How to Avoid Shame on the Scale

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

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


  1. Susan says

    I weigh in daily even though I have been in maintence a long time now. Without the weigh ins its too easy to kid myself. I am a numbers kind of girl I like to see it in black and white DAILY honest accountability.
    There are times when you get numb to the number then you go by the fit of your clothes. It feels good to be able to wear your clothes season in and out.
    I need the daily weigh ins or I fear I would eventually go right back up the scale all the way to 197 and beyond.

  2. Gigi says

    Thank you so much, I really needed to read this. I got on the scale this morning and was a little discourage that it didn’t go down. But I had to tell myself, I worked hard this week and it’s one day at a time. And I’ll get there.

  3. Kathy says

    Thank you so much!!!!!!
    This is so refreshing and encouraging to read. I too had a lot of success when I weighed daily; and when I stopped and let my weigh-ins slide my numbers went up. All of the “experts” tell us that it is bad to weigh ourselves daily, but I firmly believe we have to do what WORKS for us individually. For me, the scale was a friend, a daily reminder, a bit of encouragement that I was making progress; and even when it didn’t move at all I knew that within a dew days to a week it would move if I stayed on track.
    Unfortunately I had a lot of naysayers around during my weight loss journey who’d claim I was fine, didn’t need to lose weight and told me I was pleasantly plump; but the numbers just don’t lie.
    Tight size 16 pants don’t lie
    BMI doesn’t lie
    High blood pressure doesn’t lie
    The scale doesn’t lie
    …….but to keep from hurting your feelings, people in your life WILL…..
    So my friend the scale is here to stay.

  4. says

    We too are advocates of daily weighing. Weighing frequently can a great tool to make sure you are meeting your goals either in weight loss or in maintenance. The more you can confront the number, the less that number can define “who” you are. It is only an indication of your weight, not your worth as a person.
    Jen at Thingineering recently posted…When Is That Jacket Too Big?My Profile

  5. Janis says

    Diane, you know I don’t struggle with my weight, but I want to say that I also weigh myself daily to keep an eye on things. I never used to, but when I entered my 40s, I decided it was a good idea. I just want to say that as a counterexample to the belief that once someone loses weight, they never have to step on the scale again. When someone has been fighting with their weight for a long timer, they can often create a sort of false paradise that they’ll lose the weight and be able to stop thinking about it, or that there are magic people out there with magic metabolisms who never have to weigh themselves. I’m an example that even someone who has been thin her whole life still keeps an eye on her weight. Dealing with daily fluctuations is easier for me since I don’t have baggage associated with it and since I’m not haunted by food, but no matter who you are, you will always need to keep track somehow

  6. says

    I used to weigh myself every day, but I did find myself getting discouraged more often than feeling encouraged. So, now I weigh myself weekly, and that gives my body a chance to have a net loss over seven days. So far so good. I think what works for individual people, though, is what they should stick with. If daily works, then stick with daily! :-)
    BlessedMama recently posted…Mini TostadasMy Profile

  7. Martha G says

    I weigh in three times/week on Tuesday, Weds and Thursday. I know weighing on the weekend or Monday will make me crazy because I usually eat more and drink on the weekend. So Tuesday is the highest weight for me and by Thursday (my official WI day) i’m where I want to be.
    I need the scale to keep me honest. I’m 5’8″ and can gain 10 pounds and my clothes will still fit so the scale is important to catch more than a 1-2 pound gain.

  8. says

    Yep, I am a daily weigher too…it keeps me accountable! But when I’m up a few pounds I really struggle with the “talking bad to myself” I try not to beat myself up over the same couple of pounds….sometimes it makes me crazy! But it’s the life I live and I just suck it up and get to it.

  9. says

    Hi! Hope you are having a great week! This post is great, I have gotten away from weighing myself everyday and want to get back to that. I have been in maintence long enough I haven’t really thought too much about it and when I do hop on the scale once a week or so I’m usually in my 3 lb range but the reason I want to get back to doing it everyday is it will make me think twice about those little temptations here and there since I have to be accountable the next day to the scale. Thanks for the motivation daily on your blog, I so appreciate of it.

  10. says

    I weigh in every day, but have an “official” weigh-in once a week (on Fridays). I try not to let the small ups or downs discourage or excite me too much, as I have seen just how quickly and often unexplainably things can change.

    I did still manage to put weight back on, even with continuing to weigh every day. At least the scale has been moving in the right direction (for the most part, it sure seems stuck of late!)
    JenB recently posted…Weekly Weigh-In (#34)My Profile

  11. says

    I weigh every morning. I find that I do much, much better when I weigh regularly. I have a Withings scale which records my weight and uploads it so I don’t have to keep a log myself. I find that I get less crazed about normal fluctuations in weight if I am weighing daily. When I stop weighing daily is when I start to get off track. I’ve found that if I gain less than 5 pounds I get back on track with my weight loss easily. But if I let myself gain more than 5 pounds, I find it harder to get back on track. Daily weighing helps me not to gain more than 5 pounds.
    Kitty recently posted…Friday Weigh-InMy Profile

  12. says

    Another great topic, Diane!!!

    I’m a daily weigher. I record the data at My fitness Pal and move on. My slippery slope thinking ALWAYS lead me back to emotional/binge eating without the data. I could make things up in a second. Now I know I’ll be weighing in so I make better food choices meal-in meal out.

    I’ve also been able to identify food that are inflammatory to me without expensive allergy testing. I would not have noticed that the preservative in a type of shrimp was not good for me had I not had the weight data. In shrimp without the preservative, I’m okay to eat it. Amazing. Poor man’s allergy testing. :)

    No shame, no blame the scale is a critical part of both weight maintenance AND my overall health. It’s a tool. I use it.
    Karen P recently posted…Indoor temperature and weight loss- weight maintenanceMy Profile

  13. says

    Yup, I’m a daily weigher! I find when I “avoid the scale” it’s because I don’t want to be accountable…and reminded…of how I’ve let my eating slide. I don’t put weight on b/c I enjoyed 1 brownie for my birthday…I put on weight b/c I enjoyed a pan of brownies on subsequent “Friday nights”! By weighing daily, I am able to see how restaurant eating…illness…holiday/celebrations…and sometimes, sheer laziness, affect the scale. But, for others, the daily weigh-in can be a disservice and I understand that. I just get frustrated when doctors and nutritionists chastise me for weighing daily…when I know myself well enough to know that when I stop… my weight-loss efforts begging to slide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge