Trying to lose weight? Then ditch the scale, says P.E.I. dietitian

A P.E.I. dietitian is encouraging people to stick with their New Year's resolution of losing weight by doing away with the scale.

Bethany Vessey says there are better ways to measure health progress

Registered dietitian Bethany Vessey says people can give too much power to the number on scale. (Shutterstock/VGstockstudio)

A P.E.I. dietitian is encouraging people to stick with their New Year's resolution of losing weight by doing away with the scale.

Bethany Vessey, a registered dietitian since 2010, and has been scale-less in the past year and took to Facebook on Monday in the hopes others will do the same.

"Just get rid of it. Throw it out," she said. "Because if it's there and especially if it's a person that has a habit of weighing themselves on a regular basis, it's going to be a struggle."

She said her clients can show significant progress and feel better through changes in lifestyle, but stepping on the scale can diminish that success.

"In my experience, I have never seen a scale be positive, even when a client is losing weight," Vessey said.

"The scale has a lot of power and hold on people on how they see themselves. They allow that number to determine their self-value, their self-worth."

Vessey said only those who have a chronic health condition should be using a scale to keep track of their weight.

Instead, she said most people should be measuring their success through implementing healthy lifestyle changes and seeing how those changes make them feel.

Better measures

Factors like sleep, energy levels, stress, physical activity and the consumption of nutritious foods are all better measures of progress.

"If you focus less on the weight, and more on those habits ... and making them sustainable for life, the weight will naturally change." 

That health will look different on every body and that those looking to make a change need to learn what works for them, she added.