Weight Obsession.

Do you weigh yourself everyday, hoping to see even a hundred milligrams change in weight? Chances are that you are engaging in a futile exercise as there would normally not be any significant changes of weight from day to day unless you’re going on some fad diet (which I don’t recommend). In any case, there can be up to 1 kg fluctuation in weight depending on the time of day when you weigh, how much you’ve eaten or drunk, how much sweat you’ve lost through the hot weather or exercise, whether you’ve gone to the toilet etc.

More importantly, an obsession with daily weight monitoring can lead to unnecessary anxiety, frustration or (in some extreme cases) even eating disorders. Of course it doesn’t help when you’ve got reality tv shows which put so much emphasis on the digits on the weighing scale. The fact is that weight is only one of several measures for determining health status. Waist circumference is a much better predictor for the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Some people may be more muscular or have heavier bones, and hence may be considered overweight or even obese under the standard BMI classification. Others may never reach their ideal weight no matter how hard they try due to their genetics. For people who are above their most healthy BMI, just a 10% loss of weight is sufficient to significantly reduce their metabolic disease risk. A similar obsession with body fat percentage (which is in itself fraught with measurement errors and inconsistencies) isn’t helpful either.

If you must weigh yourself, my advice is to do so no more than once a week and at the same time of the day (preferably first thing in the morning after voiding your bladder). Beyond the numbers, what’s crucial is how you feel about yourself and your functional improvement (what you can do that you previously couldn’t) as you progress towards your health and wellness goals.

Adapted by Derrick Ong


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