Ditch the Scales!
“Ditch the scales” aren’t usually words you hear from a weight loss expert but they are words based on many years of experience helping clients lose weight.
There are a few reasons I recommend ‘ditching the scales’ and here they are:
- When you start on your weight loss journey, you begin cleaning up your diet and start to exercise too. You might be doing really well and losing fat weight and gaining some muscle – great progress you might think, and yes, I would agree. However… when you step on the scales – no change! Cue the disappointment, frustration, upset kicking in (think Operation Transformation dramas!). When what has probably happened is that you lost 2 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle so they balanced each other out. This won’t happen every week but it is something I often see in the first few weeks of women’s weight loss journey.
- Weight is just one measure of health and it is not the most important one. Fitness has shown to be a much better predictor of your overall health that either the weight on the scales or your BMI. The majority of women who work with me want to lose weight for health reasons so looking at other measures of health (such as fitness, wellbeing etc) and actually more important.
- You are so much more than your weight! Your weight is just a reflection of the vertical force exerted by your body as a result of gravity! Why would you let something as boring as that (!) dictate how you are going to feel for the rest of the morning, the day or even the week. Yeah, crazy isn’t it!
So, here is my advice….yes, ditch the scales and if you must bring it out once a month – max! Yes, you heard it right – weigh yourself once a month – no more than that. Ensure you are using the same scales so the measures are comparable. Then look at your number with interest rather than obsession
Also, along with your weight loss goal, choose other measures such as the time it takes you to complete a mile, rating your energy levels on a scale from 0-10 or how well you are sticking to your healthy eating habits.
One of the best alternative measures I use, is ‘Before and After’ photos – they are just amazing at showing up difference in body composition and are way more effective than a scales in my experience. Irrespective of what change you may or may not see on the scales, your body shows you the real change.
Just to illustrate how improving your diet and exercising can make a massive difference which may or may not be reflected on the scales, I want to share the experience of a couple of clients of mine with you.
In the first before and after photo there is little change in the scales (just a few pounds) but you can see a clear difference in body composition.
In both of Lynsey’s photos below she is roughly the same weight…but look at the difference in her. On the right, after cleaning up her diet and exercising she is just glowing! You can see the difference in her face, her skin, her eyes.
So hopefully, this shows you how putting too much emphasis on the scales is not the best way forward on a weight loss journey – particularly if your goal is to improve your health at the same time. Remember – Your weight does not reflect anything about you other than the vertical force exerteded by your body as a result of gravity!
Or in other words, please never let your weight define you or your self-worth : )
If you are interested in learning more about Ailis’ effective approach to weight loss, check out her INSPIRE program here.