Don’t Let the Scale Fool You
Losing weight is a roller coaster. There are many ups and downs and to be completely honest in the beginning there are usually more downs.
With that being said, don’t let the scale be the only determining factor to let you know if you’re losing weight or not. We have a hard enough time losing weight without looking down at that little number by our feet only to have it completely diminish what we thought was a good week.
Every “body” is different than the next. Therefore, we have to treat every “body” differently in order to accurately see what works and what doesn’t.
First Rule of Thumb When Trying to Lose Weight: DO NOT Compare!
Have you ever been told that you are one of a kind and you are unique? Well, if you haven’t been told that then I’m telling you now, YOU ARE! There is not one person out there that is EXACTLY like you. So, since you are truly unique then so is your weightloss journey! So let’s look at this hypothetical scenario; two best friends, both women age 34 years old, start changing their diet and exercising on the same day. They eat the same foods and work out together at the gym doing the same exercises. After their first week they both get on the scale to see what their progress has been.
Do you think they both lost the same amount of weight? OR, Better question, do you think they both lost weight at all?
Hypothetical answer: No, they both did not lose weight. One woman lost 2 pounds, and the other woman gained a pound.
There are so many reasons why the one woman gained weight while the other woman lost weight and those reasons may not even have anything to do with diet. Both women are very unique and need to be treated as so. Trust me, it is easier to go on this journey with a buddy, I know it to be true. However if doing so, don’t let it discourage you if they lose weight and if you don’t at some points. Trust me, the roles will reverse a few dozen times because, like I said, losing weight is a roller coaster!
Second Rule of Thumb: Log Your Food and Exercise
I know for those of you that aren’t a type A personality this may seem like a pain. I’m type A and at times it’s even a hassle for me . . . But it does work! Don’t be scared, you don’t have to log your food and exercise forever and ever. However, my personal suggestion would be to log for at least 3-6 months to establish some consistent patterns. Then you may be able to take a break from logging if you feel you have some solid habits. Don’t throw away that journal or delete that tracking app too soon though. You may need to start logging again if changes arise in your life that affect your habits.
Tracking your food and exercise can make all the difference when trying to lose weight. You may lose weight one week and then gain weight the following week. Without tracking your exercise you may not remember that in week 1 you did more cardio at the gym and in week 2 you may have missed a day or focused more on strength training. For those of you who may not know, muscle weighs more than fat. So if you are eating right and exercising, don’t let the scale discourage you if the number goes up here and there. It may just mean that you’re building muscle.
Also, along with tracking what foods you’re eating, track about what time you are eating. Try to develop a consistent eating schedule. If you are eating dinner every night at about 6pm and 2 nights out of the week you eat at 9pm that could throw off your digestion routine that your body has gotten used to. The same goes for sleeping schedule, try to get about the same amount of sleep each night so your body can do it’s nightly digestion duties to prepare you for another day.
Losing weight is hard enough, but don’t get on the roller coaster blindfolded. You want to be aware of your ups and downs and the only way to do that is to start tracking that way you know exactly where you can make adjustments.
Third Rule of Thumb: Be Aware of How You Feel
When I say, be aware of how you feel, I mean in every aspect. Are you feeling positive, rested, energetic, are your jeans feeling looser, are your shirt sleeves hanging a little more than usual? Losing weight can affect so many different aspects of your life other than that number on the scale. When you eat healthy and exercise you will start feeling the benefits of it all not long after. You will start to feel happier and more energized. You will feel more rested in the morning and ready to start your day. Your jeans will feel different. Maybe you’ll have more room around the waist. Or maybe your pant legs will feel baggy and not fitting like they usually do. You could lose weight on your upper body before your lower body and your shirts may feel looser before your pants do.
Or you could hear that billion dollar question that everyone wants to hear . . . HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT? That will be like music to your ears, I know it was for me.
So I just want you to be aware of how you feel and how your clothes feel on you. There have been times that I have stepped on the scale and my weight has stayed the same from my previous weigh in, but my pants are clearly looser on me. I would think to myself, what the heck, why isn’t my weight going down if my pants are looser? I would get so angry and upset thinking that I’m not making any progress and my pants probably just stretched out and I’m not losing any weight. I needed to get out of my head and not have the number on the scale determine how I felt. Deep down, I knew I felt great, I knew over time my pants were feeling different, but I let that little number in between my feet negate everything I felt before stepping on it.
Just remember, let the scale be one of your tracking tools, not your only tracking tool.
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