To Weigh or Not To Weigh?………
There is a controversy in the weight-loss world regarding the practice of weighing everyday. Some experts recommend that weighing every day keeps one accountable and on track, while others say that it contributes to the obsession about weight that overweight people already struggle with. Some advocate that it is not necessary to weigh because if one is making good food choices, he/she will “feel” differently and notice that clothing begins to feel looser. There is also the concern that if one weighs everyday, it can lead to discouragement (and possibly a binge) if one is heavier that anticipated. Dieters have a hard time making adjustments for weight gain due to water-weight, hormonal fluctuations, or constipation. On the other hand, if weight has been lost, one might break into premature celebration and undo the good work that was just accomplished.
As a fellow struggler, (two pounds from my goal weight), I advocate weighing everyday for the following reasons:
1. We are masters of deception and denial. (Jeremiah 17: 9, ‘the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”). We lie to ourselves, not only about the amount of food that we are consuming, but the link between overeating and weight gain. I have had many obese clients tell me that they have no idea why they are so heavy because they eat “healthily” or “smaller portions” than the rest of their family. They deny binge eating or compulsive eating.
2. We have a very difficult time with portion control. Many overweight people are eating healthy foods, just too much of it. Those people are discouraged because they are truly not bingeing and eating high calorie/high fat foods. Weighing everyday helps to expose the portion control variable that is missing from their weight-loss equation.
3. We are in need of consistent and continual encouragement. The scale can provide that for us on a day-to-day basis and help motivate us to make good food choices one day at a time. It can also teach us about our bodies and our patterns of weight-loss and weight-gain.
4. We need an immediate feedback loop so that we can quickly make adjustments to our weight-loss program. Because there are so many pieces to the weight-loss puzzle, if something is NOT working, the scale will reveal it. Conversely, if we have found a good program and all the variables line up, we will see the numbers on the scale go down. For those on a maintenance program, the scale tells us when we have put of a few pounds and that action must be taken immediately!
5. We need to be in the habit of weighing everyday for the times that we “fall off the wagon”. We all reach times that we no longer care about our weight, the struggle seems too difficult, our vacation has derailed us, a crisis hits or the holidays have arrived and we will “start our diet again on January 1st”. It is incredible how much damage we can do in such a short time if we become unconscious abut what we put into our mouths. How discouraging to “get back on the wagon” weighing 10-20 pounds more that you did before you fell off the last time. How discouraging! Weighing everyday will prevent that disaster from occurring, I promise. You will stay conscious and at least pay attention to what you are doing to yourself.
Remember that as long as the earth spins on it’s axis, laws of sowing and reaping remain. (Genesis 8:22) The scale is the perfect instrument to gauge how we are doing on our journey. Please don’t underestimate the power of objective feedback in this struggle!
This article is by Jennifer Cecil, M.Ed., LPC