For those of you who haven’t already given up on your New Year’s resolutions, you may be in the thick of a new weight loss journey like myself. Though I do not in any way consider myself an expert on anything (let alone weight loss), I have learned a few things here and there from going through a couple of successful fitness journeys in my day, and one of them is conquering the scale. That’s right, the scale. Something that has nothing- but everything- to do with weight loss.
Most people on any type of path to wellness hate the scale, and I think that’s because they don’t know how to use it. The scale is a tool just like anything else in weight loss and can be extremely motivational or discouraging depending on how you use it. But the reality is that most things on this journey, including weighing yourself, are mind over matter. So here are 6 secrets on how to actually use the scale to see the results you want.
Don’t Live or Die by the Number
This is by far the most cliché of the bunch, so don’t worry, they get better. But this rule is cliché because it really is true. Whether you’re trying to make a complete lifestyle overhaul or just trying to make a few better choices here and there, the numbers on the scale really don’t mean anything, so don’t live or die by them.
2. Tell Yourself “It Doesn’t Matter”
You are going to have amazing, ass-kicking weeks and other weeks where life totally kicks your ass and your weight loss comes to a still. If you step on that flat little judgmental square and see a number that is less than desirable, it’s okay. Telling yourself “it doesn’t matter” is a great state of mind because you are reminding yourself that whether you like the number you see or not, you are going to keep going. The ultimate goal is to live a healthy life; one which doesn’t have an “end date”.
3. Weigh Yourself at Your “True Weight”
Did you know there is a “right” time to weigh yourself if you want your true weight? Your true weight is measured in the mornings after you’ve gone to the bathroom before you put anything in your system (not even water). Throughout the day between eating and drinking, your body can actually put on 1-3 pounds from where you start in the morning before you’ve had a chance to clear everything out. So skip the late-night weigh-in sessions and wait until the morning to let your body do it’s thing.
4. Don’t Weigh In Every Day
I know that with all of the hard work you put in from working out and telling yourself ‘you don’t really want that pizza, anyway’ that we would all love to get on the scale every night and see tons of progress. But realistically, seeing your weight only drop slightly (if at all) from day to day can be extremely discouraging, so try to only weigh yourself once a week to make seeing your progress a positive experience rather than a frustrating one.
5. Be Strategic
Though this might sound bizarre, the scale is a tool in weight loss just like anything else, so use it wisely. Nobody’s perfect; you are going to have days where you don’t work out and don’t eat very healthy. That’s okays, but do yourself a favor, and don’t weigh yourself the morning after those days. Again, you will only be discouraging yourself because you haven’t given your body a chance to burn any of those extra calories.
6. Set Realistic Goals
Let’s be honest, when we decide we are ready to start on this new journey, we all lay our heads down on our pillows at night with images of itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikinis dancing through our heads. You have visions of how amazing you’re going to look and how you’re finally going to have the body of your dreams when in reality, we look at ourselves day after day of hard work and see little-to-no difference in our bodies at all. And though we would all love to have those amazing ‘Biggest Loser’ moments where we drop 25 pounds in one week, true weight loss journeys are slow but steady. Don’t set yourself up for failure by making impossible goals. Just take it one pound at a time and be happy with your progress no matter how little.
I hope that this can really help some of you who are on this crazy difficult path to health. Use the scale as your friend and motivator and whatever you do, don’t quit!