My weight has been slowly creeping up the scale. I was consistently 115lbs and then the scale slid to 118. Now I flirt with 122. I should be bummed, and sometimes I am. And then I remember that I crushed my previous “Fran” time and I’ve hit some nice squat, thruster and deadlift Prs. It’s highly unlikely that would happen without a five to seven pound weight gain.
The funny thing is for the most part my clothes fit the same and my diet hasn’t changed. So the scale doesn’t mean a thing. It certainly isn’t a reflection of my current fitness level.
No one really wants to see the scale creep north. Your weight is influenced by several factors. If you went on a big carbohydrate binge you will see an increase because there is an increase in water retention. A few days of your regular diet will result in a return to your usual weight. A high sodium meal will also lead to an increase in weight. All of that sodium results in water retention. Conversely a sharp reduction in sodium will release water. And let’s not forget those cycle fluctuations that every woman experiences. It’s for this reason women should compare weight from month to month and not week to week.
If you are strength training with heavy weights, sprinting or getting a few CrossFit workouts a week and are eating a healthy diet, then it’s possible your weight will go up. Fat loss is not reflected in the number on the scale. Instead of using the scale as a measure of fitness try measuring your waist. Dedicate a page in your workout log and track your waist measurements. You will want to measure in three spots. Measure at the naval, two inches above and two inches below. Compare the previous week’s measurement by -1,0 or +1 if the new result is a decrease, the same or increase over the previous results. Add the numbers together to determine the direction of fat loss.
If you aren’t happy with the direction of the scale consider the recommendations in the chart below from Dick Talens.
By Nyree Segui, RHN, CrossFit LVL1, Elite Trainer ISSA