by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com
Over the years as a sports nutritionist, I have seen many people get confused over the proper protocol of weights and measurements. What do I mean by weights and measurements? That would be the weight that you take to see if you are progressing in the journey to your goals. Measurements are the specific measurements you take with a tailors tape measure. I will discuss both and also cover the proper timing of weight and measurements to get the least biased results.
Well, there are a lot of factors that come into play in terms of your weight and how biased it can be. Water intake, sodium intake, bloat secondarily to hormone levels (high estrogen levels), carbohydrate intake, and time of weighing all play a factor in your weight. Lets cover them all.
Time of weighing
The time of day that you weigh yourself will play a heavy factor on the bias of your weight. It should be obvious that when you weigh yourself at night you will naturally weigh more than you did in the morning due to food and fluid intake. Your body will be carrying more weight that will be expelled. typically a person can weight 5-10lbs more at night than they do in the morning!!
This is simple if you went from drinking very little water to a lot of water quickly your weight will go up. Your body does not have time to expel that water through the kidneys and it will hold on to what it can if you were dehydrated (hyper-volume state). It is wise to keep your water intake consistent. Usuaully a gallon a day is more than enough.
Sodium, or salt, will play a factor on how much water your body holds. The more sodium you have in your system the more water your body wants to hold on to. If you ate a large salty meal expect to weigh more the next day due to bloat.
Bloat due to hormone levels
If you have high estrogen levels or an imbalance of hormones your body will hold water weight. Many body builders experience this with the use of steroids. Keep that in mind if you plan on cycling.
People seem to miss the obvious, its called carbo-HYDRATES for a reason. The more carbs you take in the more you will weigh. Carbs cause you to hold water weight!
Your weight and measurements should always be taken first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything and after the bathroom if needed. This will cause the least biased weight so long as you have been following your diet strictly and not cheated. The weight should be taken once a week on the same day every time. If you cheat the day before with a high carb and salty food then your weight will be biased due to the bloat that comes with carbs and salt. Your weight should also always be taken the same day of the week especially if you are on a carb cycle type diet. With a carb cycle diet the weight should be taken the morning after the lowest carb day.
For example if your carb cycle looks like this:
Monday high day
Tuesday medium day
Wednesday low carb day
Thursday high day
You should be weighing yourself Thursday morning since Wednesday was your lowest carb day of the week and therefore has the least bias.
With a tailors tape measure, you should measure the following areas:
• Stomach at belly button
• Waist line (where your pants sit when worn properly)
• Biceps with arms extended out to side
• Forearm 3 inches from elbow
With the above measurements you can get a more complete idea of how your body is changing. If your weight were to not be moving but your losing inches on your stomach and waist line that would be good news wouldn’t it? Remember not to solely depend on weight or measurements only, you have to look at the big picture!