Why Weighing Yourself Fuels Food Obsession and Body Dysmorphia

Why Weighing Yourself Fuels Food Obsession and Body Dysmorphia. pic

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Starting to improve how you feel about your bod means tackling some tough stuff, and one biggie is stepping on that scale. Seems innocent, right? But truth is, checking your weight all the time can mess with your head big time. It can make you super focused on food and mess with how you see yourself.

5 Reasons Why the Scale Isn’t Helping and What to Try Instead

Reason 1: The Scale’s Deceptive Influence

Stepping onto the scale often comes with expectations and judgments. If the number is lower than expected, relief and validation may follow. However, a higher number can trigger anxiety, guilt, and even self-loathing. This constant emotional rollercoaster creates a shaky foundation for a positive body image.

Instead, Let’s Try Challenging the Scale’s Power

Recognize that your worth is not determined by a number on the scale. Challenge the belief that your weight defines you and embrace the idea that your value goes far beyond digits.

Reason 2: Food Obsession and Calorie Counting

Weighing yourself regularly tends to intertwine with obsessive thoughts about food. The quest for a specific number on the scale often leads to scrutinizing every morsel consumed. This heightened focus on calories and food choices can escalate into disordered eating patterns.

Instead, Let’s Try Shifting The Focus To Intuitive Eating

Cultivate a more intuitive approach to eating by listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Reject external food rules and embrace a balanced, mindful relationship with food.

Reason 3: Fluctuations and Emotional Impact

Daily weight fluctuations are entirely normal and can be influenced by various factors like hydration, hormones, or even the time of day. However, these natural shifts can provoke intense emotional responses, fueling body dysmorphia and undermining self-esteem.

Instead, Let’s Try Embracing Body Respect

Shift your focus from appearance-based judgments to respecting and appreciating your body for its functionality and resilience. Embrace body neutrality by detaching self-worth from physical appearance.

Reason 4: A Recipe for Obsession

The constant pursuit of an idealized weight can turn into a never-ending chase, fostering obsession and contributing to mental distress. This preoccupation with numbers distracts from the broader aspects of well-being.

Instead, Let’s Try Setting Non-Weight-Related Goals

Redirect your goals towards non-weight-related achievements. Focus on building a lifestyle that promotes overall health, joy, and fulfillment, rather than fixating on a specific weight.

Reason 5: The Impact on Mental Health

Weighing yourself frequently can take a toll on mental health, perpetuating stress, anxiety, and a negative body image. This relentless cycle of emotional turmoil disrupts the journey towards self-acceptance.

Instead, Let’s Try Practicing Mindfulness

Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to cultivate present-moment awareness. Mindfulness can help break the cycle of obsessive thoughts and foster a more compassionate mindset.

While the scale might seem like a straightforward tool for tracking progress, its impact on mental well-being can be profound. Breaking free from the habit of frequent weigh-ins is a crucial step towards fostering a healthier relationship with food and body image. Embrace the journey of self-discovery, focusing on holistic well-being rather than being confined by a numerical value. Your worth transcends the digits on a scale, and true health encompasses physical, mental, and emotional harmony.

Must Read Books To Improve Body Image

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The Body Is Not An Apology By Sonya Renee Taylor 

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world–for us all.

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon

Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.

Body Talk by Katie Sturino

With Body Talk, an illustrated guide-meets-workbook, Sturino is here to help you stop obsessing about your body issues, focus on self-love, and free up space in your brain for creative and productive energy. Complete with empowering affirmations, relatable anecdotes, and actionable takeaways, as well as space to answer prompts and jot down feelings and inspirations, Body Talk encourages you to spend less time thinking about how you look and what you eat and more time discovering your inner fierceness.

More Than A Body by Lindsay and Lexie Kite

From media consumption to health and fitness to self-reflection and self-compassion, Lindsay and Lexie share powerful and practical advice that goes beyond “body positivity” to help readers develop body image resilience—all while cutting through the empty promises sold by media, advertisers, and the beauty and weight-loss industries. In the process, they show how facing your feelings of body shame or embarrassment can become a catalyst for personal growth.

The Body Of Truth by Harriet Brown 

The quest for health and wellness has never been more urgent, yet most of us continue to buy into fad diets and unattainable body ideals, unaware of the damage we’re doing to ourselves. Through interviews, research, and her own experience, Brown not only gives us the real story on weight, health, and beauty, but also offers concrete suggestions for how each of us can sort through the lies and misconceptions and make peace with and for ourselves.

Landwhale by Jes Baker

A deeply personal take, Landwhale is a glimpse at life as a fat woman today, but it’s also a reflection of the unforgiving ways our culture still treats fatness, all with Jes’s biting voice as the guide.

Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.