How often are you riding the scale checking on you weight loss gains everyday? For most, it can be weeks or even month before thinking about your weight leaving you wondering how you let it slip away on the couch. It's a loosing game playing hide and sleep with your weight. Bracing yourself by staying on top of it, weighing yourself everyday is the only way to keep weight loss in and weight gain out of your mind.
Let's see how many of us are making it through, going over the many weight management and recording strategies out there waiting for you to add to your repertoire.
Don't let your body become a long lost story that never was – weight yourself everyday
There are two things you get out of checking your weight everyday.
One thing everybody that has ever been on a diet things about after gaining weight is that "I'll just have to make weight next time." Not only is this like slipping money under the table to someone who has no intention in giving it back, this kind of mentality does help you lose weight, but only makes it easy to excuse yourself out of thinking that "Oh crap! I better start watching my weight." Keep your goals in focus by putting your weight in front of you as often as possible – weighing yourself everyday.
Everybody deserves a second chance, so kiss and make up with your scale and let's get rolling down the road again. Know what you put in your body and what to expect out of it weight-wise. Develop a firm grasp on knowing how many pounds you put on after eating can be the main benefactor against overeating. Although it might not be considered a sure-through way to lose weight, it's a start towards preventing pure laziness from being the cause of your diet to fail.
Keep a schedule – weight yourself at the same time everyday
Knowing the right time to weigh yourself is a trivial matter – like knowing when to go to the bathroom.
More importantly, it is best to make sure you weight yourself consistently "at the same time." Your weight changes throughout the day such as when you eat and sweat. It doesn't make sense comparing how much you weigh before going to bed with how much you weight after waking up. Weighing yourself consistently at the same time per day allows you to disregard changes in weight caused by daily life occurrences.
So, you are probably asking the question, "What is the best time to check your weight?"
Although the "best" time to check your weight may be a matter of opinion, we can all agree that this would be when you are the lightest – like on the moon.
You are the lightest "right after waking up and using the bathroom," which consequently is the best time to check your weight. Check your weight first thing in the morning after using the bathroom. That's right. Wake up, go to the bathroom, step on the scale, and you're done. It's that easy.
Keep record of your progress – memo down your weight right after weighing
There is no meaning of stepping on the scale only to find out whether or not you're losing or gaining weight. Although this gives you hints on what to do next, it has the potential of turning you into a human pinball machine – bounced around by your weight. We don't want that.
That is why as you should record your weight right after stepping of the scale.
At the bare minimum you should set up your weight journal with 3-columns labeled date, weight, and memo. If your scale is able to measure your body fat percentage, adding this as a fourth column is desirable.
Leave your excuse (if any) for the memo column of your weight journal. Be descriptive but brief enough so that anyone can pick up your journal and see, "Ate too much yesterday" and know what you are getting at. Although it is okay to leave the memo column "blank" at times, try to write something if all possible. This would mean looking over your journal and reusing past memo just as you would for tags in a blog. Don't be afraid to reuse your past work.
Now that you have a "book full of data" you must be feeling pretty smart and asking yourself where you go from here. Dust of you graph paper and sharpen those pencils you always wanted to use because you are going to need it. If you are "tech-savvy" you may want to turn your computer on and start up that program that you use to make the graphs everyone likes. It's time to jump into the next step – making it pretty.
Visualize your progress – graph out your weight loss and gains
Humans are visual creatures that would rather appreciate a line be drawn out with a stick than inscribing the formula "y = mx + b" with your fingers. That is why in order to get the point across (things are going fine) to yourself, it would be wise to do the same – draw lines that tell stories about your weight, good or bad.
Take the time to appreciate the your day to day work by drawing out line graphs plotting your weight weekly, monthly, or at any increment that you find useful. Be creative. You never know what a little math (good old sticks and stones) can do for helping you keep your weight in-check.
Interpreting your weight in graphed out data
|How it looks
|What to take out of it
|1. Slow but sure decline
|The data you've plotted indicates that your diet and exercise is showing more a less the results you should be getting slow healthy fat burning weight loss. This however doesn't mean you should be letting your guard down. The battle has just begun; keep dieting to maintain your weight.
|2. Sudden drop in graph
|The most probable reason behind a sudden drop in your weight is not because of fat burn, but instead a decrease in muscles mass. At this point it might be the right time to reconsider your diet and exercise program. Sudden drops in muscle can lead to an increase in fat deposits. Don't be fooled by the graph.
|3. No change after steady decline
|Just because your weight loss is at a stand still, doesn't mean that the diet and exercise you are putting in are not working. Continue doing what you usually do, live healthier everyday. Being patient will pay off.
|4. Change since beginning diet
|It most likely the case that you calorie intake (what you eat) is equal to your calorie consumption (what you burn). In either case it is necessary to make sure that… what you eat < what you burn, that is to eat less or exercise more. You would be surprised what just a little change can make in the long run.
|5. Decline before increase now
|This can be caused by an increase in nutrient absorption rates after taking a break deviated from you normal routine just as you would on the holidays or on a business trip. At this point it is recommended that you (slowly) decrease the amount you are eating in order to prevent further increase in weight.
|6. Steady increase since starting
|Remember that if calorie intake is more than calorie consumption you are going to get fat, i.e. "what you eat" > "what you burn" = "fat." Keep this formula in mind while dieting (watching what you eat) and exercising (figuring how to burn of more calories and fat). Writing it down on your wall helps.
For those of you also recording your body fat percentages, do the same as you did with your weight. Looking at both graphs allows you to gain better insight on where you weight is taking. If while your weight drops your body fat remains the same, this indicates that you are losing muscle mass, one of the main reasons why people often suffer from diet rebound.
Continuing to monitor changes in your weight gives you an objective view of the results you are getting from diet and exercise. If you weight is telling your that your diet is working, you are more likely to follow through to the end, reaching your goal. On the other hand, your weight can give you advice your friends can't such as whether the fad diet you are on is really working. Weighting yourself once a day is not much to ask for considering the benefits your get out of it.