Anyone who has embarked on a weight loss programme with us will notice something about our relationship with the scales; it’s incredibly healthy and not obsessive at all.

Although we do use it as a measuring tool to track progress, we try not to focus on it too much (instead, we focus on body fat and other methods of showing progress) and we don’t want you to either. In fact, we actually ask our clients to hide their scales away for the duration of their weight loss journey with us (in the attic is ideal).

Many of us who work at Motivation have even tossed our scales in the bin. Here are 5 reasons not to weigh yourself:

1. Body composition is a better predictor of health: the number on the scales tells us nothing about your overall health, and this is partly what holds you hostage to your unhealthy relationship with food.

We use a number of methods to track your progress; the most important ones being the simple tape measure and the body fat analysis (done via our Tanita scales).

At the end of your programme, the number on the scales will go down, but there’s so much more to it than that. For one, it’s about maintaining your new, healthier weight. We delve into your habits and attitudes that are detrimental to your health and work with you to change those for a better outcome.

Our mental weight questionnaire reveals these details from day one (motivation.ie).

2. Building lean muscle works: We urge you to stop being preoccupied with a number on the scales. Instead, focus on improving the amount of lean tissue you have, while dropping fat.

Gaining lean muscle will boost your metabolism, even while you sleep. And our programme is designed to do just that (read about the role of protein in weight loss here). Have you ever seen a pound of muscle next to a pound of fat? The muscle looks like a nice, lean steak, while the fat looks just like a lump of nasty lard (giving you the lean or lumpy shape you have). Take a look here.

3. Look at what happens with scales obsession: clients who do this become blind to their non-scale progress (such as their new ability to climb the stairs without getting out of breath, improved energy and sleep, or going down a notch or two on their belts).

One ‘bad reading’ on the scales can lead to them to all-or-nothing thinking. They start shrinking their meals (leaving them unsatisfied and, hence, more likely to binge later), beat themselves up with negative self-talk (such as ‘this isn’t working’), spend more time in the gym than their energy allows or skip essential protein snacks (which we know are essential as they help to reduce appetite and build muscle). It’s a road to nowhere and we’ll pretty much guarantee that they’ll throw in the towel before long.

That’s why we work hard with you to break your dependence on the scales for validation.

4. Patience gets rewarded: if you focus on moving your body more, eating better, sleeping better and making healthier choices, that will almost always be reflected in an improvement in body composition.

The clients who always do the best are those who are patient and determined; they don’t focus on the scales each week but, instead, they focus on their habits. They don’t decide it’s been a ‘bad week’ due to the reading on the scales but, instead, keep moving forwards by striving to make healthier choices and they know that the results will ultimately show.

The support and coaching from their weight loss consultant goes a long way too; read more about this here.

5. It’s the long term that counts: our programme is designed to get you healthy for the rest of your life. It’s not a quick-fix, and nor should it be.

Clinical studies show an incredible 82% weight maintenance rate after four years with our programme, compared with just 5% maximum after one year on conventional diets.

The reason?

We get to the root cause of your excess weight by discovering your WHY and we help you to develop healthier habits and attitudes that stand the test of time. This is a big picture, wide-reaching programme.

So, in a way, you don’t just change your shape; you change your life.

Blog Post by Maebh Coyle