Tips & Advice

From Dr. Liz Herself

December 10, 2015
Is Your Scale Judging You?
Weight Scale Judging

You should weigh yourself every day.

You should not weigh yourself every day.

You should weigh yourself once a week.

You should never weigh yourself – just judge your weight by how your clothes fit.

So which is it?

My answer: whether you are working on weight loss or wanting to maintain a healthy weight, I believe the scale is a useful tool.

Just like your pulse and your blood pressure, your weight is a vital sign.

Just as you want your heart rate and blood pressure to usually be within a healthy range, when your weight falls within a healthy range it means your body can function at its best.

Let’s talk numbers for a moment. I want to be clear that I am not talking about your high school weight.

How I like to ask the question of goal weight is:

“At what weight do you feel good in your body?”

People usually give me a very do-able answer when I ask this way.

Back to the scale.

Most people don’t know that if you watch the numbers while somebody is taking your blood pressure, you can stress out about it and make the numbers worse.

While I don’t think looking at the scale while you’re on it can actually make you weigh more, there is no doubt that the number that shows up often stresses people out, myself included.

In other words, there exists what I call the “psychology of the scale.”

Managing your own psychology of the scale is part of managing your weight.

Think of your scale as a tool, not a judge.

You wouldn’t get mad at the blood pressure cuff, would you? Somehow, we take the information the scale gives us more personally.

Here are my personal tips on using a scale as an effective tool in helping you reach and stay at a healthy weight (or clothes size, or belt hole, or however you measure).

(And I am also revealing to you my own “psychology of the scale”.)

  1. You don’t have to keep the scale in open view.
    • I keep mine in my closet and take it out when I want to check that vital sign on myself.
  2. YOU decide how often to weigh yourself.
    • For some people, weighing themselves daily in the morning starts their day off focused on making best choices throughout the day.
    • For others, never using the scale but rather using another way to measure (clothes size, belt hole, etc) is more empowering to them to stick to their program (whatever that may be).
    • If you think you fall somewhere in between, then I recommend weighing yourself once a week.
  3. PLEASE make sure you check your weight under the following circumstances:
    • First thing in the morning
    • Naked
    • After you pee.

This is as good as your weight is going to get all day, so you might as well optimize.

My last comment for now is that if all else fails, and that scale of yours seems to be judging you harshly, then here’s the advice we used to hang over the scale in an office I used to work in:

“Think of it as your IQ.”  🙂

Share below your tips or tricks that you use to manage YOUR “psychology of the scale”!

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