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Why You Should Break Up with Your Scale

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    Scales Aren't Always Accurate

    If you log your weight on an old-school mechanical balance-beam scale at the gym, then on a digital scale at home, you might be seeing a huge difference—and one that has nothing to do with your actions. Mechanical scales need to be recalibrated frequently to give true readings, and many aren't. If you insist on weighing in, do so on the same scale each time—ideally a digital one.

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    It Takes the Focus Away from How You FEEL

    Focusing on a number can take away from the big picture: living a healthy life, focused on activities. "Maybe it's easier than it used to be to chase after your kids after taking up running three times a week or you're able to touch your toes thanks to weekly yoga sessions," Sandoz says. "Why focus on pounds when you can reflect on your health by linking it to things that are meaningful to you?"

    Related: Weighty Matters: Women's Top Weight Secrets Revealed

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    It Subtracts from the Big Picture

    Realize that you lost weight one week, and you're more likely to gain weight the next, according to Swiss researchers. The general trend is more important than the weekly (and, for that matter, daily) ups and downs on the scale. Disregard short-term hiccups in your weight and you can stay focused on the long-term goal of finding a weight that allows your body to perform at its peak.

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    You're More Likely to Feel Sick

    The bigger the difference between your IRL weight and your desired weight, the more sick you'll feel throughout the year, says Columbia University research. That means, if Tina weighs 140 pounds and wants to lose 15 pounds, while Jen weighs 140 and is A-OK at that spot, Tina is slightly more likely to get sick. Why? More stress, less confidence, and the self-fulfilling prophecy of the "I'm disgusting" attitude. Flip that perspective with these eight body image-boosting mantras.

    Related: The #1 Reason to Talk to Yourself at the Gym

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    It Can Be Addictive

    The mind is a fascinating thing. "We tend to attach more meaning to things than is rational sometimes," Sandoz says. Especially weight: "Women often feel pressure to be a certain size and present themselves in specific way," Sandoz says. Weight is an easy benchmark of how we stack up to others since there's a visible stat about our so-called worth. "If you find yourself checking the scale more when something else in your life isn't working right, it's time to throw the scale away."

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    You're More Likely to Use Unhealthy Weight-Loss Methods

    High-schoolers and young adults who consider themselves frequent scale users are 80 percent more likely than their less vigilant peers to take drastic measures to shed fat, says a new study from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Think: Fasting and skipping meals, and laxatives and vomiting, the researchers say.