The Scale – Use it Wisely

The scale is my guide and my disciplinarian although at times it may feel like my worst enemy! There are mixed reviews as to how often you should weigh yourself. Some say daily, some say weekly, some even say the numbers on the scale are irrelevant as long as you are healthy and in good shape. It is important to choose which of these theories works best for you. I also believe that it is important to use your scale wisely as it can become too much of a focal point.

Daily Weigh In

I am a daily-weigh-in kinda girl, but it’s not to see what my actual weight is as much as it’s to see if there is movement in the right direction. By checking in daily, I am able to monitor any progress I have made. If I see a gradual loss it is both encouraging and indicative of how effective the diet and fitness plan that I have chosen is for me. If there is little to no weight loss, I can decide whether or not to try something different or adjust the current plan. I have tried many food plans that did not work for me. I have also tried several that have been beneficial. For me, checking in every day keeps me from wasting time on a plan that doesn’t agree with my system.

Other people prefer to only weigh in weekly or monthly. A daily weigh in can be discouraging because there are definite fluctuations. Water retention, a higher calorie burn, or a higher calorie intake (even a healthy one) can raise or lower your weight by a pound or two daily. In some cases, even more. If you are not prepared for these daily fluctuations it can be very disappointing. This disappointment can cause some people to give up altogether. If this is how you feel, you may want to try a weekly or monthly weigh in schedule.

Weekly or Monthly Weigh In

A weekly or monthly weigh in can provide a clearer over all picture of your progress. If you have the patience to wait a longer time frame to check your progress, and your weight loss strategy has been effective, you will see a larger decrease in the numbers on the scale. This will be very encouraging and provide you with the positive feedback that you need to continue on your journey. As with the daily weigh ins, if the progress is less than expected, you can adjust your plan and carry on.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

It is very common to set unachievable goals. It’s also common to choose an extreme diet that promises unrealistic results. Both of these scenarios set you up for failure. Be sure that the eating and exercise plan that you are following are healthy. They also have to be sustainable. If you cannot fit your plan into your lifestyle on a permanent basis, then you will be setting yourself up for failure. Some plans may take a bit longer to get you to your goal, but if they fit into your routine you will eventually get where you want to be.

People get very hung up on the NUMBER they have chosen as their goal weight. This can be discouraging as this magic number may not be feasible according to your specific physical make up. Try to choose a weight range instead. When you get close to your goal, even if you are eating right and exercising regularly, there will almost inevitably be a major slowdown in the weight loss. Your shape will usually continue to change but the numbers don’t necessarily. This is when trouble starts and it’s important to use the scale wisely. People tend to give up and slowly go back to old habits, or they tend to go to the extremes of dieting. Don’t panic. If you never get to that magic number, it’s alright. If your are within a healthy weight range, don’t worry. Stop for a moment and take a look at your reflection. Note how successful you have been and healthy you are feeling. It may be that your ideal weight is right where you are.

The Scale is a Tool.

I always use the scale as a guide and nothing more. If I lose a little – great. If I gain a little I will be aware of it and it will try not to let it go any further. It gives me the opportunity to assess and adjust my current plan and continue to work toward healthy goals. How I feel physically and how I feel when I look in the mirror are the best guides to my “ideal weight”.