The Pros and Cons of the Bathroom Scale by Stephanie Nickel
Recently I stepped on the scales and found I was four to five pounds lighter than expected, a definite “pro.”
However, the bathroom scales can be our friend or our enemy. We must choose which.
First, we must remember that a professional bodybuilder might be considered obese or even morbidly obese if using the BMI scale, which only considers one’s height and weight.
And an individual who is underweight can have far too high a percentage of body fat. That number on the scale isn’t everything.
If we go solely by that number, we may be tempted to deprive ourselves of the nutrition our body needs, afraid we’re “eating too much.”
Women’s weight has a tendency to fluctuate regularly, some say as much as five pounds in a single day. That is one reason I’ve decided to weigh myself only once a month.
That said . . . some people find that weighing themselves daily motivates them to stay the course. It really is an individual decision.
But obsession isn’t a good thing, so be honest with yourself.
Remember . . . scales that also measure body fat percentage (BFP) aren’t 100 percent accurate, but I do believe this is the more important number.
However, as a personal trainer, I found that as the average weight of the population increased, the recommended body fat percentage charts were going in the opposite direction. Talk about disheartening!
If you are keeping an eye on your BFP, remember women need more body fat than men. It is crucial to the proper functioning of our internal organs. Also, be realistic. As a woman, unless you’re a professional athlete, it’s probably not a good idea to shoot for less than 20 percent body fat.
Remember . . . these are my opinions. Other professionals see things differently. Do your research and discuss your fitness questions with your doctor and/or a fitness professional.
How about you? Do you find scales help or hinder your fitness progress?
Stephanie Nickel, CLD, PTS is a freelance writer and editor, a labour doula, and a personal trainer.
You can read about her eclectic interests and visit her website for more information.
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