For people struggling to lose weight, the scale can become a source of dread. On one hand, you need it to keep track of your body weight. On the other, it can lead to constant stress, disappointment and a vicious return to unhealthy living. The core idea is to maintain a healthy lifestyle at all times, no matter how many setbacks you encounter. I made a transition from an overweight gamer to a fitness junkie only a couple of years ago by making certain changes. I started using my high speed internet connection to stream home workouts which I then practiced in my room. Not only is TDS internet pricing very competitive, but it also helped me build up a little confidence before hitting the gym. One obstacle I constantly encountered on my road to fitness was the implacable weighing scale. This blog aims to help you avoid this particular obstacle and explain why the scales can be a bad idea.

  1. It’s a Trigger

There is a reason patients being treated for eating disorders are not usually told the results of a weigh-in. The reason is that the scale can discourage a patient significantly. Sometimes to such an extent that they can give up on the progress they’ve made and relapse. It can be similarly counterproductive for people trying to lose weight. The “finality” of the number on the scale has the power to make a person happy or sad which have their own reactions. Weighing more can cause a person to lose hope about getting fitter. Weighing less can cause a person to eat more to “celebrate”. So to avoid getting de-tracked from your fitness journey, avoid putting too much stock in the scales.

  1. Your Happiness Becomes Dependent on It

Let’s say you set yourself a target to eat no junk food all week and to run at least 3 days. You are energized, feeling healthy and confident. And then you step on the scale which shows you have actually gained weight this week. Your pride, confidence and happiness all go out the window. Feeling good about your achievement and hard work is trumped by disappointment. This is one major reason why a lot of people view trying to lose weight as a futile effort. It is not! If the scales weigh more on your mind than the positives from living healthy then it’s time to stay away from them.

  1. You React to It Drastically

Adjusting your calorie intake based on your weight-goal progress is an important part of any weight-loss program. But making food decisions based on what the scale reads in the morning can be a very bad idea. Some people, when dissatisfied with their weight that morning, can avoid eating for the entire day. This not only inhibits your body functions but can even reverse the feeling of achievement you get from progress. Conversely, someone who feels very satisfied with the scales may be tempted to over-eat that day, thinking the scale has given them enough margin. Both reactions are detrimental to your weight-loss goals. Weekly weigh-ins are the norm in most weight-loss progress because they tend to give a better picture than daily weigh-ins which vary because of stress, hormones, sodium intake etc.

  1. You start doing Multiple Daily Weigh-Ins

How frequently you want to track your weight is a matter of personal choice. Doing it once-daily is fine if it helps you feel accountable and good about yourself. Doing it once-weekly is a good strategy to have a wider understanding of your weight progress. The problem is when you start doing multiple daily weigh-ins. Your weight can fluctuate as much as by 5-7 pounds in a day! For someone who is sensitive about weight, this can be a nightmare. It is important to maintain consistency. Once-daily or once-weekly is fine as long as you’re consistently doing the weigh-ins on at the same frequency. What is not okay is being on a constant rollercoaster worrying about weigh-ins on a daily basis.

  1. It’s not a doctor

The most important thing to remember is that the scale is not a doctor. It can only give you one piece of information. It’s like trying to gauge the condition of a car just by looking at its tires. The scale does not take into account hormones, hydration or excrement which can make your weight fluctuate significantly. The scale also cannot tell the difference between fat and muscle mass. It cannot tell you how much fat you’ve lost and how much muscle you’ve gained. A simple physical at the doctor’s is more helpful in terms of this than a weighing scale. Doctors will be able to ascertain your body mass (both fat and muscle) along with tons of other things that the scale cannot. This is going to give you a much clearer idea of where you stand. Make doctor’s appointments regularly if you feel the need to know the exact state of your body’s fitness.

As long as you’re committed to fitness, you will make progress. Switching from Showtime on Optimum Cable to Yoga in Practice or other fitness channels can make all the difference. Remember, the scale cannot measure your will to be the best version of yourself.