In my practice, the number one request is to help a client lose weight. But I’ll let you in on a secret – your first priority shouldn’t be losing weight. Why?
1. Your scale doesn’t measure your health.
Nothing on your scale tells you how you’re doing against key health metrics such as cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, inflammatory status, or hormonal balance.
2. Your scale says nothing about your body composition.
Have you ever lost two pounds overnight? It takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose a single pound, so it’s safe to say you probably didn’t burn 7,000 additional calories in a day. How did you lose the weight? Most likely your weight loss was entirely a fluctuation in water retention.
3. Your scale keeps you from listening to your body.
When we obsess about the number on the scale, we’re not paying attention to the truly important signals from our body. How are you sleeping? Do you have energy throughout the day? Are you craving sugar or caffeine? How does stress impact you? These signals tell us so much more about our bodies than an arbitrary measure of gravity.
4. Your scale doesn’t determine your self-worth.
How did you feel the last time the number on the scale went up? If you’re like most of my clients, you let it determine whether you were having a good day or a bad one. Sadly, that number didn’t remind you that you’re a fantastic friend, a devoted parent, or a supportive spouse. Don’t let a meaningless number influence how you feel about yourself.
5. Your scale doesn’t help you make healthy choices.
In an effort to move the number on the scale, it’s easy to find yourself making unhealthy decisions in an effort to move the number. Excessive exercise or eating too few calories are two common decisions made with a scale in mind. Yet these decisions have long-term impact on your ability to lose weight over the long-term – often causing weight gain, the exact opposite of what you were trying to achieve in the first place.
When setting health goals, never start with a number on a scale. Measure your success with real, tangible goals. Do your clothes fit better? Can you keep up with your kids? Do you feel good about yourself? When you focus on the benchmarks of health that really matter, you’ll stay on track without driving yourself crazy. Better yet, you’ll likely find the weight falls off when you’re not even thinking about it. But you already destroyed your scale anyway, right? 🙂
Erin Anderson is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ and owner of When Figs Fly Wellness Solutions. Her practice focuses on helping busy individuals achieve extraordinary health and optimum performance. She uses targeted lifestyle changes and the occasional “bio-hack” to achieve lasting results. ZenRock clients receive a free nutrition consult just for being a client! Book your consult today.