The weigh in

On your weight loss journey, there are many ways to keep tabs on your progress.

If you’re going to be stepping on the scales to gauge your progress keep reading, I’ll tell you how to do it so you get it right!

Firstly, stop weighing yourself at every possible opportunity. After a workout at the gym, when at the pharmacy, at random times of the day, or any time you see a set of scales!

There are so many variables that go into the number you see on the scales.

Weight might be down if you’ve been sweating a lot. Weight might be up if you’ve eaten a lot. Weight might be up from water retention if you’ve had a meal high in sodium or carbohydrates.

So to cut out these variables weigh yourself at the same time of day. I would advise that be first thing in the morning after going to the toilet. In minimal clothing and before you have anything to eat or drink. This weigh-in should be the only one you record.

Then it’s on you to resist the urge to step on the scales at other times of the day! As these readings will be irrelevant.

Next, when it comes to the frequency of weigh-ins I’d recommend you go for daily. Making it part of your routine. The reason being is; I don’t want you to miss a new low!

And the most important thing to bear in mind is that you will see fluctuations daily. Up one day, down the next. Going forward you are looking for a trend, a new low each week! Not each day! This will mean that what you are doing is working!

I wish you all the best with your progress.

Devotional practices

Sunday night rolls around and a cold bead of sweat travels down the forehead of the poor WW member. Uneasy about the prospect of tomorrow’s weigh-in.

So they formulate a plan; consume only dust and dehydrate themselves to prep for the evening meeting.

Flustered and late they arrive at the community centre. As soon as they enter they are summoned by the leader. As they walk up to the stage they feel the eyeballs of the crowd on them.

Anxiety takes hold as they recall the M&M they found in their pocket and devoured at lunchtime. It was the only morsel that has passed their lips but that blue button-shaped chocolate could make all the difference.

As they step on the scale, complete with grimace on face they look down to see the numbers. The ones that will reveal their mass in relation to the earth. The scales move back and forth the needle jumping from oz to oz.

Silence falls as the leader checks the scales and consults their clipboard.  The whole event is similar in hype to pugilists weighing in for a Vegas box office event.

A hush falls over the crowd as the Leader speaks. ‘Well, David that’s the same weight as last week.’

‘Well, s**t. The whole week was mathematically pointless’ David thinks to himself.

If David had an understanding of how his weight can fluctuate from day to day. He would know that one weigh-in per week is a risky game.

If he were to weigh in daily he would ensure that he doesn’t miss the new lows he had been working on. And doing so first thing in the morning after visiting the ablutions would aid consistency.

He would also be content knowing that he only needs to see a new low each week. Not each day! This would show a trend and prove what he is doing is working.

Weight fluctuations when dieting

Talking to one of my online clients this morning, he was telling me how he had quit so many other diets. because of his misunderstanding of weight fluctuations. Before when he had tried to lose weight. He would see fluctuations on the scales that led him to believe what he was doing was not working. He told me of the frustration of putting in all that hard work at the gym and with his diet. Only to step on the scales and feel disheartened when he saw that his weight has actually increased.

From working with him for a few weeks he now understands what is happening. That these fluctuations are par for the course. And he is now making progress. It’s not only him though, weight fluctuations on the scales have thwarted many a weight loss attempt. Today I want to put an end to that frustration and help you understand why these fluctuations occur. To get you to understand that when dieting weight fluctuations are normal.

The first thing to get your head around is because you see an increase in weight on the scales. It doesn’t mean you are not losing body fat. I will say that again.
Your weight going up on the scales doesn’t mean you are not losing body fat!

The reason that we see these fluctuations in weight is due to water. When we have a meal high in carbohydrates and sodium [think Chinese takeaway]. Your body will hold onto water. For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body (as glycogen) we store approximately 2.5 grams of water. This is why low carb diets are a very easy sell to people. They drop carbohydrates, thus, they drop water weight. They think that carbs are the enemy and they are converted to carb-free life of misery. 

Then they experience a plateau after the initial drop. [If they are still consuming the same amount of calories from fats and protein]. Because they are not in a calorie deficit, so fat loss stops. Confused because they saw a correlation between dropping carbs and weight loss. But didn’t realize it was only water they had lost not body fat! How frustrating to be in this limbo of confusion.

When dieting our body will take fats [triglycerides] from the fat cells as energy. To make up the deficit. Between the energy we are expending and the energy we are consuming [a calorie deficit] Great! That’s what we want for fat loss! There will also be some loss of stored carbohydrates [glycogen]. Little or no loss of muscle. Provided you have enough protein in your diet and you’re resistance training. And of course loss of water from cells. Which are the cause of the fluctuations.

When our body decides that it’s good and ready to evacuate the water from the cells. Then we see a drop in weight, usually a large one, to a new low! So don’t be deterred by these fluctuations they are part of the process. Stay resolute to the plan and you will see these downward trends. What you are looking for is a downward trend with weight over weeks. Each week you should see a new low [remember to weigh yourself daily so you don’t miss it]. This will tell you that you are in a calorie deficit. and you are where you need to be with your calorie intake and activity.

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