If you believe that “scale” should be a four-letter word, then read on. Maybe you obsess over the number you see whenever you step on. Maybe you avoid it because you just don’t want to be disappointed. Or maybe you weigh yourself frequently, moving it to different places, leaning in different directions all in the hopes of seeing the lowest number possible. If that sounds like you, then it’s time to develop a healthier relationship with your scale.
Here are three ways to stop hating your scale:
1) Know that your scale lies.
Realize up front that the number you see when you step onto your scale doesn’t tell the whole story. So stop obsessing about that one number and instead start looking at your body composition. How your clothes fit and your body measurements tell a much more accurate story. So take a minute to realize how your clothes are fitting (loose, snug or about the same?). You don’t need a number to tell you if your body has changed…for the good or the bad. Then, pull out the tape measure to know your measurements. Write them down, measure again in a few weeks and compare those numbers over time.
2) Schedule your weigh-ins.
I recommend weighing yourself at the same time every week. If you feel a need to weigh yourself more often, then do it every day, but always at the same time. Weighing yourself at the same time will give you a consistent sample of information. Sporadic weigh-ins cause problems because your weight can fluctuate due to various factors. Your last meal, your last bowel movement, the amount of salt in your diet, hormones and even the earth’s rotation can affect your weight, causing it to fluctuate a few pounds from day to day. So be consistent and track your weight over time to get a better understanding of whether you are gaining, losing or maintaining.
3) Be realistic.
Too often I hear people saying they want to hit a magic number, but that number is not realistic or, at times, even healthy. Maybe it was a fine number at one point, but it may no longer be. Make sure that number makes sense for your body type and the amount of muscle you have. If you are strength training, add 4 to 5 extra pounds to that number because muscle weighs more than fat (see #1 and how clothes fit for another indication of whether or not you’ve hit your goal).
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