When Should You Weigh? Should You Ditch The Scale For A Certain Time Period?
Anyone on the road to weight loss more than likely began their journey by weighing on a scale. This number, whatever it may be, serves as a good starting point for any weight loss endeavor. While it can be important to weigh at the beginning of a diet and exercise program with the intent of losing weight, too often the idea of weight and the “number” on the scale can become an obsession.
Weight management, and more particularly weight loss, brings about many misconceptions and inevitable frustrations. The scale adds fuel to the fire. The scale remains a great way to track your weight loss progress, but it can not be the only focus during the odyssey of losing weight. For instance, an obese individual will find it much easier to shed pounds at the beginning of an exercise program. Stepping on a scale every day or every week may yield some fascinating results, but these results are directly related to the fact that it is much easier to shed fat when their is plenty of it. Fat that has accumulated over the years can be stubborn in certain areas, but once an overweight person starts their exercise program with some consistency, the newest fat will be gone relatively quickly. This excites many people and motivates them to continue the work. Sometimes the scale can show a loss of 5-10 pounds or more per week for a few weeks.
It is important to note that this type of progress is not a common result in people who are not highly overweight. The best and healthiest way to lose weight is to expect a 1-2 pound loss per week. Therefore, looking at an individual weighing around 240 pounds looking to lose 40 pounds, a 1-2 pound loss per week is expected and advised. Doing the math will show you that this could take awhile. For this reason, many weight loss warriors continually weigh themselves, sometimes daily, in the hopes of a drastic decrease in the number portrayed on the scale. When they don’t see the results they want, they easily become discouraged, and as so many do, fall back into old habits. This is the problem with becoming obsessed with a “number”. Weight fluctuates for a number of reasons. Some people simply carry more water weight than others. Hormones play a factor as well, especially in women. There are a bunch of reasons why you may not be seeing the number on the scale always meeting your expectations. The key is to focus on the positive aspects of your weight loss journey. If you can keep in mind that losing weight is a mathematical equation resulting from simply burning more calories than you consume in a given day, week, or month (whatever your measuring stick) – you are well on your way! It may take time, but the weight can, and will, dissipate with a well-balanced plan.
Another tip to keep in mind is the proper time to weigh. The morning time, after you wake up, is the most accurate time to weigh. Your food is fully digested and you have little water weight built up. From this point, continue with your regular day. Workout and eat according to your diet and exercise plan, and try not to step on the scale throughout the day or on a daily basis. It’s OK to weigh once a week, and probably better to weigh every couple of weeks, especially if you’ve been working at it for a while, because as stated earlier, weight will come off more easily in the beginning of a workout program. This is seen more in severely overweight individuals, but it happens to many others as well.
So if you were losing 3-4 pounds per week for the first couple of weeks, and now you find the scale reading a 1 pound or less loss each week after continuing your program, don’t worry. It may be time to ditch the scale for awhile. Ask yourself, “Are my clothes fitting the way I want them to?” “Are my clothes fitting loser?” It’s strongly possible that those two questions can be answered with a “yes” while the scale may be indicating otherwise. Again, don’t become obsessed with a number. Give it time, stick to your diet and exercise program, and celebrate your progress.