How useful is monitoring your body weight?

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Many of us keep an eye on what we weigh by jumping on the scales every now and then. But exactly how useful is this? And what does it tell us?

We know that our body composition fluctuates throughout the day and that we shrink a little as the day goes on. This means that it can be difficult to understand exactly what it is that it is responsible for changes in body weight. Is it an increase (or reduction) in body fat or is it just a change in water content?

An investigation (albeit an extreme one) has demonstrated how weighing scales and your body weight doesn’t tell the whole story.

Ross Edgley managed to lose 24lb within a 24-hour period by reducing his body water content. He did this through extreme tactics including the use of sauna’s, epsom salt baths, diuretics and dietary manipulation, before putting the it all back on within 2 hours!

Although a reduction in body weight is generally viewed as a positive that will lead to health improvement these findings clearly demonstrate that body water content changes can be considerable throughout the day. It’s important to keep in mind that a reduction in body weight like the one detailed in the story will provide no benefits to your health. Rather it is changes in body fat and skeletal muscle mass that can provide us with much more useful information about the composition of our body than a simple measure of body mass.

A thorough analysis of body composition can be helpful and allows you to accurately analyse and track changes over time. A good body composition analysis will include measurements for skeletal muscle, body fat, water content, etc, allowing for a much more informative evaluation of what your body consists of.