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4 Signs It's Time to Step Off the Scale

Does Weight Weigh Heavily on Your Mind?

108 Comments



  • I can't handle scales, so I don't. I stick to my diet better when I just focus on eating plan and how my clothes fit or change size. :-) - 6/17/2016 9:40:35 PM
  • I was a twice a day scales person . after the story i going to work on 1 time a day and aiming for 1 time a week as my goal. a good reminder that daily weight and more often is not a sparky thing to do it just makes nuts. - 6/17/2016 2:24:16 PM
  • Because "weight" continues to be a method of judgment in our society I am all for using the scale in a way that is most useful to the individual. The individual is the only person who truly knows their relationship with the scale. There are so many types of body weight scales and the variance between them can prove to be a nerve-wracking experience. First, find a scale you can "trust" and weigh yourself on that scale only for continuity. Second, if you decide to weigh daily and then average the results, weigh at the same time of day in the same state of undress and after "elimination" (this does not refer to purging as that is symptomatic of an eating disorder). Try to duplicate the same "weigh-in" circumstance each time you weigh, whether daily/weekly/monthly.

    IMHO a person needs to find a level of weigh-in behavior that is most comfortable to them. I've tried many methods and the method I feel most uncomfortable with is the "no weighing ever" method because as that relates to me it is the method that insures continual weight gain. As much as I hate weighing myself, I know exactly what happens when I "ostrich it". I am a proponent of "if it benefits your health and body and it's legal" try it to see if it works. Everyone needs to find their own best way. The most important thing to remember is that doing all you can to keep your body as healthy as possible with good nutrition, plenty of good, clean water and regular exercise will help you reach your goals. If your only goal is weight loss there are many paths to take to reach that goal. If your goal is improved overall health and becoming more physically fit, then your scale weight should not be your #1 priority and can be moved to a lower position on your "list". - 6/17/2016 12:31:15 PM
  • Oh those numbers in our lives! I wonder if the number messing with our mind is our blood pressure reading, cholesterol level, blood sugar result or even the balance in our checkbook, would the advice be to ditch the measuring tool and stop thinking about it? Perhaps facing the facts, adjusting our mindset and evaluating the causes of the worrisome numbers would be another option? - 2/23/2016 7:40:22 AM
  • I don't have a scale in my home for the very reason that it can become an obsession very quickly. But, I do weigh outside my home - every 1 - 2 weeks - with a free system in our grocery store called HIGI - it also can check blood pressure and calculate BMI and the records are accessible whenever I want to see/use them. I also am rebeginning to do a weight tracker on SPARK that has been helpful in the past. . - 2/18/2016 11:21:33 AM
  • If a relationship works, use it. If the relationship does not work, break it. I know some people like their scale and that's all good. My relationship with the scale was abusive and detrimental to my health. I have had to ditch my scale. I had 3 of the 4 points listed in this article. There are too many variables to weight. I have decided to let all of the other measurements count more.
    How do my clothes fit?
    Am I stronger?
    Is my size shrinking?
    Can I breath better?
    Can I dance longer, throw further, sleep better?? That is what I look at.
    Everyone has something that works for them. The scale does not work for me. I have a great video of me taking a sledgehammer to my scale. It was one of the most liberating things I have ever done! send me a message and I'll send you the link! - 2/1/2016 1:36:16 PM
  • QUEEN-AM
    I used to be a weekly weigher and did lose the majority of my weight (more than 100 pounds over two decades) that way. However for me, daily weighing is now the norm. I log in a phone app that shows me the trend and the daily fluctuations do not bother me, instead they set me free from putting too much worry over just one weigh in because I see that it is a process, not a destination and have learned more about how my body works than I ever did with just one scale session a week. - 7/7/2015 10:16:37 AM
  • HENRI8341
    Weighing in everyday is how I lost my way. I have it that now I weigh myself once a month. Yep, guarantee that I lose at least a 1 to 4 pounds. As far as the everyday thing, I let my clothes be the indicator. But if weighing in everyday works for some then go for it. It's all about staying focused and getting healthy.
    - 6/17/2015 9:22:02 PM
  • STORMLOVER614
    I agree with the daily weighers. For me, it's the weekly weighing in that is more depressing, because it may be exactly what BOBG1 describes, a salty, beer-induced, water weight morning. His point of taking the lowest reading for the week might be the way to go after all... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/w
    eight-loss-tip-scale-weigh-yourself_n_
    1844340.html has a similar focus over a month-- take the average of the weekly readings... that's the actual weight loss. I like the idea of doing that over the course of a week instead... I find a month is too long to give me any feedback. If it's not working, I want to know a little quicker than that if I want to tweak something.
    And of course, averages if you're a woman... Ah to have the same body composition and hormones at all times... but I digress... - 1/28/2015 1:52:11 PM
  • CRAMPERELLA
    If your self-esteem is based on a number on a scale, stay off of it. I suffer from an eating disorder and it was the first thing my doctor told me to avoid. Weight by itself is not a determinant of health. Your behaviours are more important than numbers. Eat well, sleep well and exercise. Don't rely on external confirmation of your self-worth. - 10/11/2014 12:37:41 PM
  • Weighing daily definitely keeps me on track. I even went the extra mile recently and bought a wifi scale, so I can't fudge the numbers. They go right into Sparkpeople automatically from Fitbit. - 9/4/2014 11:39:33 AM
  • LUPE_SEIN
    Typo: In the next-to-last paragraph, the word "rust" should be "trust." ("If you are, then rust that your body[...]") - 9/2/2014 1:15:58 PM
  • BOBG01
    It is because of the fluctuations that I weigh myself every day. I used to only weigh myself first thing Monday moring. Then one Sunday I went to a picnic and lost control. I binged and drank a bunch of beers. On Monday morning I weighed myself and the scale said I gained four pounds. Well the device has yet to be invented that could measure the amount of self loathing I felt at that instant. I am a grown man and I wanted to break down and cry. I worked very hard all week, even keeping my calories at the bottom of my range for most of the week. I exceeded my exercise goals. I even ate before the picnic so as not to binge, and yet I binged, and now six days of hard work were down the drain with a four pound weight loss.

