Oftentimes when people make a commitment to get healthier they focus solely on the number on the scale. While losing weight may be an important factor in improving your health, it is not the only factor to be paying attention to when determining if your diet is having positive effects.
Commonly, when people focus only on the number on the scale they start to get frustrated, their self-esteem can decrease, and they start feeling less confident in the changes they are making. This is especially true when people start obsessively weighing, such as multiple times per day. When people are able to let go of the number preoccupation, then they are able to recognize increased energy, improved mood and sleep, decreased food cravings, decreased bloating, and more digestive regularity.
If the number on the scale is not moving as quickly as you would like, or is not moving at all, it would be a good idea to take an assessment on other “non-scale” factors of health. You may need to make some adjustments to your nutrition or exercise plan, but all is not lost. While the number is not “dropping,” you most likely are “adding” a lot of good habits.
Also, when you are only looking at the number reflecting back from the scale, you may be missing other changes in your body composition. We all have heard that muscle mass weighs more and is leaner than fat mass. This means, that the scale may not be reflecting any change in your weight, but your body is still getting leaner (and your metabolism is getting stronger!).
Improvements in your endurance are another factor that can be missed by only focusing on the scale. When your body is able to perform activity for longer periods of time or at a faster pace that is a sign that your heart and lungs are getting healthier and stronger.
Best practice for weighing yourself when you are making lifestyle changes is to only step on the scale one time per week, and ideally at the same time of day. There are so many factors that can influence that number making it very easy to get caught up and frustrated in all of the number variations. Take note of other changes you notice in your overall health, how your clothes fit, and any changes in your stamina. You and the scale don’t need to besties, but you shouldn’t be enemies either!