Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of people, each coming from very different back grounds and each with very different goals. As a PT and online coach, one thing I pride myself on is giving my clients world class support. Checking in once a week is great, but sometimes we need that little bit more. That little extra push.
Your weight on check in day
Whoever it is that's coaching you will typically have a selection of questions they ask you on your check in day, and probably the one that's most common across the board is your weight. What was your weight this week, and what was it last week.
Now here's the thing,
If your goal is to LOSE weight, and last week you were 90kgs and this week you're 90.5kgs - THIS DOESN'T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU HAVEN'T MADE PROGRESS.
If your goal is to GAIN weight and last week you were 90.5kgs and this week you're 90kgs - THIS TOO DOESN'T AUTOMATICALLY MEAN YOU HAVENT MADE PROGRESS.
Well, as I'm sure you know, your total bodyweight doesn't consist of fat. Otherwise, you would literally be a ball of fat.
Your body is a complex organism comprising of MANY different systems, the attributes of which literally change daily.
To give you just a small idea of factors than DO (not can) affect your weight:
Elevated Oestrogen levels - near time of the month? Expect to hold anywhere between 1-2kgs of water weight
Cortisol levels - someone pissed you off at work? Are smashing your body to pieces overtraining? Not getting enough good quality sleep? Elevated cortisol will also have you holding water
Mineral balance - Sodium causes water retention. If you consume more salty foods in the days leading to your weigh in, its quite likely you will be holding water
Hydration levels - Been missing your water target? Your body is an adaptation machine and if you're not adequately hydrated day to day, you can expect to hold water. On the flipside, the more water you consume, the less subcutaneous water you will be holding.
Gut content - I wont elaborate here
Now picture this. You've been working hard in the gym, meticulous on your meal plan and your daily weight has gone like this:
Mon - 90kgs / Tues - 87.8 / Weds 87.3 / Thurs 87.2 /
Friday - you have a hormone spike, busy day at work and only manage to drink 1L - causing your body to retain 1kg of water
Sat - you weigh in and BOOM - you're 90.2
As you can see, this doesn't mean you haven't lost fat / made progress, so getting in a flap about is absolutely not necessary.
How to deal with these fluctuations
Weight fluctuations are normal. In face, loosing weight in a linear fashion is actually largely abnormal.
Now if you're only getting your bodyweight once a week, chances are some times when you weigh in you're going to catch yourself on a fluctuation. In these cases, its important to look at the bigger picture (your weight over a period of 2 or 3 weeks as opposed to that one single weigh in).
Another way around this is to weigh in daily. This will allow to add up all your daily weights. divide by 7 and give you your weekly average, which is a MUCH more accurate weigh of tracking weight, whilst allowing you to see just how much your body fluctuates on a daily basis.
Things to keep in mind
The scale is merely a tool for weighing your body as a whole and cannot tell the composition of your body.
70% muscle / 70% fat
70% fat / 30% muscle
The scale will tell you exactly the same thing
The key thing here is to TRUST THE PROCESS. If you're following a diet and training with the same intensity that had you losing weight last week and the before - those same calories aren't all of a sudden put you into a caloric surplus and gain fat - its just not possible, so the likelihood is that you've caught yourself on a fluctuation. Likewise if you're new to training and start lifting weights, you need to factor in the extra intramuscular glycogen your body will be holding.
Thanks for reading,