Fitness weighing scales

I bet you weighed yourself this morning.

Did you like the number you saw, or were you expecting something lower?

Did you get overly excited if it was low or unreasonably depressed if it was too high?

We’ve all been there, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

Seriously, quit hitting yourself!

Whenever somebody tells me that he or she is going to get in shape, it’s always something like: “I’m going to lose 50 pounds, ” or “If I can just get down to 200, I’ll be good.”

I’m here to tell you that you should reconsider stepping on that scale anytime soon.


Because although picking an arbitrary number for weight loss is a decent starting point (and it’s definitely good to set goals), your scale certainly doesn’t tell the whole story and can send you on an unnecessary roller coaster of emotions.

Yes I do realize most roller coasters are amazing – the emotional ones kind of suck though.

Here’s why.

A quick note: I bet you’re reading this because you’re struggling to get the scale to move in the direction you want. Believe it or not, 90% of the equation is your diet!

I know how tough it can be to stick with a nutritional plan, and that most people abandon a diet after a few weeks! Plus, dieting stinks. We took this into account and created a 10-Level Nerd Fitness Diet that allows you to slowly change your diet to get in shape the right way, and change your physique permanently. Pick a level, follow the instructions, level up when you’re ready. Done!

Grab our free NF Diet strategy guide when you sign up in the box below, and then keep reading this article about why scales suck!

Download our free weight loss guide

THE NERD FITNESS DIET: 10 Levels to Change Your Life

  • Follow our 10-level nutrition system at your own pace
  • What you need to know about weight loss and healthy eating
  • 3 Simple rules we follow every day to stay on target

1) Your weight will fluctuate more than the stock market

The human body is one incredibly complex piece of machinery. There are things going in, coming out, transforming, and dissolving all of the time. As a result, your weight can fluctuate wildly over the course of a 24-48 hour period. Depending on what you ate today, how much water you drank, if there was sodium in your food, what kind of clothing you were wearing, what time of day you weigh yourself, your weight WILL be different.

  • Weigh yourself before and after your next workout – there will be a difference.
  • Weigh yourself this morning and then again tonight after a full day of eating – there will be a difference.

If you’re trying to lose weight the healthy way (1-2 pounds a week is a good goal to shoot for, 3 pounds if you’re on the heavier side), your successful weight loss could be hidden by any number of circumstances that falsify your statistics.

That means you could be down three pounds since last week, but because you ate Chinese food last night (oh hey sodium), drank water this morning, and didn’t get to weigh yourself til the afternoon (while wearing jeans), the scale could show a GAIN of one pound. After working so hard, this “weight gain” can instantly demoralize you, sending you to the kitchen for some pity rocky-road ice cream and then over to the couch for a Battlestar Galactica marathon.

It’s just a number, and it can be wildly inaccurate over a short period of time.

2) Your weight does NOT tell the whole story

These are two pictures of me: the one on the left was taken four years ago in San Diego; the right was taken yesterday after my workout. Hopefully I’m not alone in noticing a pretty striking difference in my body composition between the two pictures:

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