Time to ditch the scales?

How often should I weight myself?


Checking your weight on the scales every day can do more harm than good when trying to focus on your health, wellness and activity after weight loss surgery. 

Standing on the scales every day sets people up to feel like a complete failure if the number hasn’t moved or gone down. Then this may trigger out of control eating, feeling depressed, feelings of failure and wanting to give up. 

So what are you actually measuring when you get on the scales? If you have been ‘good’ or ‘bad’?? In relation to what? Do the scales show how much your health has changed since having weight loss surgery? No. They only show one aspect – weight – a number.

The only completely accurate measure of progress in terms of fat loss, lean muscle growth and total body percentages of the weight of your bones, organs and hydration, are by using comprehensive body analysis/composition testing.

It’s not uncommon for women to gain 1-3 kilos on the scales prior to menstruation or during ovulation, the weight gain is caused by hormonal water retention not fat. Fat goes on slowly and comes off slowly. The only way to permanently lose fat is slowly. Tracking fat loss on the scales daily is impossible when you take into account the weight fluctuations that occur due to fluid changes. You can lose up to 5 kilos of fat without a change on the scales, especially if you are doing resistance exercise.

The 3 keys to monitoring your weight and health that are not based on a number…

  1. Go by how you look in the mirror
  2. Go by how you feel
  3. And go by how you fit your clothes

The number on a set of scales does not define you as a success or a failure. It does not make you a good or a bad person. That number does not define your health. It does not define wellness. It does not define happiness more than momentarily. That number does not make you a whole person.Yet we allow that almighty ‘number’ to determine what sort of day we are going to have.

Time to take control of your life, get off those scales and focus instead on how your life is different now - what can you do that you couldn't do before? Are you feeling less tired and have more energy? Are you stronger, fitter, healthier? Do you play with your children or grandchildren now? And the list goes on.

Use the scales only as a guide... a monitor. Not as a tool for destruction.


Thanks to Vanessa Warren at thewellnessclinic.co.nz for advice on this topic.


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