We take this rule very seriously, and you should too. There’s no faster way to sabotage your Whole30 than to subject yourself to weekly (or daily!) weigh-ins, but many participants find this rule the hardest of them all to follow. If you’ve been a slave to that $20 hunk of plastic, it’s time to set yourself free… at least for the next 30 days. Why are we so dead-set against tracking your “progress” based on body weight?
Ditch the Scale
Scale weight fluctuates wildly. Over the course of a day (or a few hours!) your weight can fluctuate by as many as five pounds—sometimes more—and that fluctuation isn’t at all representative of body fat gained or lost. Weighing yourself daily tells you nothing about your big-picture trend, and only serves to reinforce the next three points.
Scale weight says nothing of health. Is gaining or losing five pounds moving you in the direction of better health? It’s impossible to say, because that number tells you very little about what’s going on with your relationship with food, hormones, digestive system, or inflammatory status. And those are the factors that impact your health far more directly than body weight.
The scale blinds you to real results. By focusing so much of your attention on that number in the scale, you effectively miss out on observing the other, more significant, results of your efforts. Those results (improved sleep, energy, mood, cravings, athletic performance, recovery, or medical symptoms) could be motivating you to continue with your new eating habits—but until you stop obsessing about gaining or losing half a pound, you’ll never be able to see the health progress you’ve actually been making.
The scale maintains control of your self-esteem. It’s psychologically unhealthy to allow a number to influence your sense of worth, value, or self-confidence. And yet, that’s exactly what happens when your daily weigh-in determines whether you have a good day or bad day, and whether or not you feel good about yourself. If this is your scenario, consider ditching your scale permanently, because you deserve better.
- Take your “before” photo and measurements for comparison on Day 31.
- Get rid of your scale. Put it in the garage, tell your spouse to hide it, or throw it away.
- Read our long list of Whole30 benefits (other than weight loss!) starting on page 43 in The Whole30.