The Scale: Ally Or Enemy In The Weight Loss Battle

Weight loss is a battle. I don’t care how you look at it. Sometimes in life, you have upper hand. Other times, you give in and happy hour with the boys gets the best of you. The key to gaining the upper hand in the battle on weight loss is to stay consistent in your battle, minimize the losses, and create a lifestyle change that will always win the battles throughout the longevity of your life.

I know this is easier said than done. If I knew how to snap my fingers and make you instantly change your ways to create a healthier, happier, stress free life, I would be a very rich man. But I can’t. It takes hard work, determination, dedication, and making lasting changes in your life that stick. Yes, it isn’t glorified, but it works.

Many people try to use a scale to manage their weight loss goals. Some people have even had success doing that. And I am sure that you will have success as well watching your weight every single day, but how long that success lasts will vary tremendously. True, the scale can be a great tool to monitor your progress. However I highly recommend hiding your scale to get the best, longest lasting results. And here is why:

STOP LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS

Think about the science of your so-called “weight”. Weight is nothing more than the pull of gravity on your mass. If you were on the moon, where there is a less pull of gravity, you would weigh less. A scale does exactly what it is suppose to to: it measures your weight. Which, don’t get me wrong, is an OK indicator of how you are doing. For the majority of people, their mass is an indicator of their health. You still have the muscle weight vs. fat weight yada yada yada, but it is an OK indicator. However people get so caught up in “weight loss” that they miss the bigger picture of getting healthy. Health is a LIFE LONG commitment. If you are eating healthy, staying active, ensuring your mental health is in check, is there any reason to look at a scale? NFL players “weigh” a whole heapin’ bunch. But they are such elite level athletes that you cannot base their health on their weight. People who suffer from anorexia “weigh” very little. But they are very unhealthy. You simple cannot go off a scale along to judge your weight.

But How Do I Know I Am On The Right Track?

People like scales because they show them the path. It isn’t the right path, but it is a path nonetheless. People need to reassurance that they are moving positively toward their goal in order to keep going. There are other ways to know you are going down the right path other than just your weight number. Focus on other indicators other than your weight:

  • How do your clothes feel?
  • How are you sleeping?
  • How is your cardiovascular ability?
  • How is your blood pressure? HDL? LDL? Triglycerides?
  • How is your energy levels?
  • How do you FEEL?!

These are just a few indicators. There are many other indicators to show how your health is progressing. A scale is just not one of them.

So what can you do instead? Many people set goals for their health based on weight. They say they want to lose, 10 lbs, 20 lbs, 30 lbs, whatever it is, then work towards that. This is great, but then what? You hit your 10 lb weight loss goal, then where do you go? Most people go back up to their starting weight simple because they don’t know what is next. There is no next. You set a short term goal, and you achieved it. WOOHOO. Then you went back to your starting weight. You had a net gain of zero. Pat yourself on the back for that one.

You need to think long term. Like, life-long term. I have no doubt that you want to lose a little weight. We all do. I can almost guarantee that if you change your lifestyle habits to promote a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating right, getting your 5 days of physical activity in every week, keeping your stress levels moderated, and staying away from detrimental habits (smoking, for example) you will see that weight loss. You will also see almost every facet of your life become healthier. You will sleep better. You will digest food better. You will excrete waste better. You will be more flexible. You will have more cardio ability. You will feel stronger.  You will have more energy. Your blood pressure will go down. Your lipid count will go down. You will have better blood flow.  You will have less stress. Your hormones will be balanced. You will enjoy the life you living. Isn’t that what we all want anyway? Just to be able to enjoy the blessing we have known as life. Why focus on what a scale says how much gravity is pulling on you? That is creating more of a stress in your life to hit that magic number. Throw that stress out!

So the take away message from this post is don’t focus on the scale. It does exactly what you want it to do: tells you your weight. I don’t care about your weight. I care how healthy you are living. No scale will ever tell me that.

To your health.

~Z

P.S. This post was prompted by a question someone posed to me. The individual asked what I thought about scales for weight loss, and voila! Here is the answer. If you have questions that you want answers, get in contact with me and ask. All questions are strictly confidential. No one will ever know it was you who posed the question. I even have a way you can ask a question without ME knowing who you are! There is no excuse.  I know that if you have a question, there is another soul out there that wants to know the answer to that question as well. So ask! You just might get the answer you are looking for.

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  1. Pingback: Saturday Six: Diet Time | Ted the Third

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