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Published on August 16, 2017

scale

Daily weigh-ins can weigh heavy on your progress

"Stepping on the scale every morning is likely not going to help you lose weight," reports Gundersen registered dietitian Rebecca Stetzer. "A change in weight from one day to the next is not necessarily a reflection of how you ate or exercised the day before. It's more likely a result of normal fluid level changes or an inaccurate home scale."

Rebecca Stetzer, RD

Rebecca Stetzer, RD

Think about it. One pound is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. If your weight truly fluctuated by even one pound from yesterday to today, that would mean
that you either consumed or burned the difference of 3,500 calories. That's a whole lot of food and/or exercise. A subtle change in weight from one day to the next is not necessarily a reflection of how you ate or exercised the day before, and it's not an mindicator that today you need to be "extra good" with your food choices or step up the workouts.

Weighing yourself daily can lead to obsessing over every bite of food and every step you take.

Rebecca adds, "You can never win with the scale. If you're up, you get frustrated and want to quit. If you're down, you're either not down enough or you're more likely to splurge because you 'deserve it.' Neither option leads to a healthy relationship with food or weight loss."

Instead, you should:

  • Focus on your hunger and fullness cues.
  • Weigh once a week and track how your weight trends over weeks or months.
  • Even better, track your energy level, mood or how well your clothes fit-better measures of success.

If your goal is to be healthier, pay attention to your body's needs. Nourish your
body rather than punish it based on a subjective number.

For help managing your weight, call Gundersen Nutrition Therapy at (608) 775-3447 or visit gundersenhealth.org/nutrition for classes, recipes, newsletters and more.