Don’t Obsess over the Number on the Scale

chalene johnson_number on the scaleAre you one of those people that obsess over the number on the scale?  Do you weigh yourself almost daily – or even more than once a day – hoping that each time you step on the scale, the number will go down?  While it’s good to check in from time to time, obsessing over this number isn’t healthy…nor is this number always an accurate reflection of your fitness level.  Here are 3 things to keep in mind when weighing yourself so that you have a healthy relationship with the scale…

 How to Have a Healthy Relationship with the Number on the Scale

1.) Set an increment by which you will weigh yourself.

While you don’t want to become obsessed with weighing yourself, you also don’t want to get on the scale willy-nilly.  If you don’t check in periodically, you could find yourself stepping on the scale one day wondering, “How did I gain 10 pounds?”  You need to monitor whether or not there is an upward or downward trend in your weight.


So, set a time increment by which you will weigh yourself.  Typically, once a week is sufficient.  But if you do end up weighing yourself once a day, be OK with the fact that your weight may fluctuate 2-4 pounds from day to day depending on a number of things…(See #2.)


2.) Know your weight can fluctuate 2-4 pounds from day to day.

There are so many things that can affect your weight: where you are in your cycle, the amount of salt in your diet, when you had your last meal, when you had your last bowel movement, and even the rotation of the earth (believe it or not)!  So if you step on the scale, and you’re 4, even 5 pounds (if you’re tall) heavier than the day before, don’t freak out! 


On the contrary, you also don’t want to get on the scale every day and make an excuse like, “Oh, I must be 4 pounds heavier today because of the earth’s rotation,” when your weight keeps going up, and up, and up.  You simply want to monitor whether your weight is consistently going up, down, or remaining the same based on whatever fitness goal you have.


chalene johnson_number on the scale 3.) Make sure the number you’re striving for is realistic.

Too often, people get a number stuck in their head that they think they should weigh, and they obsess over it.  Maybe it was a number at which they felt comfortable in their own skin.  However, based on a variety of things, it may no longer be healthy or realistic for their body type. 


Here’s an example…  A week after I had my son, Brock, I weighed what I weighed before I had him.  BUT, I wasn’t even close to the same size.  I was what people call “skinny fat.”  By the number on the scale, you’d think I was back to my pre-baby body, but that was far from the truth.  Muscle weighs more than fat…and at the time, I had less muscle, and more fat. 


If you’re striving to hit a particular number on the scale, make sure that number makes sense based on the amount of muscle you have.  If you’re strength training, you will want to add 4 to 5 pounds to that “magic number.”


Bottom line is, don’t judge yourself based on the number on the scale.  Keep sticking to those healthy habits and don’t obsess over your weight. Know that your worth is based on who you are as a person, not whether or not you can see your abs.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “Don’t Obsess over the Number on the Scale

  1. Thank you Chalene. As a now 53 year old woman I certainly cannot obsess with the number on the scale. But I can say from experience that the Turbo Fire and Chalene Extremem will help you tremendously as it did me. Everyone says I have lost weight. However, the scale doesn’t show pounds lost as much as my clothes show a much younger women with lean muscle and less fat. I love love your workouts.

  2. Thank you Chalene. As a now 53 year old woman I certainly cannot obsess with the number on the scale. But I can say from experience that the Turbo Fire and Chalene Extremem will help you tremendously as it did me. Everyone says I have lost weight. However, the scale doesn’t show pounds lost as much as my clothes show a much younger women with lean muscle and less fat. I love love your workouts.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! It is almost as if this was written for me. I was just telling my husband today that the scale isn’t budging and that some days it floats upward (even though I am eating fantastic and working out on top of my 30+ hours a week I work on my feet). He asked how often I was weighing in and I told him that I was doing it every day. I really know that I shouldn’t be doing this. Thank you for reminding me that it is not healthy to be stepping on the scale everyday and that I need to set a certain time to do it. You are such a fantastic instructor and motivator. I have been working out with Turbo Jam for many years and know that I will continue for many more years to come!!

  4. Thank you for this. I had a severe Achilles incident a year ago and I am finally back to working out. I stepped on a scale at work to start a weight loss competition and I was appalled at the number on the scale. Ever since–I’ve been sad at letting myself get “so heavy”, when in reality, I just need to get to working out as get rid of my little fat pad that started since I had been side lined for over a year!!! That dose of perspective was needed!!!

    • Even if you have some weight to lose, don’t let your weight affect how you think about yourself and your self worth. You are great!

  5. I am 27 and in week two of turbo fire! I weighed in and lost nothing, but gained because of premenstral symptoms. I then realize its not importat to stress because it will go down and I aim for 2-3 lbs a week. I hope sunday, has a loss rather than a gain. But, i’m trying to focus on the bigger picture! Thanks Chalene!

