You step on the scale, oh no, your weight is up. Immediately you start berating yourself. "I am so pathetic. Why can't I control my weight? I just keep getting fatter. I am so depressed."
You just weighed your self-worth and that isn't what scales are for.
Scales are a feedback tool. Feedback is essential to monitor your gap, where you are versus where you want to be. A tool is something we use to make our life easier. A scale is a feedback tool. Wise use of the scale will make your life easier and allow you to reach your goal more quickly.
Wise Scale Use
What is "wise" use of the scale? How often should you weigh yourself? That depends on where you are in your weight loss program.
When you have lost all the weight you want and are in your maintenance phase I recommend weighing yourself once a week. Once a week is often enough to effectively monitor and maintain your weight.
After you have been in maintenance for six months I recommend you weigh yourself once a month. By now you will have developed the lifestyle habits required to maintain your weight.
In the beginning, when you are just starting your weight loss program I recommend weighing yourself 2 to 3 times a day. Yes, you read correctly, weigh yourself 2-3 times a day.
Are You Serious?
Yes! What is a scale? It is a feedback tool. It tells you how effective (or ineffective) your program is. The more often you get feedback the more often you can modify your program to consistently deliver the results you want. You are making a lifestyle change because of the love and respect you have for yourself. Weigh yourself for feedback, not self-esteem.
Let's go on vacation!
How about a road trip? When you go on a road trip you take the time to plot out your course and decide on a realistic time frame for arriving at your destination. Let's go! You get in the car and start driving. How often do you want feedback on your progress? Constantly.
You are constantly checking to make sure you are staying on the road. You are always making micro corrections to maintain your course. You wouldn't consider sleeping at the wheel. It would be disastrous; you would be setting yourself up for a major wreck.
You are on a trip. Your own personal weight loss and wellness journey. You absolutely must generate feedback on how your program is going several times a day or you are sleeping at the wheel. You will have no clue and a will be setting yourself up for a major weight loss and wellness wreck.
The scale is not a place to stand to remind yourself to start self talk re-runs about what a horrible person you are. You are a wonderful person!
The scale definitely is a device used to give you regular feedback and help you stay on plan. Love yourself by giving yourself appropriate feedback. I know, you still have some trepidation about weighing yourself 2-3 times a day. You are worried you will just beat yourself up every time you stand on the scale. You won't. You will move beyond negative self talk.
You are moving forward with positive intention and positive self talk. The scale doesn't measure your worth, only you do. Weighing yourself 2-3 times/day will help you overcome your fear of the scale. The more often you do something you fear without negative results, the less you'll fear it!
When Should I Weigh Myself?
You will want to weigh yourself in the morning before you eat breakfast. This will give you the low end of your personal weight fluctuation and will give you the information you will need to set your daily calorie goal. If you have access to a scale, we recommend weighing yourself right before lunch. Finally, weigh yourself right before you eat dinner. This measurement does two things. It gives you another data point for measuring your weight over time and it reminds you not to overeat at dinner.
Your weight may fluctuate 2-8 pounds throughout the day. Weighing yourself often (2-3 times) will teach you how your body's weight changes throughout the day.
How many calories in a pound of fat? 3,500 calories. So, when you stand on the scale and see your weight has gone up 2 pounds since the last time you weighed yourself 4 hours ago; ask, have I eaten 7,000 extra calories in the last four hours. Most likely you haven't (especially if you are sticking to your plan). If you haven't eaten an extra 7,000 calories how did you gain 2 pounds?
You have had some food and water. Food and water weigh something. A quart of water weighs about 2 pounds. If you weighed yourself then had a gallon of water and hopped right back on the scale, your weight would be almost 9 pounds heavier. But it was just water. Who cares about water weight? We care about fat--losing it, and muscle-- keeping it.
Your-Weight Loss-Wellness-Solution is all about maximizing fat loss while maintaining your lean, sexy muscles. Knowing how your weight changes when you eat and drink, and being able to assess how many calories you have eaten since the last time you weighed allows you to fearlessly stand on the scale and receive feedback. Exactly what kind of feedback do we get from a scale? That depends on what kind of scale you have.
What Kind of Scale?
There are essentially two different types of scales available.
The basic bathroom scale. It just tells you how much you weigh.
Then there is our favorite type-- An electronic scale that tells you how much you weigh, and, more importantly, what your body fat percentage and your hydration level are.
We love this type of scale because it measures more. It gives you more data to track the effectiveness of your program. Should you care about your body fat percentage and hydration level? Absolutely! They are essential pieces of feedback for your success.
What if you lose 20 pounds and half of what you have lost, 10 pounds, is muscle? You have effectively lowered your metabolism by almost 500 calories! That is a huge step backwards in your quest to lose fat.
Monitor Your Body Fat Percentage
Monitoring your body fat percentage allows you to modify your diet and exercise regimen for maximum fat loss while keeping your beautiful, calorie burning muscle. Why should you care about your hydration level? Remember, your body can only metabolize fat optimally when you are properly hydrated and an appropriate hydration level will give you a more accurate body fat percentage reading.
The scale is your friend. It allows you to measure your progress on a daily basis. Set yourself up for success by expecting small, consistent change.
Take Away Tips:
Weigh yourself 2-3 times a day. In the morning before breakfast, at lunch if you have access to a scale and right before you eat dinner. Use the scale to track progress and to keep you on plan. By measuring your progress often you are able to make real time changes to your program in order to insure you are burning as much fat as possible. Knowing your body fat percentage and your hydration level give you additional feedback allowing you to fine tune your fat loss
Change the World
Over 65% of the U.S. population is overweight. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. Our rates of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and numerous other diseases are some of the highest in the world. We are one of the fattest, least healthy developed countries on the planet. Join me in changing the health of our great country and the world, share this article with as many people as you can. Be an agent of positive change. Help save a life. Share this article.