Throw Away Your Scale

You know where it is. That little contraption that holds so much power over us. THE scale. The number it displays doesn’t define you, it’s just there. Does your scale stare you down every morning? Or is it hidden away for ‘special occasions’ when you’ve been sick and want to see how much weight you’ve lost because you’ve been on bed rest and couldn’t hold down any food?! Yea…we’ve all been there.

I had alcohol poisoning many, many NYE’s ago and have never weighed less as an adult woman. 127 pounds. I still remember seeing that wild and crazy number on the scale. I remembered wondering if I could maintain it. But then I flashed back to reality, of course I couldn’t! It was an inaccurate representation of my ideal weight. To be completely transparent, I currently weigh 140 pounds which is just about right for my athletic frame.

I used to be a weekly weigher, sometimes even a daily check in from time to time. The number displayed on the scale didn’t usually affect my mood, but I wasn’t a perfect angel every single time. Definition would creep in. But as a trainer I know daily losses are usually attributed to water weight and not actual fat or muscle loss.

Let me say that again.

Daily weight swings point to water weight loss, not fat.

To achieve optimum health fat loss is key, to a certain extent, but water water weight is just another ebb and flow of our daily bodily functions. You could be hanging on to excess water weight because you’ve recently eaten sodium rich food, are experiencing hormonal issues or it can even come from being dehydrated.

To rid your body of that extra water weight exercise is key as well as eating high sodium and simple, high starch carbohydrates in moderation. Surprise, surprise, eh?

To keep your body flushing water in a healthy way, and not hanging on to the water weight staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet of protein/carb/fat that include water rich and high magnesium foods will help.

So many of my clients and friends talk about their goal weight. What perfect pound measurement they would love to be ‘back at’. In general this is a fine idea, but with my personal training clients some may have never been truly fit before. Their leaner, meaner frame will physically weigh more due to muscle mass.

Plus, our weight fluctuates so much on weekly basis! Seeing the magic number one day and then having it disappear the next can really wrangle your emotions, remember the water weight struggle and how to cope. But what if you focused on fitness instead of weight?

When you see a gorgeous, toned person they likely weigh a bit more than you’d imagine. Simply put, muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle is more dense yet takes up less space than adipose tissue. A strong body is an efficient body!

I find the goal weight conversation circling around new moms as well, and as any mother will tell you your body just isn’t the same post baby, right? The composition changes with pregnancy and childbirth.  Honestly, this is something that instills fear in me when I think of becoming pregnant. But I know the extra weight is just apart of the package (she keeps telling herself while rocking in fetal position)! Hehe, just kidding. Or not.

So, how to get out of a daily weighing routine rut? Break the cycle and try these tips.

Ditch the scale all together!
But how will you know how you’re doing?! Gauge the following instead:

Body Composition
Most personal trainers can measure body composition AKA your body fat and it only takes a couple of minutes, I’ve got my setup down to 60 seconds! It’s practically painless, I promise. There are caliper tests and even electronic handheld machines, these sources aren’t 100% accurate but they will give you a good idea of where you’re at.

Clothes Test
Dedicate a single item of clothing as your ‘fit test’ outfit. Choose something that is form fitting and that doesn’t stretch! This is the best case scenario with clothing to get a feel if your body composition is changing.

Take Pictures
The camera doesn’t lie. Get front, back and side photos for best practices. Keep in mind that no one has to see them but you unless you choose to share. But it can be great for before and after sharing too! Be proud of your results!

OR if you just really can’t imagine getting rid of the scale…

Make a schedule!
Weigh yourself once a week or bi monthly. Take note and notice patterns that will likely match up to your eating schedule. Lots of dinners out may be an explanation for the extra lbs or a seeing a loss because you’ve been on the straight and narrow with your nutrition plan. 80% Nutrition + 10% Training + 10% Genetics = 100% You

Tip for weigh ins: do your best to step on the scale first thing in the morning, after a bathroom break and in the buff. It’s the best case scenario. Trust me!

Photo by Eurri Kim Photography

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11 thoughts on “Throw Away Your Scale

  1. I have learned the scale is not my friend. It plays mind games with me. I agree with you about weighing in everyday and then the next, having all your hope lost because of gaining 1 lb. Now a days I weigh myself at the beginning of the month and check my progress at the end. I also have my goal clothes I am trying to fit into as well. I haven’t been measured in awhile . You just reminded me to get new measurements and see where I am currently. Another tip from me is to put the scale up. I use to keep in the restroom but now I have it put up under the bed, out of sight, our of mind.

  2. I stopped using my scale years ago because it honestly put to much pressure on me. As long as there was a Scanlon my house I couldn’t help but weight myself every morning…. oh and don’t let me be on some crazy diet.. I would weigh myself several times a day. I love the idea of using my clothes to gage if I’m loosing weight. That seem to work best for me. Great read!

  3. Great post! I haven’t stepped on a scale in months but I can visibly tell the difference my diet and exercise are making. I like how I feel and look so that matters most to me. You look great btw! ❤

  4. I used to be a daily scale person to catch any slips ahead of time, but that became too stressful. Now I try to do it once a week, but I really don’t want to get on the scale at all! I agree with you!

  5. You are so right! Ditch it. If I had one I know I would become a problem. I don’t want to be sad and upset because ladies definitely fluctuate weight a lot. You look amazing. I would like to lose 15 pounds. I gained my freshman 15 my junior year of college. I’m hoping to get ride of it this year. haha

  6. This is something a lot of people need to hear. It took me forever to learn too. The scale can be defeating and doesn’t measure the difference in fat vs muscle. I weigh the same from when I started running to now. Except all my clothes are smaller sizes! The only person who uses our scale now is Georgia! Hahaha

  7. I won’t admit to being my healthiest weight, however, I do realize that following the scale is never a good thing. Everyone is different and their weight certainly reflects that.

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