’re already strong and have muscle mass because of regular strength training, and you are not overweight. In this case, the scale is a real turd. This is when the scale is less accurate as a form of measurement, and you should use progress photos and measurements as your tools instead.
If you do have weight to lose, let the number on the scale guide you. If you aren’t losing weight, don’t just say “oh, well I’m gaining muscle.” Tighten things up and get that number down until you are at a point where you can start putting on muscle, because it’s really hard to do both effectively at the same time.
So use the scale when it’ll help you, and don’t pay too much attention to it when it won’t.