Wednesday, March 2, 2011
To Weigh or Not To Weigh...
Actually, that's not really what the Prince of Denmark had in mind, but you get my point. When to weigh, and how often? The first part is easy. Always weigh first thing in the morning, before breakfast. I'm convinced that the human body on average fluctuates an average of 5 lbs a day. Everything thing from water retention to every meal you had working it's way through your system will add at least 5 lbs at the end of the day. So, don't jump on the scale at 10pm after a pasta dinner. That was the easy part... now the second part is more difficult to answer.
I believe the answer to the second question can only come from the individual. You know your body best and I bet most people can just tell you based on how they feel if they should weigh on any given day. I've been here before and tried it many different ways. What I've noticed is if I weigh too much, and the scale doesn't drop I get discouraged. Discouragement is the death nail to a diet. Of all the things that go on around us, food advertisments, co-workers offering cupcakes, the convience of the drive thru. I don't believe anything is as difficult to overcome as even the hint of discouragement. Exercise, eat right for days and weeks, then jump on the scale and you see no change. It's the recipe for knocking back an Extra Value Meal, with a chocolate milk chaser. My best defense against the evil that is discouragement is ignorance. Yes, seems dumb, I know. I know that my body for the most part loses weight slowly. I know that when I lose it's not obvious on my frame. And I know that it will take quite sometime to get to a point where I really start to see a noticeable difference. It's the way I'm biologically wired. It's possible to go a week and lose 4 lbs and the next week not lose one. If I make sure to only weigh at larger increments I lessen the risk of being caught in one of those stalemate weeks. Yes, this diet says you can lose a good bit quickly, but I believe that fast weight loss is only likely to happen in Phase 1. Instinct tells me that during Phases 2 and 3 weight loss will come at a much slower Weight Watchers like level of maybe a pound or two per week, tops. I'm prepared for it and I've decided to weigh at the end of each 17 days at the most. Not knowing on the bad weeks helps for knowing on the good weeks.
There is a sweet spot here, weigh too early and you run the risk of not losing like you had hoped, wait too long and you run a risk of not noticing that an adjustment needs to take place. Valuable time will go by with no change in your weight when you might could have made a change earlier to correct it. The balance is up to you. Trust your body, you know it better than you think. Just because some chart or formula says today is a day you must weigh, don't do it if you feel waiting a day is better. The encouragement of a well timed weigh in can work wonders for long term weight loss. Me? I'll never weigh on a Monday. I know that my schedule on the weekends doesn't offer up a good Monday morning pound estimate. Friday, Friday is a good call. You've had the week to get it right and knowing before the weekend is a good thing. Reduces the risk for multiple chip bag feasts on a Saturday afternoon watching a Jersey Shore marathon on MTV. (Shame on you, not for the chips, but for the choice in television programming)
Now I will say that once you've lost the weight you'd like and you move on the Phase 4 then it's probably a good idea to weigh often, keep track of where you are and you're less likely to gain it all back. But that's down the road, after we rid the world of the time suck that is the The Real Housewives of Wherever.