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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Limit Weighing Yourself For a Successful Weight Loss Plan

4:37 AM

Many people get frustrated because they weigh themselves too regularly and don't see enough of a decrease to justify the work that they are doing to lose weight. They may weigh themselves once a week or twice a week and are expecting to see that two or three, or even four or five pound decrease in the scale numbers but instead see the same weight they started or - or heaven forbid an increase in weight and may give up their weight loss efforts completely. This is a mistake, because weight loss isn't regular and you can't gauge your success by looking at the scale once a week.

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First, there are several factors that affect our weight including water retention, food eaten and just normal fluctuation. Since we don't normally pay attention to these things it is normally a surprise when we step on the scale and learn that we haven't lost the four pounds that we worked all week to lose, or worse yet that we have gained four pounds. It can make anyone feel like that their weight loss efforts are useless. However, if you wait for two weeks or even a month between weigh-ins you are likely to see a much more accurate representation of your weight loss. Someone attempting to lose 12 pounds a month (3 per week) will generally see a 9-14 pound loss at the end of the month.

However, when to weigh yourself is debatable by some. A recent study of overweight and obese adults who were attempting weight loss were found to lose more weight and attempted weight gain over a period of two years by weighing themselves more frequently than those who stepped on the scale less often. What this proves is that for some people, being accountable every couple of days to their weight is more helpful than if they don't watch the scale. However, you need to make the choice for yourself if it will help you or not. Our recommendation is that you weight yourself every couple of weeks max, unless you find that not looking at your weight unconsciously causes you to eat more than you should.

Another good trick to use to bypass the "scale blues" is to track your weight over time. Keep a chart and every time you weigh yourself mark it down on the chart. Not only will this allow you to make up for the normal fluctuations from one weight in to the next, but it will give you an overall picture of how you are doing. Also, you can take waist and other measurements and mark them down on your chart, which may tell a different story, especially if you are doing strength training workouts as part of your weight loss regimen. Muscle weighs more than fat so while you may not see a massive reduction in weight if you are building muscle, you will definitely see a difference in measurements.

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