One of the first things I recommend to someone starting their health journey: get rid of your scale.

Let’s be clear. Weighing yourself can be a helpful way to track your progress. And if you have a goal weight, you’ll want to check in on where you are at. But in many cases, the scale becomes way more of a source of stress than a source of useful information.

Obviously if your goal is weight loss, then you hope that your weight is going to go down. But there are 2 problems with that.

The first is that FAT loss and WEIGHT loss are not one and the same. You can lose fat, feel great, but still weigh exactly the same due to your increased muscularity. If you step on the scale and see the number hasn’t changed, it can be discouraging, when in reality it does not reflect your progress.

The second problem is that your weight is allwwwayyysssss going to fluctuate. While your weight might be trending down over time, your day-to-day weight is going to go up and down. One day you might lose 2 pounds, the next day you might gain 5 pounds. Water retention can make your weight do confusing things overnight, and can be caused by hundreds of different factors that the scale can’t comprehend.

If you want to weigh yourself to track your progress, go right ahead, but understand that it is only one small measure of progress.

Focus on things like how you feel mentally and physically, how you look, how your clothes fit, if you’re getting stronger, or how you’re sleeping.

These are the things that will help define your progress. The scale doesn’t, and shouldn’t, tell your story.

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