Whether it's looming in the corner at the gym, blinking up at you on your bathroom floor, or hiding in the corner at a friend's house, the scale seems to always be there, ready and waiting for you to hop on. But if weighing yourself has become part of your daily routine, here are some reasons why it may be time to ease up on the frequent weigh-ins.
- Fluctuations are normal. Our weight changes constantly; fluctuations in that number on the scale every day, or even in the same day, are normal. Spend too much time worrying about how you've changed from one weigh-in to the next and any slight increase can be demoralizing and can turn a good day into a bad one.
Read more reasons to stop the daily weigh-in (and what to do instead) after the break.
- You may be gaining muscle weight. You've spent weeks hitting the gym and sticking to your healthy diet, only to not see any downward changes on the scale. What gives? When you exercise, you're building metabolism-boosting muscle, which means that while you're burning fat you may also be surprisingly heavier on the scale. Focusing on that number can be demotivating, especially if you've spent weeks saying no to junk food and forgoing happy hour for the gym.
- There are other reasons to be healthy. Sure, losing weight is a fine goal, but it shouldn't be the only goal in your quest to be healthier. Reducing your risk of disease, living longer, and feeling happier are just a few reasons to exercise and eat healthy. If you make decisions that are all about your weight, you could end up making unhealthy choices like skipping meals.
- Weight doesn't tell the whole story. Even when calculated to your BMI score, your weight doesn't tell you everything. Body fat percentage is more accurate than BMI since it calculates how much of your body is fat compared to muscle. But don't just rely on the scales that calculate body fat (they are often inaccurate). Instead, see if your gym or doctor's office has programs for measuring body fat or sign up for a few personal training sessions.
What to Do Instead
Tracking your weight isn't all bad. Knowing your number is a powerful tool on the road to weight loss. So don't ditch the scale yet, just stop thinking you have to weigh yourself every day. Instead, stick to weigh-ins that are every few days or weekly — find out which frequency works for you to keep you on a healthy, motivated path.