The science behind the scales and your weight gainJul 18, 2021
The female body is a complicated thing. All the research performed on diet and exercise is performed on males because its easier to collate date and have a controlled group.
The female body is so complicated due to the menstrual cycle.
As an online coach, I use scale weight along with several other measuring tools to determine progress. The scales alone are NEVER an indicator of progress.
The scales can be used as a tool for body composition measurements but on a 7-day rolling average not a week by week tracker.
This is because it is compounded by changes in the menstrual cycle.
Water retention occurs pre-ovulation and premenstrual week.
So if you were to compare week 1's weight with week 4's you would not get an accurate measure of changes in body composition due to the effects of the menstrual cycle.
If you were to compare week 1 of month 1 and week 1 of month 2 you will get a better measure of changes over time.
The phase of the cycle: Month 1 Month 2 Month 3
Early follicular 145lbs 143lbs (-2) 142lbs (-1)
Late follicular 147lbs 145lbs (-2) 144lbs (-1)
Early Luteal 143lbs 141lbs (-2) 140lbs(-1)
Late Luteal 150lbs 148lbs (-2) 147lbs (-1)
Can you see from the table above how looking at a women's weight loss journey from start week 1 month 1 to week 4 month 3 can be misguided and seen as a poor result? She started at 145lbs and at 3 months she's at 147lbs.
If you take into account her menstrual cycle and look week 1 to week 1 month 1 to month 1 and week 4 to week 4, month 1 to month 4, you can see the change.
The scales can be an effective tool to measure body composition changes but it needs to be done in conjunction with the female's cycle and along with other tools such as measurements, feedback on feeling and how clothes fitting.
I hope this makes sense, any questions just send me an email.