Are you afraid of your bathroom scales?

Are you afraid of your bathroom scales?

20 January 2015

Written by Jennie Bayliss

Do you, like the infamous Bridgette Jones, jump on your bathroom scales daily? Do you despair if they say anything other than a loss? Or are you so terrified of your bathroom scales that they are collecting dust from not being used? It’s time to understand a little more about weight loss and to see that your scales are just a tool —nothing more and nothing else. A tool though that can help you…

On average 55% of a woman’s body is made up of fluids. Daily this fluctuates slightly according to hydration and your menstrual cycle. The frequency of your bowel movements will also impact on your weight so very easily your weight may up or down by as much as 2lbs (about a kilo) which has nothing to do with the amount of body fat that you are storing. Jumping on your bathroom scales daily may therefore give you a false reading. If you need to wean yourself off daily weighing, choose 2-days a week and then eventually once a week where you weigh and record your weight. Weighing yourself at the same time of day also helps even out natural fluctuations.

If on the other hand you are so scared of weighing yourself, remember the scales are just a tool. Your scales don’t judge you – they just show your weight: nothing more or less. If they show you weighing heavier than you wanted to be, please don’t beat yourself up or be sad, miserable or even mad. This is simply where – just a measure that allows you to track what is going on with your body and that you can now begin the journey back to your natural weight.

Not just your bathroom scales: Body Mass Index (BMI) and other tools can help

BMI was originally considered a better way of measuring whether someone was overweight or not. However, the BMI can give false readings for those who are are very muscular and those who are frail. These 2 failings aside it is still a better indicator of whether you are overweight than just your weight alone. Y

Waist Measurement. In terms of your health if you carry excess weight around your middle, then there is a significantly higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. This chart below looks at what your ideal waist measurement should look like in relationship to your height

Women Waist Measurement Chart (inches)
Height (feet/inches)Ideal Waist (inches)Overweight (inchesObese (inches)
5′ 1″2428.4—31.5>31.5
5′ 2″24.529.1—32.2>32.2
5′ 3″2529.9—33>33
5′ 4″2630.7—33.8>33.8
5′ 5″2631.5—34.6>34.6
5′ 6″26.532.3—35.4>35.4
5′ 7″2733.1—36.2>36.2
5′ 10″27.535.5—38.6>38.6
6′ 0″2837.1—40.2>40.2

This chart follows the view of the Waist to Height ratio score of ideally being 0.40 and still within the range of ‘normal’ at 0.50 – this is shown in the difference between the ideal and the lower of the “overweight” measurements. To work out your ratio, simply divide your waist measurement by your height. You can do this in inches or centimetres.


This video below tells you more about BMI and Waist to Hip Ratio as well as showing you how to correctly measure yourself. To work-out your Waist-to-Hip ratio divide your waist measurement by the widest part of your hips. For Women, if this is less than 0.75 this is excellent, between 0.75–0.79 this is good, between 0.8–0.86 is considered average and at risk if the ratio is more than 0.86.

Receive my in-depth articles

Reflections newsletter signup

You may also like