It’s hard to find hard-and-fast statistics on this one, but we’re pretty sure that most U.S. households have at least one bathroom scale. One Canadian study reports that 40% of people weigh themselves daily, and another reports that a full 75% of regular scale users are women. That’s millions of bare feet stepping cautiously onto millions of scales each and every morning, leaving millions of people to judge their personal worth by that digital number staring accusingly back at them. And regardless of how they actually feel, the majority of those people will be crushed, jaded, frustrated, embarrassed, angry, and dejected when they step back off; their sense of self-worth skewed by what we believe is a mostly useless measure of progress.

Break Up With Your Scale

We’ve written about the dangers of the bathroom scale before. We’ve ranted and raved about how it’s not only an ineffective indicator of your health improvements during The Whole30, but ultimately detrimental to your psychological (and often physical) health. But while many of our readers proudly announced the ditching of their scales, just as many tell us they still need their scale to tell them whether or not they were making headway in their march toward better health.

We’re here to tell you (again) that there are better ways to gauge your health than how much weight you’ve gained or lost. Want to know if you’re getting healthier using something other than the scale? Try these.

Physical (Outside)

  • Clearer skin
  • No more under-eye circles
  • Improvement in rashes or patches
  • More youthful appearance
  • Longer, stronger nails
  • Brighter eyes
  • Fresher breath
  • Whiter teeth
  • Flatter stomach
  • Leaner appearance
  • Clothes fitting better
  • Less bloating
  • Stronger, shinier hair
  • Glowing skin
  • More defined muscle tone
  • Less dimpled skin
  • Friends say you look younger
  • You feel more confident naked

Physical (Inside)

  • Healthier gums
  • Less swollen, stiff  joints
  • Less painful joints
  • Fewer PMS symptoms
  • A more regular monthly cycle
  • Increased libido
  • Less stomach pain
  • Less diarrhea
  • Less constipation
  • Less gas
  • Less bloating
  • Improved “regularity”
  • You don’t get sick as often
  • No more seasonal allergies
  • Reduction in food allergies
  • No more migraines
  • No more asthma
  • No more acid reflux
  • No more heartburn
  • No more chronic pain
  • No more chronic fatigue
  • No more tendonitis/bursitis
  • No more shoulder/back/knee pain
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol numbers
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved blood sugar regulation
  • An improvement in your specific symptoms or condition
  • Reduced or eliminated medications
  • You heal more quickly from injury or illness

Mood, Emotion, and Psychology

  • You’re nicer
  • You’re more outgoing
  • You’re more patient
  • You’re more optimistic
  • You laugh more
  • You’re generally happier
  • You’re less stressed
  • You respond better to stress
  • Your kids say you’re more fun
  • No more mood swings
  • No more anxiety
  • Improved behavior (kids)
  • Fewer tantrums (kids)
  • Improved depression symptoms
  • Improved bipolar symptoms
  • No more sugar cravings
  • No more carb cravings
  • Improved body image
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved self-confidence
  • You’ve ditched your bathroom scale for good

Brain Function

  • You think more clearly
  • You have better concentration
  • You remember things more easily
  • You are more productive
  • Your focus is improved
  • Better memory/recall
  • Faster reaction times
  • Improved ADD/ADHD symptoms
  • Improved OCD symptoms

Sleep

  • You fall asleep more easily
  • You sleep more soundly
  • You stay asleep longer
  • You no longer need an alarm clock to wake up
  • You awaken feeling refreshed
  • You no longer need a mid-day nap
  • No more snoring
  • No more night sweats
  • No more sleep apnea
  • No more restless legs

Energy

  • Your energy levels are consistently high
  • No more mid-day slump
  • More energy to play with your kids
  • More energy to exercise
  • More energy to socialize
  • You no longer need to eat every 2 hours
  • You no longer get cranky if you don’t
  • You can go hours between meals and still feel okay
  • You no longer need sugar or caffeine to prop up your energy

Sport,  Exercise, and Play

  • You started exercising
  • You became more consistent with exercise
  • You can go longer, harder, faster
  • You can lift heavier things
  • You hit new “personal bests” in the gym or at your sport
  • You recover more effectively from exercise or sport
  • You have the confidence to try something new
  • You’re more coordinated
  • Your balance is better
  • Your throws and catches are more accurate
  • You feel more playful
  • You’re outside more

Food and Behaviors

  • You have a healthier relationship with food
  • Reduction in disordered eating habits
  • You practice mindful eating
  • You have learned how to read a label
  • You know which foods make you more healthy or less healthy
  • You have learned to eat to satiety
  • You have learned to listen to your body
  • You have abandoned yo-yo dieting forever
  • You have abandoned the idea of a weight loss quick-fix forever
  • You’re no longer afraid of dietary fat
  • You learned how to cook
  • You don’t use food for comfort
  • You don’t use food as reward
  • You don’t use food as punishment
  • You don’t use food as stress management
  • You are no longer a slave to sugar and carbs
  • You know when you’re hungry and when you’re just craving
  • You have fewer cravings
  • You have coping strategies to deal with cravings
  • You naturally have more variety, color, vitamins, and minerals in your diet
  • Food no longer has unwanted “side effects”
  • You can eat less healthy food without guilt
  • You can eat less healthy food without remorse
  • You can eat less healthy food without binging
  • When you do indulge, it’s deliberate
  • When you do indulge, you enjoy it

Lifestyle and Social

  • You have new healthy habits to pass down to your kids
  • You are more knowledgeable about nutrition
  • You have learned how to shop locally and eat seasonally
  • You have new cooking skills
  • You have a whole new Good Food recipe repertoire
  • You have learned how to make mealtime prep organized and efficient
  • You’ve made new like-minded friends who support your eating style
  • You have learned how to maximize your food budget
  • You spend less money on medical bills
  • You know how to create a health goal and stick to it for success
  • You have new, nicer food vocabulary
  • Your healthy eating habits brought your family closer
  • You are part of a new community
  • Your kids have the best school lunches
  • People ask you what you’re doing differently
  • People come to you for advice on how to change their lives

Build Your Own Scale

We could probably inventory a million different ways that doing the Whole30 and continuing to eat good food will improve you physically and psychologically. There are likely things that have changed for you that aren’t on our list, so we encourage you to make a list of your own.

Write down all the ways that the dietary and lifestyle changes you have made have transformed your health, and keep that list somewhere you can easily reference it. Put your new “scale” on the bathroom mirror and, as you are able, add things to it. Reassess your progress if you’re noticing your list getting shorter rather than longer. Use it as an honest, accurate, detailed gauge of your wellness and ditch that useless hunk of metal on your bathroom floor once and for all.