To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

To weigh or not to weigh: that is the question.

Hamlet – To be or not to be…

If you’re trying to lose weight, this question becomes an important one.

There seem to be 2 philosophical camps: the weight-not-ers and the weigh-ers.

The weigh-not –ers say don’t weigh yourself because your weight can fluctuate daily and if you’re doing everything right and not losing weight then you’ll get discouraged and ditch the whole effort. They say it’s all about how you feel and not about a number on a scale because how does anyone pick an arbitrary number as an “ideal weight”? And just because a person is at his or her “ideal weight” doesn’t mean he or she is healthy. 

On the other hand, the weigh-ers say you should weigh yourself regularly – at most daily but at least once a week – to help you stay on track because your weight is a good indication of how you’re doing in the area of weight loss/management.

Dread the scale?

I recommend you take a little from each camp. I say definitely weigh yourself. Don’t hate the scale; it’s just a measurement device, like a thermometer.

While the scale is a great tool, try not to obsess over it. If your weight is up a couple of pounds, don’t decide that you can’t eat anything for the rest of the day or say, “Forget it! I’ve been perfect for a whole week and haven’t lost a single pound! I can’t lose weight!” and decide to soak your frustrations in a tub of ice cream.

That won’t help.

Remember your weight truly can fluctuate based on hormone cycle, hydration, etc. Make a note of the number and continue to eat lean meats or plant protein, whole fruits, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables. Eat low glycemic foods to keep your body well-fueled. Read my blogpost, Diet Roulette, for more information about eating low glycemic.

If you think you’ve done everything right but still gained a few pounds, try keeping a food journal and write every single thing you put in your mouth, every morsel of food, drink, and even that tiny taste of candy, cookie, cake…you get the picture. Keeping a food journal helps us be more mindful of what we’re eating and may call attention to mindless snacking we hadn’t noticed before.

Keep in mind that your daily actions are what determine your outcome. Make reaching your weight-loss goal part of your healthy lifestyle. Make a conscious decision that you’re in it for life and you’re not on a diet. Diets are temporary; that’s why they don’t work. Be patient.

Now, let’s say you hop on the scale and you’ve lost a few pounds. Congratulations! That’s great! Maybe you expected the weight loss, maybe you didn’t. Either way, enjoy the weight loss and keep the good nutrition going.

Remember, that the scale is not the enemy. In my experience with weight loss/management, what’s hard to lose is super easy to gain, and, like it or not, the scale is a reliable tool for measuring weight.

Another great tool is a tape measure – Measure your waist, hips, thighs, and biceps. According to most health professionals, your waist measurement should be no more than half your height. Depending on your workout and nutrition routine, losses may show more in inches than in pounds.   apple

If you want to lose a few pounds or if you’re interested in maintaining your weight, it’s important to weigh and measure yourself to help you stay focused on eating healthy, nutritious food.

Most of the time, I really don’t need to hop on the scale or measure myself to know I’ve put on a few pounds. Last summer, after a 7-day cruise of eating rich food aplenty and indulging in dessert nearly every night, I dreaded getting on the scale. I knew I had gained weight. I could feel it. The only question was how much?

The scale confirmed what I already knew, but somehow, seeing that number burst my rationalization bubble and helped me get back on track faster than I would have without it.

Never give up! No matter what the scale says, never give up! Commit to a healthy lifestyle and use the scale to your benefit.

So, are you a weigh-er or a weigh-not-er? What works best for you?

2 thoughts on “To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

  • April 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Excellent blog. Thanks for the info. It’s also important to remember if you are trying to lose weight and are strength training you may be exchanging fat for muscle which would be another reason why the scale may not be moving as much as you think it should be.

    • April 5, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Excellent point! That really may be happening if you’ve been strength training and your clothes fit better or even start to feel loose and the weight stays the same : )

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