It’s Time to Break Up With Your Scale

The Dreaded Weigh-In:

For years, my life revolved around the scale. I’d wake up, pour myself some coffee, and then head to the bathroom for my dreaded weigh in. It was a really anxious time, and the number that would appear on the scale ended up dictating how I felt for the rest of the day. It’s crazy to think that one silly number can have so much power over a person!

Over the years, I’ve become less attached to the number that appears on the scale, to the point where I almost never weigh myself. The scale was a really negative place for me, and I also began to notice that the number didn’t necessarily correlate with how in shape or good I was feeling. The thing about the scale is that it reduces everyone to an average. It doesn’t take things like muscle gain, bloating, or body type into account. Progress in fitness and exercise normally comes with muscle gain, which weighs much more than fat. So, when you step on the scale, you could weigh more but the composition of your body has changed completely. But again, a scale does not convey this.

After I made this personal discovery, I began using alternative ways to check in with my progress by noting how my jeans fit, how I was progressing in the gym, and by taking before and after photos. While these methods did help me have a better understanding of my progress, I was still searching for an alternative method to stay on track without heading to the dreaded scale.

3D Scanning Revolution:

Several months ago I stumbled upon Naked Labs and their revolutionary 3D scanning technology. It was the first time that I’d heard of anything like this, and naturally, as a health coach, I was fascinated. What’s revolutionary about this new scanning technology is that it takes a number that most people are completely obsessed with and gives it context and meaning. Naked is able to do a full 360 degree scan of your body while taking exact measurements of every body part, calculating accurate body fat percentage. This gives you an unbiased, completely transparent view of your body. I see clients every day that live or die by the number on the scale; Naked Labs is making that number irrelevant.

The number on the scale is meaningless. To help explain, I like to think about it like this. 100 calories worth of M&Ms have a completely different nutritional breakdown than 100 calories worth of kale. Just like the scale, if you only look at the number, or in this case the calories, it would appear as though both the kale and the M&Ms were the same; both are 100 calories. But, once you take a deeper dive into the real content of both foods, you will see that they are radically different.

This works quite similarly on the scale. You can have two women that are both 5’8 and weigh 150 lbs, yet their measurements and body shapes are completely different. Woman A is an athlete, carries a lot of muscle, and has very little body fat. Woman B is slightly overweight, carries belly fat around her middle, and is relatively inactive. Both women are in completely different places physically yet their number on the scale is exactly the same, as is their BMI.

For example, let's take a look at a couple Naked Labs beta users.

From Jill's scans above, it’s very clear that her body and shape have changed. Scan #1 is from January and #2 was in March, so about 10 weeks apart. The measurements from the scan as well as the visual of her body shows that her stomach is considerably smaller, her waist has decreased in size, her arms are much smaller, and she’s also lost size in her legs. Essentially, her body has completely transformed, yet her weight in both of these photos is exactly the same.

Yes, you read that correctly. Her weight has not changed. In the “old world” of the scale, Jill may have thought that she hadn’t made any progress over the last two months, which could have deeply affected her self esteem and caused her to alter or stop her current nutrition and exercise plan. But, in reality, she’s lost fat and size in nearly every area of her body.

Vijay is another great example of how the number on the scale does not necessarily give you an accurate reading of your success or overall health. Vijay's scans were taken 11 months apart, over which he changed his diet and upped his exercise routine. In his second scan, it is evident that he has lost a significant amount of belly fat while also gaining muscle and toning up his body overall. The difference between both scans is striking, yet like Jill, Vijay’s weight did not change at all from scan 1 to scan 2.

The important takeaway here is that the number that a regular scale gives us is very one-dimensional. It does not provide us with a broader picture of our health, which is incredibly important during a wellness journey. What I really love about the Naked 3D Fitness Tracker is that it provides you with instant, tangible feedback with more data than just a number. It lets you know exactly how your body is responding to new nutrition and exercise regimens so that you can make the necessary adjustments to continue to succeed! And lets be honest, it’s a huge relief to no longer rely solely on the scale!

---By Darby Jackson

Learn more about Darby Jackson here or at her website.

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