Should I Junk My Scale?


You should stop weighing yourself if:
– It always makes you feel bad
– You are upset by fluctuations of a couple of pounds
– You are focusing on a single target weight
– You see the readout in terms of being “allowed” or “forbidden” to eat

Your scale might also be inaccurate! First, try using it in several positions and on different surfaces — a scale must be on hard, level surface to function properly. Then try weighing yourself every few minutes over a half hour or so. Is it consistent? If not, it could be out of calibration, and few home scales are worth repairing. (If it’s still under warranty, contact the maker.)

Dropping the scale doesn’t mean letting yourself go. It means thinking clearly about why you’re thinking about your weight in the first place:

Clothes getting tight? Use a particular item or two to check how you’re doing.
Trying to lose bodyfat? The scale isn’t a good method for tracking that — normal weight fluctuations can be 5 lb in a single day. Taking measurements, particularly at the waist, can be a better guide.
Trying to get healthier? The scale isn’t a good method for tracking that. Consider these alternatives:
– Track your exercise activity (moving faster? Going longer? Lifting heavier?)
– Use a sleep tracker to estimate how restful your sleep is
– Keep an “energy level” diary — make a note at key times of the day (on waking, after lunch, when you get home from work) of how alert (or not) you feel

These alternatives help you achieve “non-scale victories” — ways to be aware of improving your health without relying on the scale. Non-scale victories are often the best reasons to eat moderately and nutritiously, and to exercise regularly.

Have you abandoned your bathroom scale? What non-scale victories do you celebrate?


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