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The Importance of Weighing Yourself While Losing Weight

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Standing on the scale can be an uncomfortable experience, especially if you are overweight. If you are trying to lose weight, monitoring your progress is an important part of the dieting process. The Boston Medical Center estimates that more than 45 million adults try to lose weight each year. If you are one of those 45 million people, you may wonder how often you should weigh yourself and whether or not weighing regularly helps you lose weight.

Learn From The Experts

An ongoing study by researchers at the University of Colorado and Brown Medical School has tracked more than 10,000 people who have successfully maintained a significant weight loss. One of the characteristics of their success was regularly recording their weight. Another study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that dieting adults who weighed themselves daily during the dieting process lost 12 pounds in 2 years, whereas people who weighed themselves one time a week lost only 6 pounds. The people who chose to weigh every day also regained less weight after completing their diet.

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Weigh-In Frequency

Daily weigh-ins may be the most desirable, but there are other weigh-in schedules that may better fit your personality and lifestyle. Many weight loss centers offer weekly weigh-ins to their clients. A weekly weigh-in on the same day each week allows you to monitor your progress regularly while avoiding the anxiety you may feel if you stand on the scale each day. You do not have to join a weight loss center to weigh weekly. Simply set a date on your calendar to weigh yourself and record your progress on a spreadsheet, web app, or in a paper journal. Other options include bi-weekly and monthly weigh-ins. The longer you go between weigh-ins, the more careful you must be with your diet because you may not be aware that you have stopped losing weight or are even gaining weight.

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Scale Fluctuations

Regardless of whether you weigh-in daily, weekly, or bi-monthly, you will see fluctuations on the scale. There may be times when you are following your diet plan perfectly and see the scale stay the same or even inch up. These fluctuations are normal and to be expected. A meal high in sodium can cause you to retain water, the monthly cycles in women can cause temporary weight gain, and even an intense workout can cause a brief increase in your weight due to water retention. When the scale fluctuates unexpectedly, be sure to continue on your diet program. If the scale continually shows a gain, then you should analyze your caloric intake to determine where the extra calories are coming from.

Weighing yourself is a normal part of the dieting process. Set a weigh-in schedule that gives you regular updates on your progress while at the same time not making you feel discouraged. Do not be afraid to experiment with your weigh-in frequency until you find the combination that works best for you.

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