Generally speaking, we’re not huge fans of bathroom scales. Obviously, if you have spent time on our blog, you know that we care about healthy weight management, exercising right and eating a balanced diet. But, a scale can often lead you to obsess over a number and not your health goals.
You learn to listen to your body when you get rid of your bathroom scale. You also exercise just for the sake of exercising. You can focus on your long-term goals rather than the slight daily fluctuations. And your sense of self-worth can go up. We’re not advocating ignoring weight loss goals. We’re simply saying that numbers aren’t always the best approach for everyone. Often a great idea is to have a piece of goal clothing. You can try it on once a week and see how it fits you. You can feel better when you focus on your results rather than a number. Plus, muscle weighs more than fat. If you are focused on nothing but the falling number on a scale, you are in danger of losing muscle weight instead of fat.
However, as we have said in many blogs, we know that people approach their health journey in all different ways. Some people like scales. And, if you are on a diet from a doctor, you may have a specific number you need to hit. We respect everyone’s health goals, even if they aren’t what we would generally suggest. Health isn’t a “one size fits all” situation!
If you like bathroom scales as a weight management tool, or need to use one, there is a right way to do it. Weighing yourself daily, in the morning, naked after you use the bathroom will help you get the most accurate number. You should do it at the same time daily. And you should expect your weight to fluctuate by one to two pounds a day so take the average of the week to know what you actually weigh.
“You need to know that number on a consistent basis to help you manage your weight to make better decisions about your health,” said Dr. Holly Wyatt, a professor of nutrition sciences at the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham.
In a study of dieters who were overweight, people who weighed themselves daily and tracked their results lost more weight and kept more of it off. That was especially true for men in the study. The researchers believed the scale “forces you to be aware of the connection between your eating and your weight.”
If you don’t want to get on a scale, but a piece of clothing is not an accurate enough measuring system, a cloth measuring tape may be your best choice. Muscle is denser than fat. You lose inches while not losing pounds when you lose fat and gain muscle. That’s the healthiest way to change your weight if you are currently out of shape.
Measuring inches instead of pounds can be a great middle ground between not tracking your progress and getting on a scale. You’ll see the results of your work, but you won’t have a possibly misleading number to obsess over. No matter what you choose, we wish you well as you work toward your goal!