Weight Loss Support - Weigh Or Measure?

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06-20-2008, 09:29 AM
I am always surprised by the number of people who rely on the bathroom scales to monitor their dieting progress.

We all know that if you are exercising you will be developing muscle, which when compared to body fat in size, weighs twice as much, so it is quite possible to slim down without losing weight, or indeed sometimes to actually gain weight during the course of slimming down.

I watched one of those celebrity weight loss progs last year, one of the participants was chided for doing too much exercise, because her resultant muscle growth was at the root cause of a only a small weight loss. How crazy is that? The girl was visibly thinner!!!

Whichever way you look at it, it is quite clear that weight loss and size loss are not directly related to each other, so why are we all fixated with the scales?

Is worth considering a weekly "measurements" thread where everybody posts their total inch loss (or gain)?

06-20-2008, 09:51 AM
That could happen, AJ113. Why not go ahead and start one? Call it "Weekly Measurements, wk of XXXXXX" (date goes there), and invite people to post.

Some of the specialized forums have weekly weigh-in and/or weekly accountability threads. :) I don't know that I've seen a measurements thread.


06-20-2008, 09:59 AM
I thought this post was going to be about weighing or measuring food LOL! (I weigh my portions, btw).

That would be an interesting thread. I measure monthly, it shows the biggest loss that way.

06-20-2008, 10:03 AM
We all have different ways of monitoring progress in this path. I'm glad you have found something that works for you and I am sure that there are others who would find that meaningful as well.

I do use the scale to keep tabs on my physical weight, mainly because I ignored it for too many years and that played a huge part in my ability to stay in denial on my path to obesity.

I also look at body fat percentage and that can also be a helpful way to measure progress.

Some people buy clothes in a certain size and use them to measure progress.

There are many strategies available and all of them have their pros and cons. I am glad you have found something that works for you, because finding tools that work and make sense to each of us can help us get where we want to go.

06-20-2008, 10:13 AM
3FC is where I learned about the pants-o-meter!

In any number of weekly or daily chat threads posters post any kind of progress. Scale, inches, BF% or the pants-o-meter. Any progress is so encouraging.
As JayEll says, start one -or- make it an emphasis in whatever threads you already visit.

06-20-2008, 11:01 AM
I having been doing both from the very beginning. I get a scale reading and out comes the measuring tape, and I record my progress each month.

06-20-2008, 12:18 PM
The scale isn't perfect because a simple weight calculation doesn't distinguish between fat and muscle (unless you have one of those fancy scales that give you all kinds of data, but those are not terribly accurate). But I've found that in general my weight corresponds to my progress - when I lose fat, I lose pounds. Measuring is also an imperfect quantification, because I can't measure in the exact same location each time. If I measure myself three times, I often get three slightly different measurements. And I tend not to get as excited by small 1/4" losses as I do small weight losses, like a pound. The scale numbers are more concrete to me, so that's what I measure.

06-20-2008, 01:14 PM
I'd love to have a measurements thread. I'm currently eschewing my scale for a month because I'm tired of weighing daily and letting that determine the outlook of my whole disposition all day.

06-20-2008, 02:50 PM
I do both ... I weigh on the scale daily and I measure once a week. I've found that sometimes the scale will show a loss when the measurments stay the same and sometimes I'll lose inches (or parts of an inch) even though the scale hasn't budged.

It works for me ... obviously YMMV.


06-21-2008, 07:31 AM
OK I may start a weekly measurement thread, what is the best day to target - Mondays? What measurements do you think we should major on? (remember there are blokes here too!) I don't think we should have a whole string of measurements otherwise it will become a chore for members to post. Maybe two or three? What do you think?

06-21-2008, 07:47 AM
I'd love to have a measurements thread. I'm currently eschewing my scale for a month because I'm tired of weighing daily and letting that determine the outlook of my whole disposition all day.I agree vikki, even if scales are your "weapon of choice" I don't think it's a good idea to use them daily, because even if your general trend is to lose weight, there are bound to be fluctuations in your weight from day to day.

The human body is too complex to give accurate daily readings, so it's quite possible that you could weigh yourself one day, discover that you are a pound heavier than the previous day, and then have a real downer for the rest of the day, when in fact it is all unnecessary because the weight loss for the week turns out to be a couple of pounds.

06-21-2008, 08:18 AM
weighing and measuring i think is the weigh to go that is what i ahev always done.. but when you get bloated both can go up .. so nothing is perfect :) lol

06-21-2008, 08:18 AM
I do both ... I weigh on the scale daily and I measure once a week. I've found that sometimes the scale will show a loss when the measurments stay the same and sometimes I'll lose inches (or parts of an inch) even though the scale hasn't budged.

