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  • Writer's pictureMindy Roth

Break Up with the Scale: End Hunger, Weigh Less

Are you stuck in the loop of weighing yourself every day or multiple times a day? Is the scale ruling your life? Does the number on the scale affect how you feed and move your body? Weighing yourself too frequently contributes to an unhealthy relationship with food and your body, whether you interpret the number as “good” or “bad”. This can also cause stress, contribute to feelings of low self-worth, and have a negative influence on your self-care behaviors! Let’s talk about ways to stop obsessing over the scale. You are so much more than a number!

an x over the scale

Why Do We Weigh Ourselves?

What are looking for when we step on the scale? Weighing ourselves becomes a sort of “body check.” We are checking our weight as a way to cope with the anxiety of our weight changing for the “bad” or validation of you being “good.” Often we weigh ourselves to make sure that we are meeting our weight goals, but we can do this too often and get out of control.

Why Should We Stop Weighing Ourselves?

As a dietitian, I do believe weight is significant, but we should not focus on that number as our only way of measuring success, what we should eat or our eating pattern. If my clients cannot refrain from weighing themselves, I ask them to limit that habit to at the most once weekly. The number on the scale can be a helpful tool but often negatively affects our mindset. Here are some other reasons why we should stop weighing ourselves:

The Scale Can Trigger Disordered Eating Behaviors:

Whether you realize it or not, the number on the scale can have a profound impact on how you eat. Have you ever realized that the number on the scale is rarely perceived as neutral but rather good or bad? A “bad” number can cause shame, anxiety, and restriction of food, binge eating, and self-loathing. A “good” number can also provide an adverse effect and cause you to continue to restrict or binge as well because you feel like you earned it. And the cycle continues.

The Scale May Not Be Accurate:

Many factors affect the number on the scale that we cannot control. Our hydration status sodium intake, how much we sweat, and our bowel movements also affect our weights! Even gravity and the time of day can affect weights. So what number are we supposed to think is true?

A Barrier to Listening to Our Hunger Cues:

Our internal hunger cues are the feelings we get when our stomach tells our brain that we are hungry, not hungry, and our taste preferences at the time. When we only focus on the number on the scale, we forget about our hunger cues and lose our internal awareness, which is the most accurate way to determine what our body needs.

Weight is Not Health:

Your weight cannot accurately diagnose your health status! Although we have been taught that higher weight is unhealthy, many factors play a much greater role in health, such as stress, fitness, eating habits, access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, and genetics. Remember that every body is different! Even if you are in a larger body and do have some health concerns, you still deserve to focus on behaviors that promote health instead of weight loss.

How to Break Up With the Scale:

  1. Smash it! Yup.. smash it! It might feel silly, but oh so cathartic!

  2. Hide the scale. Out of sight, out of mind!

  3. Journal. Write about what you are feeling. Why do you want to weigh yourself? What are you going to get out of knowing that number? Make a pro/con list of weighing yourself. This will trigger you to focus on your thoughts instead of the number

  4. Ask for support. We go on this journey for us, but most of us do best when we have someone who can support us!


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