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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Try to make friends with the scale

Friday, April 29, 2011

One of the biggest fears and even source of controversy when it comes to weight loss is stepping on that little piece of metal, plastic, or glass on your bathroom floor -- that's right, the scale.

All too often, the scale becomes the source of bad news for men and women across the world. Seeing an increase in weight is enough to send someone into a downward spiral that can be difficult to overcome. I've been there through my journey, but one of the things that helps me cope with the disappointment of seeing a weight gain is to look back on the past week and ask myself questions like, "Did I give it all the effort I could?," or "Did I make healthy choices when planning my meals?" until I ultimately find that the weight gain was my fault, not the scale's.

Throughout the journey to a smaller size, my wife and I have had an ongoing debate in regard to how often we should weigh ourselves. I feel that it is only necessary to weigh myself once a week, while she wants to weigh herself every day. To try to get a little resolution to our now four-month debate, I went to the Internet and found an article on a website called Fitwatch.com. The consensus after reading the article -- we are both right.

The article first tackles the topic of the daily weigh-in.

It states that there is nothing wrong with weighing every day as long as you are aware of the changes that may be displayed. According to the article, the problem with daily weigh-ins is that your weight fluctuates each day for a variety of reasons. In other words, weighing every day is fine as long as you can avoid full panic mode if you see a one or two pound difference from the day before.

The article states, "if the scale shows a jump of a pound or two, it's highly unlikely it's all 'fat' you gained. To gain a pound or two of fat in a day, you'd have to consume over 3,500 to 7,000 calories more than you burn in a day."

The topic of weekly weigh-ins was then addressed. Some, like me, find weekly weigh-ins more motivating, mostly because I don't see the daily fluctuations, plus if I lose three pounds in one week, I will feel a lot better seeing a all three pounds at once rather than spaced out over seven days.

Although I prefer the weekly weigh-in, I have noticed that as I continue my plateau I have started to weigh myself more often. One of the benefits of daily weigh-in is that you can catch a weight-gain trend before it gets out of control.

Some tips for the most accurate daily weigh-ins included weighing yourself at the same time every day. Keeping the conditions the same, such as time of day and even the amount of clothing worn, will help keep readings more accurate.

Also, it is a matter of personal preference whether to weigh before or after eating. However, it is recommended that you don't weigh yourself after exercising because your body will lose water weight through sweat during the workout.

Whether you decide to weigh daily, weekly, or on some other time frame, remember that the scale is only one tool to gauge your goal of becoming healthier. Take note of how clothes are fitting, take periodic measurements of different areas of your body such as thighs, upper arms, waist and neck.

For example, since the Jan. 1, I have lost 19 pounds. Additionally, I have lost half of an inch from my neck, three inches from my waist, and an inch-and-a-half from my hips. I can tell that my thighs have thinned down as this week I wore a pair of pants for the first time that used to be too small.

I welcome you along my journey and I would love to hear from readers about their successes and challenges. Please feel free to contact me by phone at (620) 223-1462, or by e-mail at mpommier@fstribune.com.

Michael Pommier
The Shrinking Man