The scale, friend or foe?

Most of us struggle to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as we get older. If you’re overweight, you can reduce the risk of pre-diabetes by losing weight — even 5 percent to 10 percent. If you have diabetes, weight loss can improve blood glucose control and reduce medication requirements.

“The Mayo Clinic Diet” book recommends you weigh in twice a week and keep a record. Most weight loss programs don’t recommend weighing in daily because weight fluctuates somewhat day to day. Daily weighing can be discouraging and isn’t an accurate indicator of weight loss.

Morning is usually the best time to weigh yourself, because variations in food and liquid consumption affect weight through out the day. Shoes and clothes can add 3-5 pounds.

Use only one scale to base your weight loss and leave it at that. There are two types available — digital and mechanical. The digital scale generally has larger numbers and is easier to read. Mechanical scales with needle dials are more fragile, seem to wear out faster, and tend to be less accurate than digital scales. Professional scales found in gyms and doctor’s offices tend to be more accurate than those designed for home use.

Check out “Consumer Reports” or “Good Housekeeping” for reviews on the best scales.

How often do you weigh in? Do you love or hate your scale, or maybe it’s just the numbers? Remember, your weight loss efforts are more than just a number; it’s a focus on a healthier life.

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