Many people are afraid of "The Scale", the dreaded bathroom scale. It holds the keys to happiness for many of us! It holds great power over us and the thought of finding that the scale has secretly added a few extra pounds, is so overwhelming that we do not weigh!
Let’s clear up a few misconceptions about scale weight:
Your scale weight is not a fixed number, but varies daily. You all know that fact, but still freak out when the scale moves upward. Your weight will always fluctuate within a few pounds. This is a product of how much salt you ate, or your hormones that day, and not necessarily true weight gain. Why then would you freak out and binge eat?
The best way to control your weight, is to know yourself. What is your weight range? If you normally weigh between 140 and 144, then do not freak out at 144. Consistently track your weight weekly, and as long as you are in that range, you are fine.
When you need to worry is when your weight is consistently 142 to 146. You probably have gained two pounds. So there will be times when you are lighter at 142, when you are in your lower 4 pound span, than 142 when you are in your upper 4 pound span. Claim a four pound range, and aim to keep your weight steadily in that range. When you are hitting the upper range daily and going a bit beyond, that is the time to clean up your eating for a bit.
The best way to tell if you are gaining a few pounds is by your clothes. Are they tight? You could be 142, and your pants fit great, or 142 and your pants are tight! If they are tight, you probably gained a few pounds, even though the scale does not register it.
The video below is a humorous look at a group weighing process:
Here are a few more misconceptions about scale weight:
Weight gain does not show up overnight, but takes a few days to hit. I believe most people do not get this or choose to ignore it. Most people weigh the day after binging and say, "Whew...I did not gain any weight!" Then they purposely eat healthy for a couple of days and weigh. They gained a couple of pounds. They say, "I may as well eat because when I binged, I did not gain a pound, but when I ate healthy, I gained 2 pounds. I am so depressed! I must make myself feel better by eating a bag of my comfort chips!" This is exaggerated, but what most of us do. It takes 3 to 4 days for a binge to show up on the scale.
If you track your weight gain or loss on a graph, it will not be a straight line, but a zigzag line going up and down in one direction or the other. Accept that, and do not be depressed by it. Weigh weekly to avoid being discouraged by the up and down progress!
Once you have reached your goal weight, it is important to claim your 4 to 5 pound range. Most people stop weighing when they reach their goal weight. They cross their fingers, revert back to their old way of eating, and hope for the best. Keep weighing weekly, and do not live in that dream world! If your pants are tight, whether you weigh or not, you have gained weight. Don’t act so surprised, when you step on the scale 6 months later, and most of your weight loss is back!
When you reach the high end of your weight range, add more veggies, and be mindful of those carbohydrate choices, until your weight is back on the lower end of your weight range, and you will remain a winner.
The healthy diet habit here is to weigh weekly, and claim a 4 to 5 pound weight range. The Lifestyle Solution, is to make food changes when you are hitting the upper weight of your weight range consistently! The scale is your friend and not your enemy!