I am an advocate of daily weighing. I know that some people hate that, but it’s what works for me.
However, I do understand that it can be emotionally draining to stand on the scale and not see the downward movement you so desperately want or expect.
I tried to lose weight like a bazillion times and tried different scale strategies all the time. Sometimes I would weigh daily, sometimes I would weigh weekly, sometimes I would use an outfit as my gauge of whether I was losing weight, and other times I relied on “feeling.” None of them really worked for me at that point in my life because I wasn’t truly committed to losing weight. No amount of weighing or not weighing made a true difference right then.
Standing on the scale every morning during my successful weight loss experience became part of my routine and I didn’t feel shame when I gained weight or when my weight stayed the same. But even though that was my experience, I understand that not everyone finds that to be true.
You can avoid the scale completely if you want to, but if you still want to weigh regularly or occasionally, here are some ways to not let the scale get you down.
1. Weigh less frequently. Although research studies tend to support regular weigh-ins as a means of maintenance and weight loss, you can just stay off the scale. Make sure you have some form of accountability though and don’t just “guess.”
2. Keep a log. If you really want to weigh regularly but are worried that the fluctuations on the scale will make you crazy, keep a daily log. That’s what I did. Over time I could see where my menstrual cycles affected my weight and made note of how eating a higher sodium restaurant meal caused the scale to swing wildly. Understanding these normal-for-you fluctuations can make regular weigh-ins easier.
3. Remind yourself of all the good decisions you’ve made that week. If you weigh-in once a week or so, but don’t see the results you expect, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, remind yourself of all the good things you did that week. When I hit plateaus in my weight loss efforts, reminding myself I was doing what I knew I needed to be doing helped a lot.
4. Don’t talk bad about yourself. I know this one seems like a no-brainer, but don’t use “fat talk” to put yourself down. If the scale doesn’t make you happy, talking bad about yourself definitely won’t.
5. Measure in other ways. It’s important to not rely completely on the scale to tell you whether you are doing well. Make sure to take other measurements be it body measurements, fitness measurements, or improvements in emotional well-being.
Weighing yourself shouldn’t bring shame. Instead it should provide you a glimpse of where you are that day, not who you are, what you are worth, or how well you have done thus far. I believe the scale can be a valuable, encouraging tool for most people if they just look at it as a partner in their weight loss effort and not the only way to measure success.
How do you handle weigh-ins? Daily, weekly, regularly, or you’ve thrown the scale away. Diane