Step Away from the Scale

Thanks to the incredible Withings Body Fat Scale I received to review months ago I've been able to keep a pretty awesome record of my weight (top row) and body fat (bottom) since October.

Weight and Body Fat

As you can see my daily weigh-in's fluctuates substantially! In early November it looks like I went from 113 to 109 in 2 days and you can see some strange spikes again in January and February. Overall though you can see my average (the white line) has stayed pretty steady for 5 months now. Daily weight fluctuations like that are normal and due to a variety of factors like overall hydration levels and what time of the month it is.

Since I can clearly see that my weight will stay them same if I continue to maintain the daily calories/exercise I have been I have decided to give up the scale. At least on a daily basis. I realized weighing in daily had become counter-productive. If I saw that I had gained half a pound since the day before I would feel a little bummed even though I know I didn't actually eat an additional 1750 calories (one pound equals 3500) and that the artificial gain was temporary and likely due to other factors.

No matter how much I know and understand rationally - it just feels like shit to get on the scale and see it go up. I didn't want to start my days off feeling like that anymore so I've taken the scale out of the bathroom and put it up in my closet. It was a little weird the first few days to not get on the scale like I always do. After a few days though I actually began to feel better not worrying about what the scale would say. I walk into the bathroom now and, I know it sounds cheesy, but I smile where I see the empty corner where the scale used to be! I'm happy with where I'm at now weight wise so I may just use my pants as a guide. If they ever start to get to tight/loose I'll adjust my eating/exercising. I may still weight in once a week on Sundays just to see where I'm at but I can see myself forgetting to even do that now that I'm not in the habit of it.

Besides, there are so many better indicators of overall health:

  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Inches lost
  • Clothing sizes dropped
  • Increased strength as indicated by using heavier weights in your workout
  • Faster run times
  • How do you feel? This is much more important than a number!

I'm not advocating that anyone should stop trying to reach health or weight loss goals. I just think if your engaging in an activity that has developed a negative connotation to it (like weight in daily has for me) then it may be time to explore new ways to track your progress. Your weight is just one stupid little number that doesn't take into consideration many other, more reliable and important, indicators of health.

Further Reading:

Explanation of Weight Fluctuation by a Doctor on CNN

Dread the Scale? 5 Reasons to Stop Weighing Yourself on Huffington Post



How often do you weight yourself?

Do you think you would be happier if you stopped? Or cut back?