Your scale is meant to keep you on track with your weight loss efforts, but for many it becomes a hindrance. Rather than allowing your scale to rule your life, check out a few tips for having a healthy relationship with this fast weight loss tool:

Don’t Let It Define You

“It only tells you your relationship with gravity. It cannot dictate happiness, success, or self-worth,” says Alexandra Caspero, R.D., who also notes that it doesn’t tell you a lot about your health. “If a client is obese, I can make that distinction without an exact number.”

Check It Once a Week

“If you’re set on losing or gaining a specific amount of weight, then I would recommend checking every one to two weeks,” Caspero says. Various factors affect weight throughout the day, for example if you weigh yourself right after a meal you’ll notice a difference. Check your scale less often so you don’t obsess.

Go For a “Range Weight”

Rather than attempting for a specific weight, go for a range. “This prevents the extreme emotions that are often associated with a specific number on the scale,” says Caspero.

Maintain a Schedule

Pick a day to weigh yourself each week and stick to it. “I once weighed myself every hour to show how much your weight fluctuates throughout the day—up to 5 pounds!” Caspero says. She recommends weighing yourself first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom to get a good idea of where you are. Additionally, studies indicate weight fluctuates the least on Wednesdays, so try to weigh yourself on that day.

Measure Your Progress in Other Ways

There’s plenty of other options for determining your progress–simply trying on your “skinny jeans” and seeing if they fit is one way!

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