I do both also, for the very reason that stepping on the scales and not losing (or even gaining!) can be depressing for someone who is trying to lose weight. However, when you've got those measurements handy - it helps stay motivated! For me at least.

For example, I only lost 1 lb between my 2 last weigh ins. However, I lost 2 inches in my waist! Thighs and all lost a little but my waist, which started at a 40" when I was at my heaviest, is now a 35"! I can see my toes again without leaning over my belly!

Anyway...just my two cents. :carrot:

EDIT: Note, I do my measurements and weight every 7 to 10 days. 7 usually but 10 if it's TOM. To the prior poster: I never ever ever step foot near a set of scales at TOM when I'm overly bloated. Depressing.

06-21-2008, 09:05 AM
i tend to use the scale more that a tape measure....
only in the last two weeks have i used the tape....

06-21-2008, 10:59 AM
Well, let's see... folks generally don't measure more than once a week, and some only once a month, but they could simply post their measurements on the week they take them.

I'd think waist would be one measurement to list--maybe chest or bust as well--and hips?


Lori Bell
06-21-2008, 11:16 AM
I do both as well. On Thursday I measure my waist right at my belly button. Actually at the largest part of my gut I should say. Then I weigh on Fridays. It is very interesting as snappless pointed out, if I have a significant inch loss there is minimal weight loss. If I don't loose inches, I lose more pounds. I can accurately guess how much weight I've lost by the tape measure. They are both just tools to measure progress. Really, we all know if we are doing well or not on how we feel and how our clothes fit. If I feel great and my jeans aren't cutting into my skin, I know I'm doing well.

I limit my weighing & measuring because it can become an obsession as is eating. I find the more I cheat the more I weigh myself and inevitably the worse i feel. In my high school years it lead to bulimia and laxative abuse.

06-21-2008, 01:07 PM
after recently being away from my scale for a week, i am measuring weekly and weighing weekly. i was measuring monthly and weighing every time i walked near the thing!

06-22-2008, 03:58 PM
I weigh myself, although not regularly. Sometimes it's every day, sometimes it's every other week.
What I really have is a black pleather belt that I bought when I decided to go on a diet. It has more holes than a regular belt. As I move along the holes I just keep looping it in.

06-22-2008, 04:45 PM
For some reason I just cant budge any inches. I can lose lb after lb but no inches, and I honestly can't understand how I can lose weight but not inches! Its not muscle, I hardly exercise. Grrr.

Mrs Snark
06-22-2008, 05:00 PM
I don't really find measuring convenient and I have my clothes to tell me about size reduction. I prefer to step on the scale every day to measure overall progress and stay focused. It's fast and convenient. And because I already had a good amount of muscle mass, I didn't see myself putting on so much more so fast that it would impede the losses on the scale. That has proven to be the case.

That being said, what works for each person is different and go for whatever works for you.

06-22-2008, 05:54 PM
I do both. I weigh myself every morning but I only measure once a month.

I do my hips, waist (above belly button), the largest part of my tummy, my thighs, calves, bust and upper arm.

06-23-2008, 05:43 PM
Some great input there, thank you very much! I agree that the best way to monitor progress is to note when you have to buy new clothes because your current wardrobe is too large. Spoz - have you not expeienced this at all?

Ginny - the belt method is one I use too! The belt never lies!

Tyler Durden - I'm sure you're right. one of the reasons for the popularity of scales is that it is sooo quick!

So, I will go with chest(bust), waist and hips. I'll start off a weekly thread but if that proves to be too much I'll move it to fortnightly or monthly. Watch this space!

06-24-2008, 10:01 AM
I lost three inches on my waist and I'm up a pound today, go figure.

I think getting a nice new leather belt is the way to go, and start on the last hole and go from there, that's what I did, I got a nice leather one online. I started on the first and now I'm on the second hole.

06-24-2008, 11:06 AM
I must say I check the scales about 15 times a day, it is a terrible obsession I have, which really doesn't help much. I also go to a dietition once a week to get weighed, and I recall one week I lost 4 lbs and the next week I stayed the same, I was so frustrated, but as it turned out I had lost 3.5 lbs of body fat and gained 3.5 of muscle/lean body mass. so technically I did lost 3.5 pounds the scales just won't show it all the time!

06-24-2008, 05:50 PM
I have been losing weight for over two years now. It always seems that when i lose weight, i lose inches. If i lose no weight, i lose no inches. So...if i'm not losing pounds, really no sense in me measureing myself. But i think this is a great thread to start for those who are losing inches while maybe not pounds. Matter of fact, i had put on about 5 pounds, and i believe i put on inches. That's what the dang tape measure says anyways. lol.