To Weigh or Not To Weigh? Weight Loss Edition
Are you starting out on a weight loss journey?
The first question we are asked is “how much weight do you want to lose?” or “what would you like to weigh?”
For some, using a number on the scale is beneficial. If you can see it as nothing more than data and feedback, then you want to include weighing as part of the process.
However, if one day the scale is your BFF and the next you want to smash it with a sledge hammer, you need to rethink if you want to continue stepping on the scale. The scale is a tool that should HELP you, not harm you.
Weighing is an individual choice and here’s what I recommend to consider when deciding if you are going to weigh yourself and if so, how often.
A weight is just data. It’s how much you weigh at a specific moment in time. You have to take into consideration how much other factors can influence that number.
Here’s a few things that can make that number look higher than it really is:
Recently eating a meal high in sodium. This can make you retain water. If you are retaining water, your weight will be higher regardless of how many calories was in that high sodium meal.
Menstrual cycle. Ladies, ever feel “bloated?” You are retaining water and again, this will increase that number temporarily.
Diarrhea or constipation. Constipation can increase that number while diarrhea may dehydrate you.
Dehydration. In this case that number can be lower. If extra water in the body makes the number go up, the opposite is true in dehydration.
Remember that these changes are temporary and are not reflective of fat loss.
This is why you can’t get too hung up on that number. I’ve had people come into my office and tell me what a great week they had. They give examples of times they said no to unhealthy foods and how they exercised even when they didn’t want to. They feel great! Then we step on the scale and it is up .01 pounds. I spend the rest of the appointment consoling them and convincing them not to give up.
Don’t let this be you!
If you are going to weigh, remember to do these things:
Always use the same scale that sits on the same surface.
Be consistent in the time of day you weigh.
Don’t wear clothes to increase accuracy.
Weigh once a week. At most every 3-4 days.
If you are ready to get off the rollercoaster of the scale, here’s some ideas.
Pick other things that are measurable. My clients have had success with
Body fat %
Labwork such as cholesterol levels or HA1C (diabetes management.)
How a particular pair of pants fits (we call this a clothesometer)
Those things can be measured, but I believe you should also look at things that are subjective. Examples include:
Getting better sleep
Having more energy
Being able to walk further
Feeling more in control over food choices
Thinking less about food
Improved sex life
If you need help to establish your goals and you need a solid plan to achieve them, send me an email (email@example.com) and I am happy to help!
Life is too short to be tortured by a potato chip.
Start living your best life today!
If you want to see my YouTube video on this very topic, click here.
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