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Do Not Look at the Number on the Scale

The number on the scale can be misleading and discouraging. While weight is an important health metric, it does not provide the full picture of your health and wellbeing. Focusing too much on weight can lead to unhealthy behaviors and negative body image. Here are some reasons why the number on the scale should not be your primary focus when trying to improve your health:

The Scale Does Not Measure Body Composition

Weight is made up of several components including muscle, fat, bones, organs, and water. The scale cannot distinguish between these components. As a result, the number on the scale may not change even though your body is undergoing positive changes in composition. For example, if you start strength training and build muscle while losing fat, the number on the scale may stay the same or even go up slightly, even though your body fat percentage has gone down.

Weight Fluctuates Daily

It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate several pounds over the course of a day or week due to changes in body water retention, bowel movements, sodium intake, carb intake, and hormones 3. Stepping on the scale daily amplifies awareness of these normal fluctuations, which can cause unnecessary stress. It’s better to track long-term weight trends by weighing yourself once a week or less frequently.

Goals Should Be Holistic

Rather than focusing solely on the number on the scale, take a holistic approach to setting health goals 4. Consider factors like energy levels, sleep quality, mental health, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, nutrition, medical markers, and more. Setting diverse health goals helps promote overall wellbeing rather than just weight loss.

Build Healthy Habits

Creating healthy daily habits leads to better long-term results compared to short-term dieting and weight loss attempts. Habits like exercising, cooking nutritious meals, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep will all contribute to weight management over time without needing to obsess about the number on the scale.

Consider Why You Want to Lose Weight

It’s important to reflect on your motivation and make sure it comes from an intrinsically positive place rather than societal pressure or the number on the scale. Improving your health, having more energy, reducing disease risk factors, and feeling better on a daily basis are great motivations. Wanting to change your body purely based on its appearance is not sustainable motivation.

In summary, do not let the number on the scale dominate your sense of health and self-worth. Instead, focus on building healthy habits, setting holistic goals, and making positive lifestyle changes. These will contribute to lasting weight management as well as overall wellbeing

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