6 Rules to Follow When You Step on the Scale

Posted by Luisa de Luca on

Why Weighing Yourself Isn't As Simple as Reading a Number on the Scale

woman stepping tentatively on scale

When you’re working to achieve weight loss, the scale becomes a fairly important too. Perhaps too important as we start stepping on every scale that we see and then obsess over the results. Sometimes even becoming emotional about the number before us.

If you’re jumping on every scale you walk past, you’re going to go a wide variety of results and may be completely misguided in the efforts you have made to lose the weight.

So, before you jump on another scale, here’s some rules to follow about weighing yourself.

Use the Same Scale

Always. Always. Always. Don’t get on every scale you see. Purchase a scale for your home, place it on a flat level surface and only weigh yourself using this very scale. Get off of the one at the gym, unless that’s the only one you’re going to be using.

Not every scale is the same. Are you jumping on a scale that was properly set up? Is it calibrated? Do you know how to use it? With so many doubts, it’s best to stick with just one scale that you’re familiar with and use it to measure your progress.

Get On at the Same Time

Just like using the same scale to weigh yourself, it’s consistency that’s going to be key here. And there’s where timing fits in too. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you weigh yourself daily, you should certainly weigh yourself at the same time of day when you do get on the scale.

As your body changes throughout the day, with the flow of meals and drinks, you’ll likely find that the best time to weigh yourself is right when you wake up in the morning. Make it the thing you do after undressing to hop in your morning shower.

By weighing at the same time you’ll find that you get a better idea of the progress you’ve made.

Don’t Avoid the Scale

On the flip side, while we would say that you wouldn’t necessarily need to weigh  yourself every single day, it may not be the best to completely avoid the scale either. We become so emotional about what that read out is going to be that we completely ignore it and forget that it’s a valuable tool in our weight loss arsenal. Let’s not forget what the accountability to ourselves does!

Keep Track

Our weight fluctuates. It always will. We’ll have weeks where we’re a bit up and weeks we’re quite a lot down. Keeping track of your weight will allow you to see these fluctuations, measure your progress, and keep track of some normal cycles of your body. It will also help you with the emotion of weighing yourself as you’ll have record of the success you have had – and that’ll keep you going even on a bad day.

woman thinking with clipboard

The Scale Does Not Measure Your Worth

Oh, this one is hard to remember sometimes! That number on the scale slowly creeps up with each half pound and suddenly our self-worth and self-confidence takes a major hit. Don't get discouraged or beat yourself up if your weight is higher than it was a few days ago. Your value is not measured by the number on the scale. You must remember this!

There are so many factors that change our weight that is absolutely normal to see fluctuations. Did you drink enough water? Was your sodium a little high yesterday? Did you have an extra glass of wine or have to miss your normal workout routine?

These factors will change our weight… and it’s perfectly okay.

Your Clothes Cannot Lie

So, when you see that 1 pound bounce on the scale in the wrong direction, remember that your clothes do not lie. You fit in to the pair of pants you couldn’t button last winter. Or maybe your favorite shirt is just a little too baggy now. In fact, some people prefer this method over weighing themselves. If their clothes fit better this month than they did last month, that's positive progress, without the emotional difficulty that associating a number on a scale can do to our self worth.

The Scale Is Just Another Weight Loss Tool

There are many “tools” we use when trying to lose weight. The scale is another one. And while you may see it as the most important measurement of the hard work you’ve done, it’s really not.

Take a look at how your clothes are fitting. Remember the compliments that are pouring in from the friends who are noticing a change. Focus on how the flight of stairs that was difficult to take last month is a breeze this month. These things, often referred to as “non-scale victories” will help keep you focused.

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