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It’s amazing how many of us live and die by the magic number that flashes up on the bathroom scales. But not Kate Winslet.
Turns out that the actress puts her body confidence down to one thing – not weighing herself.
Speaking about her new film ‘The Mountain Between Us’, in which her co-star, the delectable Idris Elba, has to drag her from a stream, she revealed that she hasn’t stepped on the scales for years.
“It was very hard on him. I don’t know how much I weigh. I haven’t weighed myself in 12 years – top tip,” she told The Sun.
“But pulling my body weight, plus soaking wet with water and those clothes – it was pretty rough on poor old Idris.”
And Kate isn’t the only one to advocate the ditching of the weighing scales. The personal trainer Joe Wicks, aka the Body Coach, doesn’t allow his clients to weigh themselves, referring to scales as “the sad step”.
And earlier this year popstar Pink penned a powerful Instagram post urging women to stay off the scales.
In a candid, straight-talking Instagram post, the 37-year-old mum-of-two, who gave birth to her second child, a son, Jameson Moon, in December, delivered a dollop of realness to all women about learning to love their bodies, no matter what the scales say.
“Would you believe I’m 160 pounds and five-foot-three-inches tall?” she wrote alongside an image of her looking strong and healthy at the gym. “By ‘regular standards’ that makes me obese. I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after baby two, but dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself.”
Other experts believe that scales, as a measure of health, are flawed. With some arguing that weighing yourself doesn’t take into account muscle mass, shifts in body fat, water retention or even ageing.
And then there’s the emotional affect weighing yourself can have on your self-esteem, with some fitness experts explaining that a negative scale reading can sometimes lead to abandoning of fitness goals completely.
That’s something Kelsey Wells agrees with. The fitness blogger took to Instagram last year to urge her 300K followers to stop being a slave to the scales and letting weight define how they feel about their bodies.
Sharing three side-by-side selfies, one two months after giving birth (145 lbs) then when she reached her ‘goal weight’ (122 lbs) a few months later, and how she looked after putting 18 lbs back on (140 lbs).
The 26-year-old who runs fitness blog My Sweat Life also penned an inspiring post explaining that weight isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of health.
“There is only a 5lb difference between my starting and current weight, but my body composition has changed COMPLETELY,” Kelsey wrote. “I have never had more muscle and less body fat than I do now. I have never been healthier than I am now.”
But while, Kate, Kelsey and co clearly have a point that weighing yourself shouldn’t be the only measure of health and fitness, there’s no denying that for some people, monitoring weight through a scale is necessary or preferential.
And there is research to suggest that weighing yourself regularly is associated with greater weight loss and less weight regain than less-frequent self-weighing.
One study revealed that participants who weighed themselves daily for six months lost 13 more pounds (6 kg), on average, than those who weighed themselves less frequently.
What’s more, a further study suggests that those who weigh themselves daily tend to adopt more favourable weight control behaviours, exercise better restraint toward food and eat impulsively less often.
The moral of the story? Do what’s right for you. For some weighing yourself is the key to staying on track with your health and fitness goals. For others it can be the breaker of body confidence.
So whether you’re stepping onto the scales or ditching them, the key is not getting too caught up in the little number that shows on them because body positivity is more than just a number.
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