    I tried to do damage control and estimate to the best of my ability how many calories I had consumed on Sunday. To my best estimate, I went over my calories for the day by a whopping 2600 calories. I also reminded myself that I ate at the bottom of my range on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Worst case scenario, I should have gained a pound at most, but more likely, not lost anything. To have gained four pounds I would have needed to eat 14,000 calories over my range. So I tried not to let it bother me. When Tuesday morning came around I weighed myself again and I was back to where I had been the previous Monday. No loss is certainly better than a gain, and it was as I expected, I hadn't gained four pounds it was impossible. Also, I hadn't lost four pounds in a single day, that's impossible too. So when Wednesday came around I weighed myself again. I was thrilled to see that I was now a pound less than the previous week. Imagine if I had only weighed myself on Monday? Sure I would be thrilled to following Monday to see that I lost five pounds, but I would have spent an entire week of agonizing, putting myself down, and generally feeling depressed-OVER ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. On Sunday I overate salty foods and washed it down with six beers. That extra weight was all that stuff inside my body, NOT fat. Now I weigh myself several times a week and use my lowest reading as the official weight for the week.

    If you want to break your negative relationship with the scale, you need to understand what the scale is telling you and not put too much emphasis on a number. If you are trying to lose weight (body fat) the healthy way, you should be losing 1 to 2 pounds a week. The problem is that the magnitude of daily fluctuations of body weight that have nothing to do with body fat are equal or greater than the amount of fat you are trying to lose each week. You can still be losing fat, but the scale might tell you otherwise for a variety of reasons.

    Another thing to consider is that if you are building muscle it can show up as weight gain as well. I have also found that fluctutions you see can simply be the scale. When I first started dieting I had a very old scale that had been around for years. I found that I could get different readings depending on how I stood on the scale, and even if I leaned one way or the other. I went out and invested in a good quality scale and calibrated it against our shipping scale at work. My new scale really isn't sensitive to how I stand on it, but I have noticed that if I put any part of my foot on the piece in the center I can get a lower reading. So when I do take a reading, I step off the scale, step back on, and check again. I do this before I get into the shower and after I get out. I want to make sure my reading stays consistent.

    The scale really is a way to track a trend. How often you weigh yourself and what day is rather arbitrary. LIke I mentioned earlier, I used to weigh myself first thing every Monday. There is nothing special about that day. Even if I did weigh myself on other days, I did not count those readings because it wasn't the official Monday weigh in. How silly it all seems to me now. Over time, tracking your weight will allow you to develop a general trend. - 8/27/2014 3:08:36 PM
  • I'm completely siding with the daily weigh-in folks. I completely understand the physiology of daily weight fluctuations, but if I weighed in weekly and got an unpleasant result I would never know if it were a fluke or not--maybe it's even a low number and my trended weight would be even higher! I'm not bothered by the day to day changes, in fact, I expect a gain after a big loss just because that's the pattern my body follows. Slightly down, slightly down, slightly down, large drop, moderate to large gain, then the pattern begins again. My trend line, however, is aggressively down and that's all that matters. Daily weighing gives one a great sense of our natural rhythms. Sometimes my best weigh-ins are after meals I expect to tip the scales! - 8/27/2014 12:17:18 PM
  • I think it just depends on what works for you. I actually weigh myself at least once a day to prevent myself from going crazy! If I see my weight go up two pounds in 24 hours, I pretty much know that it's either water weight or an inaccuracy in the scale. If I only weighed myself once a week and saw my weight go up two pounds, I'd probably panic. I've actually found that the more I weigh myself, the more little changes to the number on the scale are rendered meaningless. - 8/27/2014 1:38:42 AM

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