Weight Loss Support - To weigh or not to weigh?

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izzy bee
07-30-2004, 09:39 AM
..this is my question! When you are dieting do you find it helps you to weight yourself - prehaps every day, or week? I am not sure if it is a good idea. If the weight is dropping off, i can see that it would be beneficial, and would encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. But if you were working really hard and your weight wasn`t changing- i find it very disheartening. Not to mention if you put weight on.

If i don`t weight myself, as soon as i start eating healthy, i feel great (and slimmer!) It must be a mental thing :dizzy: .

Maybe the answer is to weigh in less often, then the probability of losing weight would be higher, and i would feel inspired to carry on. In fact, another great method to keep track of your progress, is to measure yourself, ie- your waist, thighs, or any areas you consider to be your 'problem' areas :devil: . The only issue i can see with that is it maybe being a bit unaccurate - one thing going for the scales is - i guess they never lie!! (although i would like to think they did.!)

What methods of measuring progress do you find motivating and effective!?

07-30-2004, 09:59 AM
I do weigh myself everyday. I get out of bed, go to the bathroom, void and step on the scale. I believe it's the truest, most consistent weight I'll get all day.
I just finished a week of nights. I weighed myself alot to see if I could get a handle on fluid balance. So I won't do that again. I got it figured out.

izzy bee
07-30-2004, 11:49 AM
Hi tooround, I agree, it is the most accurate method for weighing yourself, and by doing it the same time everyday - especially in the morning (before breakfast!) it is consistent.

Maybe i should face the scales too.

07-30-2004, 02:45 PM
Weighing yourself first thing in the morning like that is the best way to get your truest weight.

HOWEVER you are right in that that does not address the psychological aspects of weighing every day. I am with you izzy -- when I started my weight loss program I did not weigh more often than every 6 weeks. That freed me to concentrate on behaviors and not agonize over the injustices of the scale. Even though I understand the science behind what the scale can and cannot measure, the fact that water retention and other issues would cause false readings, etc., it still had a demoralizing effect to weigh even weekly. So, I gave it up. Best thing I ever did. After about 6 months on the program I felt I had enough of a handle on my own attitudes to be able to take the readings in stride, and now I weigh weekly. But, I refuse to let myself pin all my sense of motivation and success on the scale. I think too many people are scale obsessed and don't see that it hurts them more than helps them. That's the question: Does it help or hurt? And if it hurts, GET RID OF IT.

07-30-2004, 03:59 PM
I followed a weight loss program in which you weigh yourself at the start and then again after 5 weeks. I did that, and was therefore really pleased when after the 5 weeks were up I had lost 14 pounds. Now THAT was really encouraging!

Now I'm on the next part of the program, and there aren't any restrictions about weighing, but I am better off if I weigh once a week. The reason is that my weight can fluctuate a couple of pounds per day, and if I weigh on a day that I'm up, it's discouraging. Healthy weight loss is slow, or so I've read on 3FC--only a couple pounds a week. It's more cheering to see that on a weekly basis for me.

SW: 196 5/24/04
CW: 179 7/28/04
GW: 145

07-30-2004, 05:30 PM
The scale does, indeed lie. I have noticed my weight changes based upon where I stand on my scale. :lol: I know a lady online whose 3-year-old somehow messed with her digital scale to where, though it started out at 0, was actually under by 20 pounds!

Measuring is really no more inaccurate than weighing, and can give you a more complete picture. A pound of muscle, for instance, takes up less room than a pound of fat, and many are the women who have been depressed by a stall or a gain that was actually lost fat and built muscle! You just have to be sure to measure yourself in the same place & under the same conditions every time.

I myself have closed the scale in the bathroom cabinet and promised not to take it out but once a month. I've returned to my original goal, which is a size goal & not a weight goal. Much more psychologically healthy, to my mind.

Generally it is recommended to weigh no more often than once a week. And that should be the same time on the same day under the same circumstances. Any number of factors, from being dehydrated to eating a heavy meal the night before, can make the scale's needle swing madly! Even weekly can give you unusual bumps; back when I was doing so I learned that I would, without fail, gain 2 pounds the week before my period and lose at least three the week after.

IMO, clothing fit is the absolute best way to gauge progress. If you're losing weight/inches you'll go down in clothing sizes. I have a goal skirt (size 14) and mini-goal clothes that I buy when they're a little tight (but I don't wear too-small clothes out!), and trying them on every so often and seeing how much better they fit is a heartwarming thing. ;) If you do some version of this, just make sure you don't use clothes that have elastic in the waistband! (The other caveat to that is, of course, that if you're very large-breasted like I am, do not use a dress for this. My size-16 skirt is getting a little loose, but I still cannot zip or button a top in an 18 because of these things! :o)

07-31-2004, 08:04 AM
I think this one really varies widely by personality, and there's no right answer. For myself, I find that if I don't weigh every day (once, and only once, in the morning) I won't stay on my eating program. "Oh, I'm doing fine, just a little more of X can't hurt.." It's one more metric on my road to being fit. Not the only one, but one that is important for me to track.

Of course the scale fluctuates daily up and down depending on exercise, weather, hormones, water, salt, etc. To avoid the frustration and sometimes despair (and the accompanying potential binge) I chart my weight and a ten-day moving average. The average number smooths out those wild swings and gives me a much more accurate picture of where my weight is really sitting. Often that can be different from how I perceive the scale reading. This month I felt like I was sitting at one weight for weeks. Looking at the chart, though, I can see that I was losing little by little because that trend number (the average) kept creeping down.

I found this idea online in the Hacker's Diet (www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/www/hackdiet.html), which has some very interesting and useful things to say about weight and water, and a good frame for viewing weightloss. The author compares overweight people to people who are nearsighted; it's a physical handicap that our bodies don't signal fullness at the point at which we've eaten enough to maintain our weight. Like nearsightedness, it's not a failure on our part, merely something to be managed using tools we create (journalling, tracking health, all the usual good stuff.)

Linda C.

07-31-2004, 11:12 PM
OK for my 2 cents. My hubby weighs in once a week, and if I wouldn't remind him he probably would never do it, I try and weigh in once and week, but I kind of get nuts with the scale and do it everyday. So, whatever works for you, just remember that water retention can fluctuate daily, so keep that in mind. God BLess.

08-02-2004, 12:07 PM
Hi all, Just to put my 2 cents worth in for whatever it is worth. I find if I weigh myself my day is made or ruined by what the scales say. So for me I don't weigh very often. When I gained all this weight I did it without weighing myself, so to take it off I make sure I'm sticking to the plan and my clothes are getting looser. I weigh only once a month and it seems to be working for me. Judy

08-02-2004, 02:04 PM
I weigh on the doctor's scale at work and only once a week.. I might even skip a week if TOM is pending and my measurements haven't moved -- just to avoid the 'wrecked day' syndrome. I don't even have a scale at home and don't plan on getting one unless I switch jobs . :)

08-05-2004, 11:13 AM
Good luck!