What’s Physique Checking? — Registered Dietitian Columbia SC

This weblog publish was written by my beautiful intern from Simmons College, Lindsay Hodgson. Thanks Lindsay for contributing your data and time to creating this useful resource!

With summer time on the horizon, you may need observed that you just’re spending extra time interested by your physique and weight. I don’t find out about you, however I’ve observed my instagram feed is getting a bit clogged with focused advertisements for bathing fits modeled by skinny fashions! We’re surrounded by messaging telling us we must be “bikini physique” prepared, so it’s arduous to not really feel extra vital of your physique this time of 12 months. With that, you may need observed a rise in a conduct known as physique checking.

What’s physique checking?

Physique checking, because it sounds, is the method of checking your physique via actions, ideas, or conversations. Typically it’s a manner of assessing the place your physique is now in relation to a typical you’ve got in your thoughts of the place it “ought to” be. The powerful factor about physique checking is that it’s so normalized in weight loss plan tradition and the appearance-obsessed society we reside in. All of us do it, deliberately or unintentionally, as physique checking is a part of navigating the world in your physique and being in relationship with it.

It may be useful to study physique checking as a result of it might profoundly impression your physique picture and relationship to your physique. For many individuals, physique checking could also be a conduct that appears like it’s on autopilot. As you change into extra acutely aware of physique checking, you may make extra deliberate selections of the way you wish to reply. With time, it could change into much less of a consider unfavorable physique picture. 

What are physique checking behaviors?

Physique checking manifests in another way amongst us all. Widespread physique checking behaviors, intentional or unconscious, are:1,2

  • Weighing your self. For instance, stepping on a rest room scale every morning or having a routine of monitoring your weight when medically pointless. 

  • particular physique elements within the mirror.

  • Checking the match of garments. This will present up particularly after placing on a garment that was lately within the dryer or one thing you haven’t worn shortly, the place you may expertise nervousness of “is that this tighter than it was earlier than?”  

  • Asking for reassurance associated to your form or measurement, corresponding to “is that this flattering?” 

  • Evaluating your form or measurement to different folks. Typically this happens in inner dialogue, the place you may stroll into the room and attempt to assess your measurement towards others.   

  • One other frequent type of physique checking that many people expertise in our each day lives for the reason that pandemic is your individual video sq. whereas on a video name. Actually, seeing your reflection is likely one of the contributing elements of “Zoom fatigue.” In a Stanford article, the authors named how taxing and irritating it may be to continually see your reflection, and the way it might result in extra self-criticism.

Why do you physique verify?

The foundation trigger of somebody’s physique checking isn’t merely aesthetics. It may be for a lot of causes from exterior to emotional elements. No matter somebody’s distinctive expertise, we can’t ignore systemic and internalized fatphobia as enjoying an enormous function. Merely put, if we didn’t reside in a fatphobic world, we wouldn’t physique verify, simply as we don’t compulsively verify the colour of our hair or our peak.

With that in thoughts, listed below are a couple of different causes: 

  • Management. Folks might physique verify to take care of management and self-discipline over their our bodies. 

  • Aid or reassurance. Others physique verify for proof that their physique hasn’t modified (that means verify that it has not gotten larger) or to see if they’re seeing outcomes with weight reduction, physique sculpting, and so on. 

  • Obligation. Many individuals have been informed to drop a few pounds by medical suppliers, and they also physique verify to adjust to suggestions and out of concern for his or her well being. 

How does physique checking relate to physique picture and consuming issues?

In case you’ve discovered your self feeling icky in your physique after stepping on the dimensions or passing a mirrored image, you’re not alone. Actually, there may be knowledge to show it. Whereas all physique checking isn’t inherently disordered, analysis has demonstrated a hyperlink between physique checking and consuming dysfunction pathology.1 A number of research assist the concept physique checking behaviors might perpetuate the event of an consuming dysfunction and physique picture dissatisfaction.1 One explicit examine famous a rise in unfavorable feelings amongst individuals after physique checking in comparison with beforehand.2 This distinction was even better in individuals with identified consuming issues versus individuals with out consuming issues.2 

On this manner, it’s a cyclical relationship the place physique checking behaviors could also be each signs and contributing elements to the development of an consuming dysfunction. For many individuals physique checking behaviors change into methods of feeling protected and in management whereas energetic of their consuming dysfunction. But it often makes issues worse. this Unfavourable physique picture through physique checking might then encourage weight-reduction plan, restriction, or different disordered behaviors to “make up” for perceived issues or achieve management over one’s physique form or measurement.”2

That is frequent amongst purchasers’ lived experiences at any stage in restoration. Physique checking could be a set off even when somebody has made great progress to heal their relationship with meals and physique. It’s regular for somebody to face a setback of proscribing or over-exercising once more after stepping on the dimensions on the physician’s workplace or seeing an image of themselves they dislike. 

How can I cut back physique checking? 

  • Journal with out judgment to discover why you physique verify. When did you study to physique verify? What are you checking for? In that conduct what else are you looking for? When are you prone to physique verify? How does physique checking serve your physique picture? How does it hurt your physique picture?  

  • Discover whenever you physique verify. Title what is occurring. Convey some mild mindfulness to the second. Do a fast physique scan. Discover how you’re feeling in your physique.  

  • When you’ve got extra consciousness of the elements to steer you to physique verify, contemplate small modifications which may cut back or get rid of the physique checking conduct. This may appear like avoiding the denims that pinch your waist, hiding the self-view on Zoom, transferring your mirror to a different location in your house, placing your scale in a cabinet in the meanwhile, and extra. Small changes to the objects and routines that remind you to physique verify will help you lower physique checking behaviors and be much less fixated on unfavorable physique picture ideas. 


  1. Walker DC, White EK, Srinivasan VJ. A meta-analysis of the relationships between physique checking, physique picture avoidance, physique picture dissatisfaction, temper, and disordered consuming. Int J Eat Disord. 2018 Aug;51(8):745-770. doi: 10.1002/eat.22867. 

  2. Kraus N, Lindenberg J, Zeeck A, Kosfelder J, Vocks S. Instant Results of Physique Checking Conduct on Unfavourable and Optimistic Feelings in Girls with Consuming Problems: An Ecological Momentary Evaluation Strategy. Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2015 Sep;23(5):399-407. doi: 10.1002/erv.2380. 

If this weblog publish on physique checking was useful and you are feeling such as you would profit from extra individualized physique picture assist, try our observe philosophy and diet teaching companies web page. We work with purchasers just about all through the US.

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