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The Skinny on the Scale


As I sit here writing this blog in my office I have more scales and body measurement devices within arms reach than the average person (thank goodness) will encounter in their entire lifetime.  However, I don’t weigh myself every day.  Not once per week.  Not even every month.

It’s not because I think that the scale is evil – although I do have an idea for a red bathroom scale with horns and a pitchfork!  It’s because it’s simply not the best way to measure change.

Remember I am a recovering scientist so I LOVE numbers and measurements.  I smiled just writing the words!  However, I also understand when they don’t show the whole picture and certainly when they cannot be relied on.

You see, there are so many factors that impact your weight on the scale.  How much water did you have today?  How about the last few days?  Did you eat a lot of sodium yesterday?  Did you have a tough workout?  Are your muscles sore?  Is it humid or dry outside?  What time of day is it?  How about that poo?  What about sleep?  How’s your stress level?  I bet it increased just reading all these questions and I haven’t even scratched the surface!

Moreover, is it really weight that you are trying to change?  Check out this picture that my friend Davis sent out in his newsletter a few months back (sign up for it here, it’s good stuff!).  I bet if you had asked the woman in her before picture what her goal was she would have said “I want to lose weight.”  Instead, she gained strength, tone, confidence…and it came with 9 extra lbs.  I’m sure she wouldn’t trade a number on the scale for everything that she achieved!

Now, this isn’t a blog begging you to stop weighing yourself.  That’s your choice. That number isn’t something to be afraid of.  It’s just one (slightly flawed) way to measure change so don’t give it more credit or power than it deserves.

Perhaps instead of my Lucifer Scale idea we can mass produce this one….

(I found this picture on the internet years ago, so if it’s yours please let me know and I will give you credit!  Also, your scale rocks!)

  1. Hi Tara! Great info…I stopped weighing myself all together! I’m curious about your take on some of the new research on intermittent fasting for fat loss. What are your thoughts?

  2. Hi Karin,

    It’s so nice to hear from you!! I have read the research and I think that it is all valid. Having said that, when you restrict in any sort of way (especially something as severe as fasting) you tend to swing just as hard in the other direction when you are done. So although it may work in theory I don’t find it very effective in practice. Does that make sense? ~tara

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