Does looking at the scale help or hinder your weight-loss?

Does looking at the scale help or hinder your weight-loss?
Nowadays if you scroll through social media and you see the word “scale” mentioned, it has become a taboo word to many.
It has negative connotations associated with it and in certain circles, people are encouraged to literally take a hammer to them and break the power that they hold.
So how can a few digits elicit such an emotional response to people?
Do we really need to ditch the scale or is it actually useful to weigh oneself if weight loss is the goal?
Well before I give my opinion let’s look at what some of the research says.
 A few studies show that weighing yourself regularly, if you are attempting to lose weight, leads to greater adherence and more success over the short and long term. Simply put, weighing yourself more often than not tends to lead to greater weight loss over time.
So why would weighing yourself regularly make a difference? Well if the scale is used correctly it offers valuable insight into what you are doing. Generally speaking, if you are trying to lose weight and following some sort of diet and exercise program your scale weight should go down over time.
If it does not move down, then the scale number gives us a singular feedback point. This means we need to make some adjustment to our plan, to get that number moving down. So by the simple act of weighing oneself regularly, it can mean better adherence because of the regular imposed (or self-imposed) check-ins.
On the flip side weighing regularly might not be for everyone. If someone has dealt with any emotional issues associated with their body image perhaps a different approach to weighing oneself might be needed.
But for the majority of people, it can be a very useful objective tool. I would like to stress the work objective here. There is no emotional feeling attached to a scale weight, it is neither good nor bad, it’s just a number that reflects what you have been doing over a period of time.
Now my thoughts on weighing and how to go about it.
I think it can be a very useful tool if you combine it with other measures. These could be body composition pictures, performance in the gym, how you feel in terms of mood and energy. If you have access to body-composition tools that could be useful too.
All of these measurements along with scale weight could tell a complete picture.
What I do with most clients is get them to weigh themselves regularly (a few times a week if possible) and we look at the average for the week. It can be very usual for weight to fluctuate on a day to day basis so that’s why the average is more important.
This eliminates a possibility of a “good” or “bad” weigh in.
When to weigh? If possible first thing in the morning, after going to the toilet, before breakfast and preferably naked. This gives a more consistent reading and fewer variables come into play.
A few take-home points:

  • Scale weight is neither good nor bad – it’s just a number.
  • Weight fluctuates daily, its normal.
  • Weight loss is not linear; it might stabilise or even go slightly up before going down
  • If you are very overweight, your weight should go down regularly
  • If you are a beginner and do weight training, scale weight might remain the same (it’s one of the few times you can put on muscle and lose fat at the same time.)

If nothing is changing on the scale for a few weeks you need to be honest with yourself – are you sticking to the plan?
If yes, then you need to make some changes.
If no, you need to step it up and give yourself a reason to change.
Train hard, eat diligently and the results will follow.
I hope you found this useful, if so please share it with someone.
I now have something to ask form you. If you have any topics of interest, training, exercise or lifestyle related please drop me a message. I would love to send out information you want to hear about.
Stay strong
Body transformation coach
PS **I have 3 coaching spots available in the next few weeks so please message me if you want to know more.

Grant Koch