Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The Scale Only Tells Part of the Story

The scale isn’t the end of all of the health measurements, but I know it’s the most important indicator to a lot of people. I’m also fully aware that the expectation among many folks is that they can achieve overnight success with their fitness goals. There’s even a book out there I’ve seen called The Overnight Diet that promises you can expect to lose 11 pounds in a week’s time. There’s NOTHING good about losing 11 pounds in a week unless you’re a couple of hundred pounds overweight. It’s time for everyone to take their foot off the gas and slow down.

First things first. If you own a scale and obsessively weigh yourself, throw it away, put it somewhere where you won’t see it every day, or throw it away. Yes, I said throw it away twice. To a lot of people, the number that comes up on the scale is a sign of success or failure, and stepping on it can become an excessive habit. I’ve had clients and friends tell me “I lost 2 pounds last night,” then turn around and message me the next day saying “I don’t know how but I gained 3 pounds last night!” First off, they are a candidate for donating the scale to Goodwill or putting it in the dumpster, and second, you’d have to eat and or burn off several thousand calories in a day to see legitimate negative results like that (this was discussed in my Day 2 post).

Hopefully, you’ve got the scale thing under control. What’s next? Next, it’s time to face the reality that if you’re overweight, even by just a few pounds, it didn’t happen overnight. If it didn’t happen overnight, why should you expect it to come off overnight? If you read my fad diet post, you will know that not only is losing weight at an accelerated rate a dicey proposition, it actually makes it much harder to continue losing weight and keep it off.

All these stupid diets promise you will lose a large amount of weight in just a few short weeks. There are starvation diets, juicing diets, overnight diets, etc, etc… As I’ve said before, all these books amount to are nothing more than a decorative item for your bookshelf, and if you’re serious about results, you’re going to have to face the reality that it could a significant amount of time to see the results you’re looking for.

Don’t be deflated because you can’t make this happen in two weeks. Almost nothing worth having comes easy. You have to set a plan and put it into motion. That said, having a laid-out plan of attack is a great thing, but it needs to be realistic. Saying “I want to have a six-pack in 6 months” is not only a huge goal, but for most people, it’s an unrealistic one. When you set goals, make them reasonable. If you have 100 pounds to lose, set 5-10 pound weight loss goals. If you only have 20 pounds lost, 2 pounds is a significant achievement whether you choose to recognize it or not.

Even better than setting weight goals, I recommend setting measurement goals. It’s not always a good indicator of success measuring your weight, especially if you’re involved in a proper resistance training program. Aside from being in better health after losing weight (the ultimate achievement in my opinion), the scale may not have drastically changed but there’s a significant difference in body measurements, how your clothes fit, and even how you look in the mirror. This can be due to fat loss and muscle gain. The difference in the makeup of fat and muscle is drastic. This is an accurate depiction of just how drastic.

Fat loss at a reasonable rate will be the fat you lose for life. Fat you lose at a rapid pace will be much more likely to come back. Don’t use the scale as your only fat loss measurement and your mindset will be much better for it. The only reason I’m posting daily scale pictures is because it’s an easy measurement to display. In normal life, I weigh myself once a week on the same day, naked, first thing in the morning. This is a good method for just about everyone. Have a great rest of your weekend. I’m getting ready to go do 40 minutes of light cardio and taking today off from the weight room. I hope you get up and move too! Until tomorrow.