As a dietitian that believes in the Health at Every Size principles, I choose to practice something I like to call weight inclusive wellness. I respect size diversity and believe that people of various weights can have healthy behaviors and habits, and also have a positive relationship with food.
I had a really great conversation with a client last week about why I hate the scale. I cannot take credit for the following analogy but I love it! Dieting for weight loss is like playing the slot machines at Atlantic City. You see everyone around you winning (ding ding ding!!) and go into gambling thinking that YOU will hit the jackpot. But remember, we all know casinos get your money and statistics show we will not win. This is why weighing yourself does more harm than good: We all think we’re going to see a number we like (aka hitting the jackpot) but statistics show we will not win. The scale will probably creep back up over time and lead to negative feelings about food and body image. The good news is that there is a solution in weight inclusive wellness. You can be happy and healthy without focusing on the scale.
5 Ways to Measure “Success” Without Using the Scale:
Instead of focusing on the scale to measure progress, try to ask yourself these insightful questions:
1. How are you feeling about overall body image?
2. Are you responding to different emotions in a way that works for you?
3. What can you do to increase your self-care?
4. Can you try to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full and mentally satisfied?
5. Can you move your body in a respectful, joyful way?
These questions can help guide you to a plan of action to feel happy and healthy about food and body image.
Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian and the owner of Eat With Knowledge in Nyack, NY. She is on a mission to help people heal from diets, and find peace and balance with their food choices. She leads a team of dietitians who support the philosophy, “Feel Fabulous about Food!”