Isn’t it funny that nobody thinks that how to use a bathroom scale for weight loss is something we need to be taught? You just hop on the scale, and BAM! Instant guilt.
But you may find it interesting to know, I didn’t understand how to actually use my bathroom scale to track my weight loss until I was mostly to my weight loss goal.
That’s when it finally clicked, and I really understood what an amazing tool I’d been missing out on for years.
How To Use A Bathroom Scale for Weight Loss
1. Get a day-planner or electronic tracker
This day-planner can be used in so many different aspects of your weight loss journey, that you’ll likely see me recommend one over and over again.
I use one for so many things, from hatching chickens to keeping my corporate job on task. It can be paper or electronic.
I used the free version of MyFitnessPal to track my weight for a long time. All that matters is that you use something.
Keep it with you everywhere. And in the same day planner, just write down what you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any snacks. Be honest!
The only person you’ll be lying to is yourself. (This is the EASIEST food journal you’ll ever keep. If you want to get really fancy, write down how you FELT afterward.)
2. Get on the bathroom scale naked, every morning after you’ve done your business
Consistency is key here. You can’t wear heavy boots and an insulated snow parka one day, and then weigh yourself naked the next.
You’ll be fudging your numbers, and not be able to make any real progress. There is no one here to lie to, except for yourself.
I like to make a routine AFTER I’ve done the morning business. I mean, whatever I can do to help the number go down, right? You don’t have to, though. Just make sure it’s around the same time every day.
3. Enter the number in the bottom corner of your day-planner
The thought of tracking and being accountable for this number can be overwhelming. It’s easier to put our heads in the sand and ignore it.
So, let’s just rip off the band-aid. From here on out, it’s just a number. That’s all it is. Just a number. Not a reflection of your worth, or the sum total of your life.
It’s just your scale, showing how hard gravity is working to keep you attached to the ground.
If anyone makes a big deal about it, from your mother to your doctor, just take comfort in the knowledge that you are now using this number only as a number.
It does not define you, your worth, or who loves you. Your weight does not make you a sloppy person, or undeserving. It is just a number.
And today we are taking back its power.
4. Be consistent
If you miss a day or two, it’s ok. If you start slipping for more than three days, then the data you’re creating is going to be harder to analyze.
So, you’re only creating gaps in your understanding of what is or isn’t working by missing days.
Just make sure the majority (4 days out of 7) of weigh in’s are done at or around the same time everyday, with the same type of clothing.
5. After 2 weeks, analyze your data
You have just created a snapshot of your last two weeks. Why two weeks? Our weight fluctuates, sometimes wildly, depending on the events happening in our lives.
Giving ourselves two weeks of data to reflect upon will average out those wild events. Or, if your life is a crazy rollercoaster, you’re capturing that, too.
Ok, so now you know how to use your bathroom scale for weight loss to collect data.
What do you do with it?
Analyzing Your Bathroom Scale Data
It’s not enough just to put the numbers into your day-planner or electronic tracker. You have to look at the trending data.
If you don’t, that’s like buying a lottery ticket everyday, but never checking to see if you’ve won. What’s the point? An electronic version can make this automatic for you.
However, it seems to be more effective to write this type of thing down.
The materials I’ve handwritten over my weight loss journey are invaluable to me. The things I’ve bothered to write down, have made a bigger impact.
I’ve created a really easy to use excel document if you’d like to track your scale data, and also get an instant visual.
In that case, I would write in my day-planner every day. And then, once a week transfer that information to the weight loss tracker.
The most important thing about what you choose to do, is that you will use the thing you choose.
How To Analyze Your Scale Data to Use A Bathroom Scale For Weight Loss
1. Enter the data from your day-planner into the weight loss tracker of your choice
If you’re using the downloadable excel file, all you have to do is enter the weight for the day.
The rest will calculate for you, and give you a nice little graph to show if you went up or down. Or did this wobbly roller coaster thing (which is very normal).
2. Determine if you like the results you see on the graph
This one is pretty easy. When the graph is going down, you’ll probably do a happy dance. If it’s going up, that’s when I would usually start to panic.
A flat-ish graph is probably the most frustrating of the three, because now we have to figure out why it’s not going in any one direction. And sometimes the answer is subtle.
How do you feel about your graph?
3. Review your day-planner to see what you ate, and when
The really amazing thing about keeping your weight in the same day-planner as a small log of what you ate and what you did for work or family time, is that you can pretty quickly see trends.
For example, if you had a stressful week at work with a lot of deadlines, or the baby was cutting teeth, maybe your weight went up. If you weren’t able to hit your normal workout routine for an entire week, did you have a stall?
Did you go to a party? Maybe you didn’t remember what you ate. But you wrote down that you were at a party. So, if your weight didn’t move, that’s probably a good indicator of why.
4. Take note of the days when it went in the direction you wanted
Let’s make a promise only to focus on the positive. Promise only to dwell on the days when the scale went up. Not on the days when we really screwed the pooch.
Look at the days that you did well, and aim to do that again. There’s no need to focus on what went wrong. Things go wrong by default – they go right by intention.
5. Start planning your meals using the days that went well as a guide
Meal planning is the same skill that is used for predicting the future. We anticipate what is to come, we prepare for the worst. Then we look like psychics when everything falls into place. Because if it all falls apart, we had a Plan B thru Z to fall back on.
We’re all creatures of habit. So, what better than to make success part of your habit?
By using this system, you can set yourself up for success while working on healing the hurt of the scale.
Honestly, I do think true healing will only come after you hit goal weight and maintain it for a while. But, try this system and let’s see if it doesn’t get you there!
Happy Weight Loss <3
Related: How To Stop Failing At Weight Loss