Whether you are trying to lose fat or gain muscle, accurately recording your body weight is a vital part of figuring out if you're on the right track.
In this short article I'm going to outline how you can use nothing more than a weighing scales and some standardisation protocols to get a really good idea of your progress.
Step 1: Buy a Weighing Scales
This is a non-negotiable. You don't need anything fancy and truthfully, it doesn't even have to be 100% accurate. What's more important is that your scales are reliable. That means that even if they're off by half a kilo, they're always off by that amount. This means it can still detect a change in your weight. To figure out of your scales are reliable, just weigh yourself several times in a row - the scales should give you the same figure every time.
Step 2: Standardise
Just like a science experiment, we want to ensure that we follow a rigid set of procedures, ensuring the figure you see on the screen is the most accurate representation of your weight.
Here are my recommendations:
Weigh yourself first thing in the morning
Before eating/drinking, and after using the toilet
Wearing the same amount of clothing
The above will ensure that you are not mistaking a change in your weight for the weight of clothing, and/or water or food in your body.
Step 3: More Frequent = More Accurate
Even when following these procedures, there are going to be changes in our body weight from time to time. One example is after eating a highly salty meal. When we do this, our bodies retain more water, making our body weight increase. If you only weigh yourself once per week, you could think you're eating too much. However if you have several other weight recordings, you'll be able to get a better picture of what your average weight is.
A Note on Mental Health
I want to acknowledge that some people have a mental hurdle with regularly seeing their weight on a screen. This can be indicative of an eating disorder, in which case I'd suggest seeking help from a qualified medical professional.