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12 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Weighing Themselves
Are you a scale addict? We all know people like this. Perhaps you are one yourself. Scale addicts step on the scales way more often than they need to. Like selfie addicts, scale addicts do it morning and night. Sometimes again after lunch. Some of them step on and off the scale three, four, or even five times in a minute or two, hoping that the number might get a bit smaller. Sometimes they weigh themselves, brush their teeth, then step on it again. Some people swear that standing with their big toe off the edge of the scale is the only accurate measurement, while other will tell you that everyone knows you must keep your heel on the back edge.
Why do so many of us give away our power, our self-esteem, and our self-worth to this little measuring device on the ground? Unfortunately, for many people, their mood for the day depends on the number they see on the scale in the morning.
The truth is, although scales can be a good guide, they shouldn’t become a source of your identity, your source of anxiety, or a source of stress.
When speaking strictly in terms of health, it is your body composition, specifically the body-fat percentage, that matters much more than that number on the scale. Many body builders are technically overweight, but all that extra weight is pure, lean muscle.
Scales do have their place in the world. They simply shouldn’t have such an important place in your world. When you do weigh yourself, avoid these 12 common mistakes most people make.
Keep reading; this is going to make your world a happier place.
1. Don’t Do it Daily
Seriously. Our weight fluctuates with a simple glass of water, so why torture yourself over that half a pound the scale says you gained in one day. Don’t act OCD and keep weighing yourself every day. Once a week, the same day, the same time, is truly your best choice.
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2. If You Have a Digital Scale
Almost everyone has one of those cool digital scales, but did you know that their accuracy can vary depending on the temperature and humidity at the time you weigh yourself? It’s true! One study found that there was actually a 3.4-pound difference between readings depending on the weather. Other studies have found that even different brands of scale can give you different readings. One option here is to go to a department store, step on several different scales and choose the one that reads the least! This is why you shouldn’t take that scale reading too seriously. Digital scales tend to read higher in colder weather and in high levels of humidity. You can always switch to a doctors’ type of scale, but those are pretty bulky and not very stylish.
3. Weighing Yourself at Someone Else’s House
It is SO tempting to use someone else’s scale, isn’t it? Nothing can give you a lift like using a friend’s scale and finding you weigh 5 pounds less than you do at home! But what happens when you get home? This is why you shouldn’t use anyone else’s scale.
4. Don’t Weigh Yourself During the Day
Whether you are a gym rat, a bodybuilder, or just an average exerciser, your weight will vary throughout the day. This is due to various reasons, such as hydration, the meals we consume, and even our bowel movements: all affect our weight. This is why you should break the habit of weighing yourself several times each day.
5. Cheap Scales
Being thrifty is a good thing, but you get what you pay for. In this case, buying one of those bargain basement, $10 scales is going to cause you a lot of stress. Cheap scales are even less accurate than digital scales. Although they do tend to put your weight on the light side, this only makes you feel badly when you go to the gym and the scale there says you’ve gained 10 pounds.
6. If Weighing Yourself Makes You Anxious
Listen, when you step on that scale, it only means whatever you decide it means. If you believe that whatever number your scale says is too much, if it is going to be a traumatic event, if thinking about that number all day long is going to make you feel stressed out and anxious, then don’t do it. Seriously. If you didn’t step on that scale, would the world end? Of course not. So if your scale makes you anxious, put a big happy face on it that covers the numbers.
7. If You Ate Half a Pizza for Dinner
If you ate a huge dinner, whatever you do, don’t get on the scale. Everyone is heavier at the end of the day. Not fatter, just heavier. Most people weigh anywhere between 6 to 8 pounds heavier at night, more so if they just ate a huge dinner. Make it easy on yourself and save the weigh-in for the morning.
8. Certain Days of the Month
(Don’t bother reading any further, guys.) Ladies, you already know how bloated you can feel on certain days of the month. This is due to water weight and it is completely normal. This usually happens between two and seven days before your period. Make things easy on yourself and just skip the scale during this time.
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9. What Are You Wearing?
If you are wearing hiking boots, a leather jacket, or any other type of heavy clothing, don’t step on the scale “just to check.” Clothes can make you weigh as much as 8 pounds more, so wearing underwear or your birthday suit is the best option.
10. Where Is Your Scale?
Do you put your scale on the carpet in your bedroom? On the bathroom rug? On the bathmat? Scales are most accurate when you set them on a solid surface such as tile, concrete, or wood floors. Unless, of course, you like the lower reading that you get on the carpeted floor!
11. Did You Just Work Out?
Unless you want to measure your pre- and post-workout hydration levels, there is no reason to put yourself on the scale after a workout. Although it is easy to lose about 2.5 pounds of water after a hard workout, it will come right back as soon as you drink some water, so don’t kid yourself.
12. In the End
If you are happy with the way you look, if you feel good, if you are in good health, who cares what the heck a scale says anyway? If you look in the mirror and you are happy with yourself, screw that number.