Blast Off: Scale down your scale use

Are you someone who weighs yourself daily? Do you get discouraged by the number that you see on the scale?

Are you someone who weighs yourself daily? Do you get discouraged by the number that you see on the scale and does it affect how you feel for the rest of the day? If this sounds familiar, give yourself a break and hide your scale for the next month. Sound difficult? If the answer is yes, then it’s all the more reason to take on this challenge.

Scales are a useful tool in calculating your fat mass and lean body mass from your caliper readings. Apart from that, they really aren’t helpful. The amount you weigh isn’t an accurate gauge for determining the amount of overall fat you’ve lost, which is really the end goal when trying to change your body composition. The number on the scale can change from hour to hour and day to day for reasons that have nothing to do with losing or gaining fat. You can gain or lose mass by simply eating or drinking prior to weighing yourself. Going to extremes to drop the number is never a solution because temporary changes will only give you temporary results. Successful change in your body composition is determined by how much muscle you are able to preserve, or even gain, while at the same time losing fat. A great way to measure this progress is with calipers.  Skin folds from specific areas of your body are measured and are then calculated with your current weight to determine your body fat percentage.  This overall number is the one you want to see decrease.

Instead of obsessing with how much you weigh, try turning to other methods. For instance, how do your clothes fit? How do you look in the mirror? Have you ever found that the numbers on the scale aren’t moving but that people comment on how great you are looking? It’s easy to get frustrated when you have been working so hard and the number doesn’t budge. Just try to remember that your goal should be improved body composition and health, not necessarily weight loss. As soon as this becomes clear to you, the scale can turn into a motivational tool rather than the reason you feel like you aren’t making any progress.

While knowing how much you weigh is useful, there is really no reason to be fixated on it. If you are interested in finding out your body composition, contact one of Fitness 4 Life’s certified Personal Trainers for a free caliper test.  It’s a really helpful way to track your success and see how much progress you’ve made.

Hayley (250-688-0024)  and Kate (250-688-0221) are certified personal trainers with Fitness 4 Life. Visit their website at for current rates and specials.