I began my diet on January 1, as so many others do. I always rationalize my winter weight gain as being evolutionary. In other words, our ancestors had to have more fat on them to keep them warm in winter, so our bodies evolved as such. While there may be a smidgen of truth to this, the real truth is that I am a glutton during the holidays, and it catches up and clings to me in January. Hence, my yearly attempt to lose weight.
I always promise to only weigh once a week. Weight loss, if measured every day, is uneven. Sometimes water weight, or how much you sweat, or what you eat the night before can cause fluctuations and cause weight to cling to you. In one study, the participants weighed themselves 12 times in one day, ate well, exercised and showed a fluctuation of up to 7 lbs from morning until evening! Weight fluctuations can be deceiving and demoralizing. I know this because I am guilty of the daily weight measure. It throws my whole day into a tailspin if my weight goes up by a few ounces or pounds.
Actually, it takes up to 48 hours for food to “stick” – in other words, if you pig out and then just sit for the next two days, you will gain weight. If you exercise both days, you should not see a weight gain. If you diet and exercise (highly recommended) you should see a weight loss.
The best way to weigh yourself, so as to really get a measure of what you weigh, is do it at the same time of day, once a week, clothed in similar clothing week to week. When I tried Weight Watchers, I weighed every Monday and I always wore the same outfit, including the same shoes and even earrings, so that I would get a true weight. If you weigh yourself every day, or multiple times a day, you will get discouraged at the fluctuations, and give up. You will believe that dieting doesn’t work for you.
The other factor to consider is how your clothing fits. Also measure your composition. If these are getting better, maybe you don’t need to depend on the scale so much. You are getting healthier and leaner, and maybe more muscular. So don’t give up! With less intake, and more output you will lose weight, even if the scale doesn’t show it on a daily basis. And remember, your focus should be on good health, not weight!