Why the scale isn’t the whole story

There are a few ways to track your health and fitness progress, but there’s one you should avoid fixating on.

Your scale.

The number on the scale is simply telling you how resistant you are to gravity … in other words, how much mass your body has.

It tells you nothing about the health of your bones or connective tissue, much less how much lean mass you have vs. how much fat mass.

And if your scale is anything like mine, it’s like a roller coaster. Up, down, up, back down and back up again. Day-to-day fluctuations are perfectly normal, but it can be very easy to obsess over them and even have them ruin your day. The positive feed back of losing a pound from one day to the next, is questionable compared to the opposite effect of seeing your weight fluctuate day to day and create negative thoughts and emotions.

The scale is of the least informative measures of your overall health and fitness status – yet it tends to be the one people focus on the most.

In fact, the people I’ve worked with who’ve had the most success with weight loss share a common trait: they rarely step on the scale!

I recommend weighing yourself every 4-6 weeks, under consistent conditions, and enhancing your progress assessment by tracking waist and hip measurements, and/or taking progress photos. Even better, track your body composition, comparing your weight between percentages of muscle and fat, such as using an InBody Scale.

Don’t allow one metric – especially a limited one – to dictate your health decisions or impact your mood and motivation. Focus more on how your clothes fit, your energy levels, sleep duration, hydration and your exercise motivation level. 

Measuring progress is important in tracking how you are progressing to your goals and making adjustment for efficiency. However use methods that are clear and use it as a positive tool for accountability and goals.