Saturday, December 24, 2011

Want Motivation While on Your Diet - Throw Out The Scale!

People who are on a diet continually look for ways to stay motivated.  One of the most common and self–destructive ways that is used both for accountability and motivation is to get on the scale daily or every other day.  Although it seems like a good way to measure progress, it couldn’t be farther from the truth, this is what this article will be focusing on.  But, first here is a leading question.

Do you want to be successful?

 Do you want to have a stress free experience with weight loss or are you into frustration and obsessing over every fluctuation in your weight? Your weight can change day to day based upon many variables, the smallest of which being your weight. The scale literally creates the opportunity for you to become demoralized and sabotage your weight loss efforts each and every day. Each and every day you step on a scale you create the anxiety surrounding success or failure based upon the numbers. Just so you know, stress creates cortisol and cortisol is a hormone that increases the amount of fat in your belly…so how does getting stressed every time you approach the scale help? It doesn't, it helps you gain weight!

The scale also has you evaluating your health, self-image, how you look and feel, based solely on what the scale says. In the blink of an eye you can go from looking at yourself in the mirror, thinking “wow, I am really looking leaner, I am wearing clothes that I have not been able to get into for years. I feel good and even a little sexy….let’s go see what that scale says” POW you're two pounds heavier and now you feel like crap!  In a second your thoughts shift to, "What’s the point, I give up?"  Where is your motivation now?
Here is another example of how the scale doesn’t create a clear picture of your body composition.  Do you know that every year as you get older you lose 1 pound of muscle and gain 1 pound of fat?

As a result, many people look at the scale each year and inaccurately feel that because their weight has not changed, that their health and body has not changed either.  Yet they are weaker and fatter every year.
The scale is toxic for people who are trying to lose weight if you obsess on the daily fluctuations that the scale tells you. The problem is that the scale doesn’t take into consideration muscle increases, water retention, menstrual cycles, body fat changes, etc.   A simple evening meal that has more salt in it could change the scale 2-3 pounds the following morning due to water weight and destroy your motivation in the process.  Weighing yourself first thing in the morning can be off as much as 5-7 pounds compared to the rest of the day.

The Scale is NOT your friend!

You love it when it tells you what you want to hear and hate it when it tells you otherwise.  A number should not dictate your self-esteem or effect your motivation. If you are to be successful in weight loss, you must remove things that would create a negative emotional response that could lead to binge eating or self-sabotage! How you look, how you feel, your diminishing waistline, your level of cardiovascular fitness, your body fat measurement, your resting heart rate, blood pressure, a full blood panel and how your clothes fit; these are indicators for health and weight loss..   The scale should only be used in conjunction with evaluating all these other indicators.

So, throw out your scale or at least put it away! Do yourself a favor, if you must weigh yourself do it only once or twice a month.   You have a better chance for success, if you always create a weight loss environment that promotes positive feedback and makes it easy to stay motivated.

About:  Michael Mountain is a transformational author on health, weight loss & personal growth and is featured on He is the author of the Ultimate Fat Loss Solution Diet which is available presently free of charge at   He is also the author of Mindset for Weight Loss transformational program - a revolutionary step-by-step program designed to provide the “inner-strength strategies” to take any diet and make it effective for

1 comment:

  1. So true. I've been working out and eating right for a month. I've been fitting into clothes I haven't worn in years and have been feeling awesome, but this morning the scale told me I gained two pounds. I might have to toss the sucker out for a while.