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Weighing the Scale’s Importance to Weight Loss

Should you weigh yourself regularly or not? Well, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to step on the scale on a regular basis to monitor your progress, keep you accountable, and head off any major weight re-gain. Weigh yourself once a week, every two weeks, some studies even suggest daily–whatever works for you. If you get out of the habit of those weigh-ins, it’s easier to slack off and write off that banana split you had last week…and the chocolate cake you ate three days ago…and the apple pie you had for a snack today. Allowing yourself a cheat day once a week is fine, but if you extend that on throughout the week and into the next and the next, without the benefit of a weigh-in, you could suddenly find you’ve gained back some, all or more than the weight you worked so hard to lose. But it’s important to realize that adopting a healthy lifestyle is more important than the number staring back at you on the scale. Relying too much on the scale could damage your self-esteem and be the equivalent of a wrecking ball headed straight for your motivation. So you may tend to either give up and gain more weight, or obsess about your weight to the point where you’re dangerously thin. Concentrate on eating a healthy diet and exercise most days of the week–and log it. Put it in writing to help keep you going. And, try to have fun with it.  You could have a family weight loss game for, say, 8 weeks.  Give small, fun prizes for the most weight lost each week, and total weight lost at the end of the game.  You could also play a nutrition game involving family members picking fruits and veggies of a certain color or two to try out, then searching cookbooks and online resources to find recipes using those foods.  Have a taste test to see which recipe wins as family favorite.  Make eating healthy, weight loss, and exercise a fun adventure! If you prefer to weigh yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind: 1. Use the same scale at each weigh-in for consistency 2. Weigh yourself in the morning before you eat breakfast since food and liquid can effect your weight 3. You may consider foregoing clothes if you weigh-in at home, and shoes as well, since they can add up to five pounds to the scale As you work out and eat healthier, your body will experience changes.  Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, it’s just denser, so it takes up less space.  If you build muscle, you will burn more fat.  With more muscle mass and less fat, your body will look leaner even if you haven’t necessarily  lost weight in the process. If you know that the weight gain is due to unhealthy eating habits, take charge.  Pull yourself back on track by analyzing your food intake and modifying your exercise routine. It’s important to have a healthy relationship with the scale.  Use it as a tool to help you manage your weight, but don’t obsess over it.

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