Tipping the Scales

So, you’re doing your first Whole 30! You’ve read all the materials, organized your pantry, and come up with a menu for week one. BUT there is probably one thing that you are little nervous about… not getting on the scale for 30 whole days. Ugh, how is that even possible?

If you’re a person who found Whole 30 to jump start weight loss, going without weighing for the entire round can be terrifying. You’re about embark on a whole new style of eating and what if you don’t lose any weight? Or horror of all horrors; What if you gain weight? Without the scale for reassurance HOW WILL YOU KNOW?

Let me talk you off the ledge a little bit. Whole 30 is all about breaking bad habits and developing new healthier ones. You don’t need to step on the scale EVERY DAY.

In fact, getting on the scale too often probably sabotages your progress.

Just think about the psychology behind a daily weigh-in. If you like the number on the scale you feel great about yourself and maybe even decide to treat yourself. You’ve been doing so well, you may as well indulge a little. Instead of making your usual healthy choices, you toss your salad back in the office fridge and decide to head out to the fast food joint around the corner with your co-workers.

On the other hand, if the number on the scale is higher than you want you are probably upset. You may decide to punish yourself by cutting back what you eat to the bare minimum. Now you’re hungry, grumpy, and tired. With your willpower at its lowest, you can’t make good food choices. Meanwhile, your poor body isn’t getting the fuel it needs and will hang on to every calorie that you give it leading to a sluggish metabolism.

Here’s how to break the scale habit: Before you start your round get on the scale and record your weight, AND break out the tape measure and take some measurements too. After you’ve weighed, take the batteries out of your scale and put it away. If you are really addicted to the scale, ask a family member hide it, or give it to a friend to hold for the month. It will be worth it, I promise!

Now there will be some tough days. Day 10-11 are infamous for being the days where people feel bloated and wonder if they’re gaining weight. If you’re used to dieting you’re probably wondering how you can possible feel so satisfied by your meals and not also be gaining weight. The puffiness passes and by the end of Day 30 you won’t feel that way. If you are a person who has fallen out of touch with your body, your natural rhythms, and what hunger cues feel like, you may have a tough time actually feeling like you are losing weight. Many people have reported being sure that they hadn’t lost a pound only to be happily surprised by their Day 31 weigh-in.

Now you might be wondering how to keep yourself motivated during your round without the scale to keep you going. We know that 30 days without your favorite foods can be tough especially if you’re not sure if it’s ‘working’ or not. Non-scale victories (NSV) are the way to keep yourself going. Head over to the Whole 30 website and print out their NSV checklist. Post it in your home or office where you will see it daily, and each time you notice an improvement in your overall health, check it off.

By the end of the 30 days you may find that there are many benefits that you would never have expected. People have reported things like looking leaner, less joint pain, reduced stomach pain, and improvements in their menstrual cycle. You may have personal benefits that aren’t even on the list! You should make note of those, too!

Whole 30 isn’t about weight loss. Yes, that will happen if it needs to, but it’s not the focus. This is an elimination diet to figure out any food sensitivities that you may have. Food freedom is the BIG FINISH LINE here and what that looks like is different for everyone. For some people, it may take multiple or longer rounds to replace their poor food habits with healthy ones.

After Day 31, you can decide whether to bring the scale back or to kick the habit for good. For me, I have never owned a scale in my adult life. The scale messes with me mentally and I don’t want to reduce myself to a number. We are all more than a number. Your self-worth should never be defined by a number on the scale nor should your overall health picture be reduced to one number.

If you feel good, look good, and are happy then that is the best possible health outcome!

Were you addicted to the scale? How did you break the habit?