    • Sometimes it takes a few weeks for your hard work to show. Just keep getting those workouts in and eating healthy! Consistency pays off!

  6. Thank you so much for this post.
    My mood is easily affected by the number I see on the scale, so fustraring.

    I eat healthy and workout five days per week, I have the same weight with a totally different body.

    For now on, I will try a new scale, my mirror.

    • Rose, there are a few other things you can do to track your progress, too. Take progress pictures on your phone, take your measurements, and also have your body fat tested. All of these are great ways to measure your progress.

  7. Chalene! Thank you so much for this post, it gave me an ah-ha moment. I step on the scale first thing in the morning, every morning. Not anymore! I am in my 5th week of TurboFire also mixed with LM Combat. I will not sugar coat this. I almost sent back Turbo many times. I am the most uncoordinated person on the planet and just couldn’t find my groove. I was very frustrated until my beachbody coach (Heather Severence) and many other team members told me it gets bettr and I could DO this! I’m so glad I kept at it! I found my groove, and I love that you know when to say, “guess what, you’re not tired!” I’m starting to love the workouts! I’ve wandered off the subject, sorry. I just thought you should know that your program changes people and changes lives and lets us know we CAN DO IT! Thank you!

    • It does take some time to get used to if you’re not much of a “dancer,” but sometimes thinking about the moves takes your mind off of how hard you’re working. Glad you keep plugging away at it!

  8. It took me a little while to not be mad at myself or disappointed because my weight went up or stayed the same after working so hard for a week (I usually weigh myself once a week) on the scale. I never realized or thought it was possible that you can NOT show weight loss on the scale but show it in inches lost. It just didn’t make sense to me. Thanks to Turbo Fire (2 months in), I am learning A LOT about myself and I have such a profound love for health and fitness. Thank you, Chalene!! 🙂

    • So true Chantel! It’s always a good idea to measure yourself or have your body fat tested. It definitely doesn’t always show on the scale.

  9. I loved this! I’m a daily weigh in kind of girl and am always comfortable with the fluctuations. Actually I prefer to see them. I hate when you weigh in one week , then weigh in a week later feeling skinny and thinking you’ve lost and even if you’ve chosen the day of the week/time of day etc to weigh in it’s a time when you’re holding extra water or something like that and the scale’s up a bit. I get it in my head that I’ve lost, step on the scale and “oh, actually not…. a gain. Great.” when in reality it’s not a true gain, just a fluctuation but having not seen the daily flucuations… that “gain” is hard to understand. So weighing daily can be a good thing in my opinion as long as you keep all of the things you’ve said here in mind.

    One thing though…. muscle does not weigh more than fat. Science has proven that. A pound of muscle is a pound of muscle and a pound of fat is a pound of fat. Muscle is more dense than fat and takes up less room, so you can gain muscle an not look bigger for a long time until it gets bulky whereas gaining fat will make you look larger quicker.

    • Thanks for your comment! More muscle can cause the number on the scale to go up, but that doesn’t mean your body is getting bigger. It is tightening.

  10. I really struggle with the number on the scale. it’s hard to feel good in your clothes when, your butt and legs get bigger,therefore your clothes fit tighter.

  11. hi chalean i really love u and ur workout are awesome…i recently got married.be4 i did all kind of your workout dvd….and almost lost 10 kgs eventully …but after my marriage ..i not able to catch up with any workout any nor able to maintian the same weight…and i have gain back my weight ….what shall i do please give me any solution …

    love you

    • Hi Arshia! It’s really just a matter of jumping back in! Find a program you enjoy and DECIDE to stick to it. Also, find yourself some accountability whether it’s a workout buddy or a group online or a Beachbody Coach! You can do this!

  12. I have a question-I’m 18, weigh 180lbs and I’m 5″8-according to the BMI that’s considered, overweight. My bust is 38″, waist 31″ and stomach is 34″-what would you say would be a healthy weight for me? I don’t feel like 140 is a healthy weight for me, but I’d really appreciate your input.

    • Hi Natasha! Thanks for your comment! It’s hard to give someone a healthy number to aim for on the scale because this can drastically change based on the amount of muscle in your body. Your best bet would be to get your body fat tested and focus on reducing that more so than the number on the scale. You can do this at your gym or work with a trainer. They will get you on the right track!

  13. Chalene, you wrote somewhere at sometime an article or posted a video about why we may gain weight in the beginning of our workout program. It had something to do with our muscles swelling or something. I apologize, I don’t remember all the details which is why I’m posting! Could anyone direct me to that! I’ll search on youtube too!