Scale Trends

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I have been in a deep funk with the scale before. My very own coach has had to talk me away from self-loathing many times. I’m just glad I stuck it out with macro tracking long enough to experience the delayed gratification and reward that it brings.

The reality is, the scale never moves down as quickly as any of us want it to. The downward scale TREND isn’t a downward line, it is a trend full of up ticks, constant fluctuations up and down and even periods of plateaus. This is NORMAL and expected. Overall, the general shape of the trend will head downward with time and diligence. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a trend is a general prevailing tendency. I particularly like how the Cambridge Dictionary defines a trend as “a general development or change in a situation” and “a development towards something new.” Notice that neither definition defines a “trend” as linear, straightforward, sudden or abrupt. Both definitions heavily imply that a trend is developed with time and change. The way I would like to explain a downward scale trend from hitting our macros is, “a general development downward FROM the changes we’re choosing to make.” The downward scale trend is a reflection of the work we are doing. When we HIT our macros within range diligently and commit to staying the course even when we don’t want to, we can expect to see a slow and steady decline on the scale with time. 

Many factors contribute to how quickly we begin to see this downward trend, such as genetics, diet history, hormone health, social factors (what does your day to day life look like?), overall activity level and exercise routine and more. But no matter how quickly our body responds to macro tracking individually, in order to see change on the scale, we actually have to change our actions. A healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss while macro tracking is roughly 0.5 to 2 pounds per week. You can read more about that HERE. Let it be known, if you are someone who can see a pound of fat loss per week or more, your rate of weight loss is speedier than average! All in all, no one’s scale trend will look the same or develop at the same speed. 

If you aren’t seeing the progress you desire, in regards to the scale, let’s first go through some honest self reflection. Begin by calculating your overall consistency from the last four weeks. You can do that very simply. Count how many days you hit your macros within range in teh last 4 weeks. Divide that number by 28. Now you have your consistency percentage from the last 4 weeks. How does this “grade” line up with your expectations? Read more about that process HERE. Steady consistency, ESPECIALLY as a new macro tracker, is the foundation to macro tracking and getting momentum off the ground. The lower the adherence score, the less steep the scale trend might be. This isn’t to say you can’t see progress with a lower adherence rate, it just means that the process isn’t moving as fast as it could be. Slow progress while learning how to fuel your body properly is a HUGE win!!

Let’s look at some other factors that could be impacting scale.

A graph showing what happens to the scale when you drink.

If we are consuming alcohol, food quality is lacking, our steps aren’t typically at 7k or above, our water intake or sleep on average is lower than recommended, there is big opportunity (the low hanging fruit, if you will) to see improvement!! The more committed and focused on these seemingly little things, the more success you’ll see. As coaches, we want the very best for our clients and we want to arm you with all of the best tools and educations/weapons as you battle the scale but there is much required of you. Not only in execution, but also in persevering when the scale doesn’t represent the hard work you’ve put in!

You will lose weight faster if you drastically reduce calories to 1,000 or less. You will lose weight faster if you do a diet cleanse. But is that going to create lasting change? How long do the results actually last before our bodies become desperate for more food? The harsh reality is sustainable weight loss won’t happen that fast. We won’t see the number on the scale consistently drop every single week when it’s time to weigh in. Our weight fluctuates as women for all sorts of reasons (read WHY, right here), and we cannot let that be our total undoing with our macro journey. We have to remain rational about how quick the scale can REALISTICALLY move down.

Some women find it more beneficial and encouraging to track their scale “low,” so don’t be afraid to try out this method. To track your scale low, weigh yourself in the morning, perhaps a few days each week or every day throughout the week, and record the lowest number you see. It’s exciting to see those new scale lows appear with time!

On the flip side of that, if you find the scale really defeating, don’t weigh as frequently. Limit stepping on the scale to once every few weeks or every couple of weeks. Talk to your coach about taking a “scale break.”

Let’s shift our focus from a smaller number on the scale to high adherence and consistency, positive habit development, solid routines, sleep, water and lots of steps. If you do that, the downward trend will come.

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