5 Times You Should Ignore the Scales*
BY EMILY ABBATE
To that end, experts share five times you should definitely avoid the scales altogether:
1. AT THE END OF THE DAY
Your weight is most accurate first thing in the morning. After you’ve gone to the bathroom and before you’ve eaten breakfast, says Kylene Bogden, RD. “If you are properly hydrated and you’ve eaten well throughout the day. The scales will be higher midday, which isn’t a bad thing,” she says.
2. IF YOU’RE CONSTIPATED
Constipation can be caused by many things, including changes in your regular routine or medication. When you’re constipated your body retains solids, which increases the number on the scales. “If you can’t remember the last time you went to the bathroom. That’s a good time to avoid the scales and seek an expert opinion,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics.
3. WHEN YOU’RE A NEW MUM
“If a mum-to-be or new mum is hyper-focused on her weight on the scales, this can create more anxiety, unnecessary stress and increased risk for disordered eating, which is actually more harmful for her health and her baby,” says Crystal Karges, MS, RD, a maternal health specialist at Crystal Karges Nutrition. “Instead of placing an emphasis on weight, I encourage mums to ignore their scales and focus on overall behaviours to promote good health. This includes intuitive eating, adequate sleep, effective stress management, movement and more.”
4. IF YOU HAVE YOUR PERIOD
“During your menstrual cycle, your hormones are out of balance, which can lead to bloating,” says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD. “It’s not uncommon for a woman to gain 5–6 pounds of water weight during this time until their cycle is complete. So avoid the scales during this period.”
5. IF IT REINFORCES NEGATIVE SELF-WORTH
It’s one thing to step on the scale and create healthier habits, but sometimes that backfires. “Some people see a number and if it’s not what they like, they feel defeated and become depressed and often turn to unhealthy behaviors to manage their weight,” says Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health. “If you react to weighing yourself this way, you should use alternative methods to measure your success, like how many days in a row you log your food or how much