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Finding Freedom From the Scale

Our relationship with the scale can be fraught with all kinds of emotions – especially if we’ve had a history of negative body image or dieting. That number can start to mean more than just a number- it can start to encompass our self-worth, our willpower, and our self-esteem.

So with all this taken into account, it’s no wonder we need limits when it comes to the scale. While sometimes the scale gives us a good “data point” and keeps us informed, it can really mess with our emotions. This is why I strongly recommend either not weighing or weighing yourself at regular intervals- once a week, once every other week, or once a month. No More!

The science backs this up. While many studies demonstrate that weighing aids weight loss efforts, weighing too frequently has also been linked with unhealthy weight control behaviors, like binge eating and fasting, and negative impacts on self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. So while weighing is an important tool in weight loss, too much time on the scale can actually make things worse, and take us father away from our goals.

My clients often ask me- well, what if I want to weigh myself when I feel like it? It won’t be too often! I find that this often turns into only weighing when you’re feeling “good” or only weighing when you feel “bad.” Turning to the scale as a way of re-assurance or gain control is bound to backfire! (and certainly isn’t in the cards for a healthy, peaceful relationship with food).

Remember, you want to be free from your abusive relationship with Sugar, and your obsession with the scale can be a huge obstacle to full freedom. The first step you can take is to make a loving commitment as to how often you plan to weigh yourself, and do your best to hold yourself to it. No more drama!

xoxo, Molly




Linde, Jennifer A., Robert W. Jeffery, Simone A. French, Nicolaas P. Pronk, and Raymond G. Boyle. “Self-weighing in weight gain prevention and weight loss trials.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 30, no. 3 (2005): 210-216.


Butryn, Meghan L., Suzanne Phelan, James O. Hill, and Rena R. Wing. “Consistent self‐monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance.” Obesity15, no. 12 (2007): 3091-3096.


Levitsky, D. A., J. Garay, M. Nausbaum, L. Neighbors, and D. M. Dellavalle. “Monitoring weight daily blocks the freshman weight gain: a model for combating the epidemic of obesity.” International journal of obesity 30, no. 6 (2006): 1003.


Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne, Patricia van den Berg, Peter J. Hannan, and Mary Story. “Self-weighing in adolescents: helpful or harmful? Longitudinal associations with body weight changes and disordered eating.” Journal of Adolescent Health39, no. 6 (2006): 811-818.


Ogden, Jane, and Catherine Whyman. “The effect of repeated weighing on psychological state.” European Eating Disorders Review: The Professional Journal of the Eating Disorders Association 5, no. 2 (1997): 121-130.


Klos, Lori A., Valerie E. Esser, and Molly M. Kessler. “To weigh or not to weigh: the relationship between self-weighing behavior and body image among adults.” Body Image 9, no. 4 (2012): 551-554.

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