Off The Scale

scaleI have to admit that I have had an unhealthy obsession with the scale. In spite of the fact it is a poor day-to-day indicator of body composition, it is a hard habit to break. Some people do just fine with it, but others let it drive them crazy. Do any of these things sound familiar?

  • You are up a pound, so you eat less that day.
  • You are down two pounds, so it’s ok to have dessert that night.
  • You are up one day, down the next, up the next two, etc., and it is driving you crazy figuring out what you are doing “wrong”.

I think most people are susceptible to thinking and feeling this way.

So what’s the solution to keeping track of our body fat (which the scale doesn’t do anyway)?

Phil Maffetone offers some great insight:

“The most practical way to monitor body fat is to not step on a scale, but rather to measure your waist. Measuring your waist is easy, and most people already know if they have gained body fat because their pants fit too tightly or they have had to increase their pants size. If you want to be more accurate, get a tape measure and wrap it around your waist at the level of the belly button, keeping the tape parallel. But don’t do this every day. Just as with the obsession of daily scale weigh-ins, this only contributes to mental-emotional stress we can all do without. This added stress can contribute to fat storage, too. Instead, measure your waist once a month on the same day and time (in the morning before breakfast works well).”

You know the interesting thing is I have a MyoTape sitting on my dresser, and until recently I have chosen to ignore it all too often. I really would rather play “the scale game” than know the truth – is my waist line getting bigger, shrinking, or staying the same? It has always been an accurate indicator of my bodyfat, so for the past 3 months I have been checking it every other week to see what’s going on.

As far as weighing yourself? Research indicates that Wednesdays are the most accurate day of the week. The same research correlates regular weigh-ins as aiding in weight loss, and once a week on Wednesdays seems to be the best.

Taking Action:

  1. Don’t feel like you have to weigh yourself every day. Use the indicators above to see if it’s actually counterproductive.
  2. Measure your waistline at least monthly, I prefer every two weeks.
  3. Weigh yourself and log on Wednesdays.

Remember: Obsessing leads to Second Guessing which leads to Stressing. Let’s break the cycle.


About the author

Coach Dean

Former Fat Boy Turned Health and Fitness Junkie. Award Winning Fitness Business Owner and Trainer. World Class Nutrition Coach. Truth Teller. Scholar. Opinionated. Humble and Willing To Tell You About It. Tell Dean He Is Full Of It On Any Of His Social Media Profiles. He Will Probably Agree.

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