Do you have a love/hate relationship with your bathroom scale?
Most people battling the weight loss game tend to either love that scale or hate it with a passion.
It can set the mood for the day, if you hop on there first thing and you have gone up a pound or stayed the same. It is an emotional roller coaster at the best of times, as a person's body weight can go up and down by as much as five pounds in a day!
This is horrifying to anyone watching every pound. But there are many factors for this up and down fluctuation, and the biggest issue is water weight. Now you can't use this as an excuse if you ate everything in sight last week and then blame that extra ten pounds on "water weight".
Water weight is obvious if you just drank a liter of soda or water, and then immediately got on the scale, you would be up two pounds, as your body has not dealt with the extra fluid yet.
Many "weight loss guru's" will tell you to "throw out your bathroom scales" for your self esteem, as they put you on an emotional roller coaster. But many studies have shown that the bathroom scale is actually a good tool to help with weight loss, if you use it right.
Lets face it, if we see our weight creeping up, as angry as we will be, we are more likely to try and do something about it right away. For example: You ate your way through the weekend and did not move much, and by no surprise that bathroom scale says you are up a few pounds, even though you have stripped yourself naked and even took off your rings, since they must weigh something right?
But you know the weekend added to your weight, so now you have seen the numbers, you are most likely to cut back for the next few days. But if you didn't bother to weigh yourself, and totally denied (in your mind anyways!) the idea that you may have gained weight from that fun weekend, then you are not likely to cut back on anything. Out of sight out of mind right? Finally when your jeans get too tight, you think you may have gained weight, and now you feel really bad because a good few pounds have gone on.
The love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale, can work for you, if you use it right. There is no point in weighing yourself eight times a day, you will go up and down like a yoyo, and this will only frustrate you and decide the mood for the day.
In one study, people who weighed themselves daily, were twice as likely to lose weight as people who didn't bother. It is most likely a "reminder" to stay on track. Like having a teacher looking over your shoulder at school! It can be hard to cheat that way.
If you have a love affair with your bathroom scale, and hop on it everyday, then why not make this more scientific? You can chart your weight loss course better if you follow this plan:
1. As soon as you get up in the morning, and after you use the bathroom and are standing there stark naked, get on the bathroom scale. If you want to weigh yourself daily, then make sure to do it at this same time everyday. Not after breakfast, and not before you go to bed, as your body has not likely processed all of the days food and drink activities. Do this first thing in the morning, before your daily consumptions start. Don't even have your coffee yet, just get up, use the bathroom and then get naked and get on that scale.
2. You don't need a fancy electronic bathroom scale, a simple model that shows a dial and the numbers works just as well. I am not putting down the high tech gadgets, but from personal experience, mine either break and flash zero, or the batteries die, or the moisture and steam from the bathroom just seems to get at them, and I get weird results, this just frustrates me more. So, I went out and bought bathroom scales for $9.99 at Wal-mart. I just find the simpler the better. I like to see the number on a dial.
3. Make sure your bathroom scale is on a flat floor surface. The slightest angle can give a false reading, and the same goes for textured floors, or bathmats.
4. If you work out all the time, you should also be taking your measurements, since you can lose inches and sometimes, not lose even a pound! As long as you are seeing progress either with some weight loss or lost inches, you should be happy, or just not gaining should make you happy too!
Keep a chart. I don't mean you have to have a huge flow chart, just keep track of your weight and measurements. This comes in handy, because my own personal doctor tends to believe in the numbers on the bathroom scale only! Which always tended to make me feel bad for the rest of the day. So, I decided to show her my chart of lost inches. Only then did she realize that she must take that into consideration as well. But they have these weight charts they work from, so it took some convincing.
From working out and doing lots of walking as well as watching my diet the best I can (we are only human!) I personally lost more inches than I did weight in the beginning. She was wanting to see the scale numbers drop, but after doing my regular checkup blood tests, she saw that the exercise and weight loss were having a great effect on cholesterol, blood pressure and more. She no longer just focused on the bathroom scale numbers. You need to look at the big picture.
If you are trying your best with exercise and diet, then use those bathroom scales as a tool only, look at the big picture, and don't let the results totally ruin your day, just keep up your good work and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.