To Weigh, or not to Weigh?

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD  

If you are trying to lose weight, you may have the urge to weigh yourself to keep track of your progress.  

While checking your weight can be a beneficial practice that may promote accountability and weight loss success, it can also be discouraging and hinder progress.  

If you are interested in weighing yourself, take a moment to read the tips in this article to see if this practice would be beneficial for you.  

Is weighing yourself helpful or harmful? 

For some people, stepping on the scale can be as second nature as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. But for others, the act of weighing yourself may be a much less common practice that can even invoke anxiety, fear, and disappointment.  

Before you begin regularly checking your weight, ask yourself if this process will do more harm than good.  

Will stepping on the scale leave you feeling motivated and accountable, regardless of the number? Or will you get discouraged and lose steam in your weight loss journey? Will the flashing number on your scale dictate what you eat and make you obsess over each food choice?  

If the act of weighing yourself makes you feel anxious or disappointed, it’s probably best to avoid this practice and implement other techniques to track your progress.  

Even more, it’s important to remember that scales don’t show the whole picture. Weight fluctuates on a day-to-day basis based on several factors, including your bathroom habits and hydration level. Plus, you could be gaining muscle and improving your body composition even if the number on the scale won’t budge.  

Other strategies for tracking weight loss progress 

Remember the familiar saying, “weight is just a number?” Well, it still holds true. In fact, there are several different ways that you can assess your progress without putting so much “weight” on the number on your scale.  

As you start to eat healthy and incorporate more exercise, you will begin to notice changes to your body composition. Use a piece of clothing to track these changes. For instance, you may have a favorite dress or pair of pants that felt snug before you began your weight loss journey. Try these clothes back on every couple of weeks to see how things have changed!   

You can also track your progress with photos. Snap a photo of yourself at the start of your journey and again at different points throughout the process. You can compare these photos to see how your hard work is paying off!  

If you want to weigh yourself, here’s how to do it 

Some people may see benefits from checking their weight. If you are interested in weighing yourself, decide on a timeline. Will you weigh yourself every day for accountability, or just once a week or month? 

Remember that day-to-day weight fluctuations are normal, and decide on a goal weight range instead of just one number, so that you don’t feel discouraged by losing a pound one day only to gain it back the next. Lastly, weigh yourself at the same time every day without clothes and use the same scale.  

Note from Healthy for Life MealsAre you struggling with weight loss? Don’t get discouraged by the number on the scale! Instead, get started with one of our meal plans today to see results without worrying about meal planning and preparation! 

Stef Keegan