5 Reasons to Ditch the Scale

June 10, 2012

This is a guest post by Debra Johnson.

The scale is a tricky little device that claims its function is to tell us our current weight. And true to form, it does do that. And sometimes it does that maybe a little too well. However, the scale isn’t always our friend when it comes to weight loss endeavors, and it’s possible that at a certain point in your weight loss journey it starts to do more harm than good. If your relationship with the number that keeps flashing on your scale is becoming increasingly problematic, you may want to rethink your daily weigh-ins.

Bathroom Scale

Not sure if it’s hindering your weight loss efforts instead of helping them? Here are five reasons you might want to ditch the scale:

  1. You could be gaining muscle, not fat – As time progresses if you’re diligent about working out and eating right you’re going to start increasing your body’s muscle mass. And as you gain muscle you might also gain weight. The problem? The scale doesn’t identify that you’ve lost fat but gained muscle, it simply increases the number on the scale, which can end up messing with your mind, making you think you’re less fit than you actually are.
  2. Your clothes fit better than ever, but the scale doesn’t seem to reflect that – A lot of times we have a predetermined number that we want to weigh. However just because we decide we want to weigh a certain amount doesn’t meant that our body actually needs to weigh that. That number could be too high or too low for our particular body type. A better indicator of if we’re in shape? How clothes fit. If your clothes are getting looser then you’re on the right track.
  3. Water weight fluctuates all the time – Our water weight fluctuates on a daily basis depending on what we’ve had to eat, how much we’ve had to drink, how much sodium we’ve taken in, etc. This can make it hard to get an accurate reading on what we’re actually weighing, and cause unnecessary feelings of disappointment when you’re actually right on track.
  4. It’s easy to get into a mind game with the numbers on the scale – Scales can make people crazy. Seeing a certain number flash before our eyes can cause moods to plummet and thoughts to be dominated with “I shouldn’t have eaten xyz yesterday” or “I’m never going to reach my goal weight so I should just give up”. The scale has a way of exerting power over us in a way that can be harmful to our weight loss efforts. Remember: IT’S JUST A NUMBER!
  5. It has no bearing on your actual level of health and fitness – Thescale takes nothing into account other than the body mass standing on top of it. If you weighed 150lbs six months ago but you couldn’t even walk for 15 minutes straight but now you weigh 150lbs and you can run six miles and lift significantly heavier weights than before, then that is a much better indicator of how your health and fitness has improved than any number on the scale.

The scale can definitely be a useful tool when it comes to weight loss, but it’s not the only or best indicator of your current level of physical fitness. If it’s starting to dictate your moods and bring down your days, you may want to think about breaking up with the scale and focusing on other way to benchmark you improvements.

photo by: -Paul H-

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