People tell me all of the time, they hate weighing themselves. They hate the scale.
I used to hate it too. But is there more to it than meets the eye? Is it REALLY that bad??
Let’s take a look
Weigh In Day
The day known as “Weigh in Day” has arrived. That all-too familiar feeling of anxiety starts creeping in.
I remember when I would go to the doctor and one of the first things they would do is weigh me. I would get so anxious about just THAT part of the appointment, that I would not eat for hours prior, thinking that would somehow “help” that number on the scale. Most of the time it was a digital scale that took a few seconds to read my weight. I couldn’t even look while it was calculating.
I would literally stand there praying for a lower number than what I assumed it would be. It seemed like it would take forever.
I remember if it was a “good” number, I was flying high. If it were a “bad”number, I would be internally beating myself up, thinking I had failed, and thinking about what I was not going to eat later as a “punishment” for not “making weight”
That cycle of dread was hard to get out of, and it totally skewed my way of thinking about the scale. Over the years, I have learned a lot, and I did get out of it. Now I have an entirely different take on weighing in.
WHY SHOULD I WEIGH MYSELF AT ALL?
The scale can be a great tool in the weight loss game. The technology has gotten more advanced, and scales have become more accurate. Some of the “Smart Scales” can even give you an approximate body fat percentage.
We have all heard: how much body fat we have is a stronger indicator of how healthy we actually are. “The number doesn’t matter”
I don’t disagree with that notion – at all. I am a proponent of using other methods to evaluate progress
But let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of weighing and how it might (or might not) benefit you:
Weighing Yourself – PROS
The scale is actually not your enemy. In fact, there is plenty of research out there that not only says weighing yourself will help you lose more weight, but weighing yourself every day (gasp!!) could be the best thing yet!
Weighing Every Day????
There are plenty of studies that have shown those who weigh daily are connected with not only greater weight loss, but also less weight regain
What is also interesting is those that weigh themselves daily tend to develop better weight control behaviors, are more active, and can keep the weight off
This study( 1) showed that participants who weighed every day for six months lost 13 more pounds (6 kg), on average, than those who weighed themselves less frequently
Surprised? I was
Another study showed that people who weighed themselves every day ate substantially fewer calories per day than those who did not, and after six months, lost almost 10 times more weight than the control group (2)
The research is there.
Practical Benefits of Weighing yourself Every Day:
👉🏼 It gives good objective information
👉🏼 It’s easy to do
👉🏼 It lessens the “fear” of the scale over time. If you do something every day it becomes part of your routine. The fear factor is taken out of the equation. That ‘dread’ of weigh-in day gradually lessens over time as it becomes a new normal
👉🏼 By weighing every day, you start to de-value the daily weight number because you see it every day. Instead, you will value more the overall downward trend. Basically this means that the daily weigh in numbers will matter less (which is good!) and the overall downward trend will become the focus (which is great!) Weight can fluctuate a lot day to day, and seeing that fluctuation everyday de-sensitizes you to the individual numbers while putting the attention to the trend.
Another way to think about it is this:
Weight loss is similar to the Stock Market. When you invest money in the Stock Market, you are usually in it for the long haul, and the day to day fluctuation of the market (stocks going up and down) doesn’t really matter that much.
What matters is at the end of the run, did your stocks go up ? Are they worth more than when you started? It doesn’t matter how they got there (ups and downs all along the way), it only matters that the trend went up.
Same for weight loss – the day to day fluctuations don’t matter in the big picture. What matters is seeing the overall trend go down
👉🏼 Weighing yourself every day gives you a more accurate picture of a given week. Some days may be good, other days not as good, but the overall trend may be down which paints a very different picture of that particular week.
👉🏼 And to that extent, if you only weighed yourself once a week and that particular day was not a good day, you might think your whole week was bad (“I gained two pounds”, etc), when the overall trend for the week was down. Weighing every day allows you to see it that way
👉🏼 Weighing yourself every day (or regularly) can allow you to see patterns developing and potentially act on them before things get out of hand.
But, before everyone goes nuts, listen carefully:
Weighing every day is NOT for everyone.
Weighing Every Day – Cons
➡️ People with a history of eating disorders, or obsessive behaviors are probably not good candidates for weighing in every day, or maybe even at all. It can become addictive and can compound already-addicting behaviors. It could also result in multiple weigh-ins a day
➡️ People who struggle with negative thoughts, or feelings of shame regarding their weight or their life in general would most likely not be good candidates for using the scale. Weighing frequently could be tied to self-worth (or self-loathing) for some, and continue the internal struggle that may already be going on.
Tackling weight loss with this group of people would take on an entirely different look and would probably not include the scale at all.
➡️ Your weight can fluctuate every day. It’s normal. Weighing every day could potentially magnify those fluctuations for some. If you cannot come to terms with the inevitable fluctuation, then weighing everyday could be an exercise in frustration. You will want to throw your scale out the window
The good news here is that if weighing yourself every day (or at all) is not for you, there are plenty of ways you can measure your progress that are not the scale. I wrote about them HERE
If you do choose to weigh yourself, here are some practical tips:
✅ The best time to weigh yourself is right after you wake up in the morning and have used the bathroom. You will be at your “emptiest”. It’s also a easy time to add it to your morning routine
✅ Morning scale checks are also good because your weight will fluctuate the least amount in the mornings.
✅ Weigh yourself in similar clothing, or none at all.
✅ You may want to consider getting a Wifi enabled scale that will automatically upload your information to an app or website. Then you could create cool graphs and use other neat graphics to help chart your progress
Whether you weigh yourself every day, once a week, once a month, or not at all, you need to know:
✯ Fat Loss is not linear. There will be ups and downs all along the way
✯ Within a given day (s), weight can, and will fluctuate
- Some reasons why your weight might fluctuate:
- Food (duh)
- Being sick
- Menstrual Cycle
- Recent (or not) bowel movements
- Medications (Both prescription and non-prescription
✯ If you do weigh yourself, you need to weigh yourself under the exact same conditions every time
✯ Don’t let the scale consume you. If you are going to weigh yourself every day, make it part of your morning routine and take the information that it gives you as a data point. Nothing more
The Bottom Line? There is no bottom line. You need to do what is best for YOU. If that means weighing yourself every day, then do it.
If that means not using the scale at all, then do that.
The scale has its place in a weight loss journey. While it may not be for everyone, there are definitely indicators that it can be a positive tool in a weight loss journey.
The decision is yours
If I can help you with your weight loss journey, hit reply and let me know