One of the tips I have heard from time to time regarding weight loss is to not weight yourself, to simply gauge your weight loss by how your clothes look and feel on you. Though I admit there are times I want to throw my scale out the window, I have come to find that it is vital to my dieting success.
When you think about it, your scale is really the easiest way to hold yourself accountable for your decisions. If you over indulge and eat that chocolate cake for dessert (OK so you do it three nights in a row) or you haven’t strapped on your tennis shoes for so long that they are collecting dust; your scale will tell you! I know there are always variables like water retention or muscle gain….but for the most part it paints a pretty accurate picture of what you are choosing each day.
An article earlier this year in Prevention Magazine advises us all to make friends with our scales. I know you aren’t going to be taking long strolls together or playing a game of hearts, but here are some great ideas to think about when getting on the scale.
Weigh yourself often (really!)
Out of sight, out of mind simply doesn’t work. In one study, daily weighers dropped twice as many pounds as weekly weighers—12 pounds versus 6, possibly because it was a regular reminder to stay on track. Meanwhile, dieters who avoided the scale altogether gained 4 pounds. And despite the common belief that focusing on weight makes women feel bad about themselves, scientists have found that tracking your weight can actually improve your mood by giving you a sense of control!
Don’t sweat fluctuations
The biggest culprit is water (and water in the food you eat). The calories in a liter of soda would add about 0.10 pound if you didn’t burn them off, but step on the scale immediately after drinking it and you’ll be up over 2 pounds; go to the bathroom and you’ll likely drop 1 to 1.5 pounds. You even lose water weight—about 2 pounds a day—just by breathing and sweating. Day-to-day fluctuations can be the result of eating a high-sodium meal or your level of hydration, while your menstrual cycle can cause changes all month long. Remember, no one meal or single splurge will move the scale’s needle in a lasting way unless it becomes a habit. However, a difference of 100 calories at every meal could add up to more than 30 pounds in a year—in either direction. (crazy right??)
I know that there are many paths to success, all of us at The Weight Race are here to encourage you, support you and provide some motivation! Come join us today, it’s free! www.theweightrace.com