Don't Be Afraid of the Scale

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

What the scale says isn't always a good indicator of your weight loss progress! Don't ditch the scale, but don't let it discourage you with misleading data.

Loosing weight is hard enough. Being lead by numbers on a scale can make it even more difficult. I know you've heard it a thousand times, but it bears repeating; permanent weight loss is about changing your lifestyle, not about some two week "weight loss challenge"

“What the scale says isn't always a good indicator of your weight loss progress! Don't ditch the scale, but don't let it discourage you with misleading data.”

The scale can be a great way to gage your progress and for reaching your weight loss goal. Seeing those numbers going down or counter clock-wise can be a real motivator. I am personally one of those people who use the scale to motivate myself. But for some, the scale can lead to a negative experience and can actually discourage you from sticking to your diet or weight loss program. Here is the typical scenario: You've been doubling down on your workouts, sticking to your diet. You step on the scale and it shows no progress at all, or even worse that you've put on a pound or two!

The scale doesn't tell the whole story.

The scale can sometimes make it appear that you are making no progress, when in reality you actually are. For example, experts say that the average person should get out and walk at least 20 minutes a day, (40-45 minutes is much better). Doing this alone, you won't see much going on when you step on the scale. But what about the back pain you don't seem to have anymore? What about your joints feeling better? What about being able to sleep through the night and waking up feeling much better? A brisk, daily 45 minute walk will force your bodily systems to do things they would not do if you're sitting on your couch watching Netflix every night. "For example, when you start exercising, the progress you make is happening inside your body. Your heart is learning how to pump blood more efficiently, your body is creating more mitochondria in response to this new demand, and your muscles are getting stronger to adapt to your workouts. These are things that simply won't show up on a scale" says Paige Waehner over at the Very Well Fit website.

Don't focus on the weight loss, but the things you need to do to achieve your goals

Remember this if you don't remember anything else in this post: there are some overweight people that are healthier than people who weigh less than they do! Loosing weight is generally a by-product of a set of activities that come down to loosing more calories than you take into your body. That's it. There is nothing necessarily healthy about that. It is quite easy to eat 1200 calorie meal and erase the 1000 calories you lost on a 45 minute run, but the other benefits you gain from that run may not necessarily be seen on the scale. Focus on being healthy, getting fit, and staying active. Make it a goal to get out to the gym everyday and to work out for 45 - 1hour.

You may not be able to do that in the first few weeks or months, but at least you are on the path to achieving it! The weight will eventually come off. It may depend upon where you start. For example, someone who starts exercising at 180 lbs is going to have an easier time than someone who starts at 200 lbs. It may depend upon your body make up. Some bodies can simply loose weight faster than others genetically. There is nothing you can do about your genetic make up, but what you have control over is how you think and what you think.

The Bottom line is this: my ideal weight is 200 lbs. I am 6'1". I would much rather be 215 and feel great, than 185 and feel like crap because used some extreme weight -loss diet program that wasn't a good fit for my body and lifestyle.

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