Many people (myself included) are obsessed with constantly tracking their progress. For some of us, social media turned this attitude into a borderline personality disorder.
When it comes to working hard to lose weight, the temptation is to weigh yourself every couple of hours.
What if you somehow lost several pounds while watching a film? Wouldn’t that be a boost to morale?
While it is crucial to keep track of your weight loss, weighing yourself daily (or hourly) will do more harm than good. Here are some simple rules on how to keep a record of your weight loss and not get depressed in the process.
Weigh yourself weekly – not daily or hourly
It is a fact that our weight can fluctuate dramatically throughout the day, sometimes by the hour.
Many factors are at play here. Water retention is a major one. Eating salty or starchy foods can cause your body to retain fluids and increase your weight. Mine once went up and then down again by 8 pounds within two days due to this!
For ladies, certain time of the month will often mean fluid retention. It is therefore better to take a reading of your weight once a week, and measure your progress on this basis.
Weigh yourself first thing in the morning
It is a good idea to do your control weigh-in in the morning, before you had anything to eat or drink. The weight of any food or water that‘s still inside your body will show up on the scales.
If you are watching every pound, then it might be depressing. So avoid all doubt and weigh yourself before you load on extra weight with your breakfast.
Alternatively, do it at another time when your stomach is relatively empty, for example, before or after a workout in the gym.
Never ever weigh yourself after a meal – that’s just asking for trouble.
Watch what you are wearing
Clothes and especially shoes make a difference when weighing yourself. Ensure you always do it in roughly the same clothes (e.g. in your pyjamas first thing in the morning, or in your gym kit at the gym). If you cannot do that, at least take your shoes off.
Use the same scales
Ideally, do your weigh-in using the same scales. Not all scales were created equal or perfect, so readings may vary by several pounds depending on which scales you use.
Best to choose one you like most (probably be the one that shows up the smallest number!) – and then stick with it.
Record your weekly weight
Weight loss is a long-term process. What you need to keep track of is your progress over time.
It is therefore a good idea to record your control weigh-in result every week. There are plenty of apps that can do this for you. Or just use Excel or just plain old pen and paper.
Weight loss is never linear. It is usually more of a mad zig-zag line – going down, then flat, then perhaps even up again, and down again.
Just need to make sure that it does trend downward over time – and you will be on the right track.