To Scale or Not To Scale

When working towards a fat loss goal, the question is . . .
Do you or do you not “scale”?

Do you step on the scale everyday, meticulously tracking the ups and downs? Do you jump on it once a week, keeping your mind off the number most days? Or do you skip the scale altogether and simply navigate your transformation using the markers of how you look and feel? (also the “jeans test”)

Here’s a closer look at each method:

The Everyday Method:

There’s a large school of the thought that says in order to lose the most weight in the shortest amount of time you must get on the scale everyday.

Weigh yourself at the same time, preferably first thing in the morning, wearing as little as possible. Record the daily number and react accordingly. If your weight has gone up then make modifications to your diet (eat less calories) and to your workouts (exercise harder). If your weight has lowered then keep on doing what you’re doing, because it’s working.

Everyday Method Pros:

There is research that backs this as a reliable method. In a Journal of Obesity Study, published in 2015, researchers at Cornell University found that participants who tracked their weight daily for two years were more successful in both losing weight and keeping it off than participants who skipped daily weigh-ins.

Everyday Method Cons: Facing the scale daily can be discouraging for some, due to normal fluctuations in water retention, which can take a toll psychologically. Those who get discouraged enough may give up on their transformation quest entirely. Others may get obsessive about their weight causing an unhealthy compulsion to develop.

The Never Method:

In opposition to the Everyday Method is the Never Method – as in, NEVER get on the scale. This method requires that you rely on natural markers rather than numbers and that you pay close, attention to how you feel and how your clothes fit.

Never Method Pros: No more feeling terrible when the number on your scale tells you that you’ve gained another 5 pounds! No more obsessing over a number! Your self esteem will be untouched and you’ll experience a form of freedom.

Never Method Cons: If you don’t keep close tabs on how you feel and how your clothes fit then this method easily results in pounds adding up gradually over time. It is very difficult to notice weight gain that takes place at a very gradual rate without the use of a scale.

The Once Per Week Method:

A once per week weigh-in is the most popular method. Getting on the scale on the same day, at the same time each week, is a compromise between daily and never. It’s the compass method: frequent enough to notice when you begin to drift off track, but infrequent enough to not intrude on your life in a negative way.

Once Per Week Method Pros: You only have to use the scale once per week, which is a blessing if the scale makes you feel stressed. It’s frequent enough to bring gradual weight gain to your attention before it gets too far out of hand.

Once Per Week Method Cons: Getting on the scale once every seven days does allow a handful of pounds to add up before you notice, which simply won’t happen with daily weigh-ins. Weight gained in a single week can take more than another week to lose.

The Best Method:

The truth is that there’s no universal right way to monitor your fat loss progress in order to stay on track. The method that you choose should be the one that positively supports you towards your goals. Since you know yourself better than anyone, think long and hard about the method that is best for you.

My most successful clients KNOW that they are losing weight because they wake up each day feeling lighter, leaner and healthier!

Many of my members have lost 20-80 lbs by simply changing their eating habits (not the same as diets), exercising regularly and focusing on their goals and how important those goals are to them.

Remember, I am here to support and propel you in your weight management/fat loss transformation. I even know clinical nutritionists/doctors who would be more than willing to help you out too. If you aren’t currently one of my amazing clients then now is the time to call or email me to get yourself on the right track. Let’s do this together!