“Happiness and misery consist in a progression towards better or worse; it does not matter how high up or low down you are, it depends not on this, but on the direction in which you are tending.” — Samuel Butler
To Weigh or Not to Weigh? My last post mentioned Low Carb Learning. Today, we take a look at another of Mark’s posts, this one about whether or not dieters should weigh-in and, if so, how frequently. I think he nails it pretty well.
Weighing Yourself Frequently
This is a big one (no pun intended)! It ranks right up there with the low-fat dieters mantra of ‘losing weight too fast is not healthy’. LOL. To which I always respond, “So staying fat longer is healthier?” Back to my point: a lot of folks warn to avoid the scale. If you’re in relatively good shape this makes sense – it’s about inches and muscle definition. If you’re obese then it makes no sense to me. While yes, ultimately, it is about inches and proportion/definition, but if you weight 400 pounds guess what? The number matters. And the best way I know, that isn’t a pain in the ass that requires precision measurement, is to track your progress daily using a simple household scale. But many disagree. The typical argument is that the scale is to be avoided for one of the following reasons:
- “It isn’t as accurate as calipers, or a tape measure, etc.”To their point it’s hard to disagree, but getting precision with a tape measure is not guaranteed, and getting imprecise with calipers is almost a guarantee unless you want to tattoo your body with points of measurement…and really, again, if you’re 400 pounds then you need to get down in weight, period. The scale don’t lie.
- “It’s best to weigh yourself weekly or monthly, so as not to get discouraged by the daily fluctuations of the scale.” This one has never made any sense to me. If I’m eating something that causes me to gain weight, I want to know as soon as possible. Not wait a week or longer to be ‘surprised’.
I do have to take issue with his last comment on #1 — the scale can lie. It’s just that it can be the easiest of bad options to remedy.
The key element to successful scale use: focus on using the scale the exact same way every time:
- Same foot placement (it makes a difference)
- Same center of gravity (it makes an even bigger difference)
- Same head position (it can shift your COG)
- Take 5-10 readings and average them
Do these things consistently and you will find your scale offers a relatively accurate trend over time.
Stuff to Read. Here are a few articles I’ve come across recently which you may find interesting.
- 7 Smart Ways to Stay Active This Winter — timely advice from the good people at SparkPeople.
- Weight Loss Supplements: Fact or Fiction? — SparkPeople examines a long list of supplements which are supposed to offer health benefits. Conclusion? Most are utter bullshit. My answer: stop looking for a shortcut pill, folks. Magic doesn’t exist. Find a program that works for you and stick with it.
- Treat Ankle Injuries with METH — No, not the stuff that rots your teeth. That won’t heal your ankle injury (but it just might let you ignore it long enough to do some serious damage). I’ve praised RICE as a rehabilitation method before. METH is Movement, Elevation, Traction, and Heat. I may explore this alternative next time I get an injury. We shall see.