Every morning, Debra wakes up, goes to the bathroom, and then steps on her scale. She’s been trying to lose a few pounds, because she knows that maintaining a healthy weight is one of the biggest keys to long-term health. So naturally she feels that these daily weigh-ins are holding her accountable, and encouraging healthy food and activity choices.
But on some days, Debra discovers that she has not lost weight. In fact, today she has gained 0.4 pounds. She feels surprised, because she hasn’t cheated on her eating plan at all, and she even exercised a little extra yesterday. Now she feels that all her effort was for nothing. Disgusted, Debra heads to her regular coffee shop, but this time she grabs a 700-calorie cream cheese Danish with her morning beverage. She figures she might as well indulge in some treats, since sticking to a healthy eating plan doesn’t seem to be working anyway.
For the rest of the day, Debra feels sour about her negative experience with the scale this morning. And when that sugar crash hits around 11 am, she decides to skip walking on her lunch break, too.
You can probably see the problem here. Debra means well, but her “healthy habit” isn’t so healthy for her, emotionally. And when the disappointment over a small weight “gain” puts her in a bad mood, it becomes easy to throw away her whole healthy eating and exercise plan for the day.
For some people, daily weigh-ins are a healthy habit. But for others, the practice can just create more problems for you. If you do engage in daily weigh-in sessions, keep in mind that it’s normal for your weight to appear to fluctuate. This happens for various reasons, such as “water weight” or hormonal changes. If you’re putting on muscle at the same time that you’re burning off fat, you can’t rely on those numbers too much, anyway.
The key here is to understand how weigh-ins affect your mood. If it feels like a healthy habit, then by all means continue to do them. But if you frequently feel like Debra, weekly or bi-weekly weigh-ins might be a healthier choice for you.
And of course, you should consult with us as you put together a weight loss plan. Call our office to schedule an appointment, and we can discuss ways to help you reach your goals.