The fancy weighing machines in railway stations, restaurants and many other public places attract children, but the sight of it makes an adult shudder. Pity that these are installed in restaurants where people eat to their heart’s content and walk out unable to push themselves forward due to overconsumption. The printed tickets rolling out of these machines create double trouble-not only do they make us stare at our never-decreasing weight, but they also predict the fortune of the day. Alas, machines are machines and they can never understand that our weight printed on the slip determines our mood and in turn our day at office/home.
Some love to admire themselves in front of the mirror while some others love to weigh themselves day in and day out. Standing on a weighing machine is just like brushing teeth or eating food for these people. It becomes a part of their daily chore. How good is this habit?
Weighing Pros & Cons
Weight loss or maintaining the lost weight, monitoring your weights is a critical step in succeeding. Eons of hard work and pain taken to lose weight must never go down the drains owing to our carelessness in preventing the lost kilograms from coming back. Its generally said that most people regain almost two-thirds of their lost weight within two years. None of us wish for this and if you seriously want to avoid this situation, it is better that you weigh yourself daily. Fluctuating weights capture your attention immediately and you start working towards eliminating the small weight gain eventually.
A vast majority of the general public benefit tremendously from daily weigh-ins because even small weight chances don’t escape their eye and this motivates them to pursue a healthy lifestyle. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that 294 female students belonging to a University who weighed themselves daily displayed decreases in BMI and body fat percentage. Another analysis that reviewed 23 studies showed that weighing daily never disturbs a person psychologically with the exception of the teenage, young adults and women population who had the opposite effect after checking their weights daily. In fact, men are seriously better off weighing themselves every day as they treat this too simply in number form without attaching emotions to it. So, who are the ones who benefit from daily weighing?
Maybe Not for You & Me but Good for So Many
No one principle works good for all. For some dieters, seeing their weight motivates them to work harder and see better results but for some others, looking at the scales does not work well at all. It can frustrate, mislead and demotivate them. Your weight keeps fluctuating every single day depending on various factors despite regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet. Some days, the scale might show anywhere between a 0.5—75-kilogram increase in weight which totally crushes the dieter’s heart. It might be water retention, but the individual assumes it as fat overload. During these times, daily weigh-ins might compel the person to rely upon crash diet programs or exhaustive work out schedules to lose the target weight within the specific period. He/she might even skip meals to witness immediate results. This might cause stress, depressions and ultimately the dieter might even totally sack the scale and start binge eating to cope with his/her lack of positive weight loss effects. Stress is a serious weight loss offender which might further aggravate the weight gain process.
Shhhh! Not Only People but Scales Too Can be Misleading
My cousin always checks her weight at a specific machine placed in the railway station since she always weighs a couple of kilograms less on those scales. Yup! Weighing scales can surely be misleading and this is one of the main reasons for any of us to avoid daily weigh-ins. For example, you might weight a kilo or two less tomorrow comparatively which is impossible scientifically. Losing around 2 kilogram of weight requires a person to show 7,000 calories deficit in a day and even if you starve through the day it can never be possible to lose 1-2 kilograms weight by the end of day. Losing it in one week’s time is challenging enough.
Weight fluctuations happen daily due to changing water levels in the body. Every 0.5 kilogram of fat is made up of 3,500 calories and to lose this, one must create a 500-calorie deficit every day for seven days by following a strict diet combined with regular exercise.
How Frequently Can You Weight Yourself?
The best practice is to weigh yourself once a week at the same time each week. This equalizes water content changes in the body and gives us a better accurate reading of body fat percentage ups and downs. Such weekly weigh-ins help you determine when you are off-track and guide you to correct your lifestyle suiting necessary changes.
Rarely, some people don’t notice considerable weight changes but are granted definite inch loss! These people must measure their hips, waist, arms and thighs to track their weight loss results. Subsequent inch loss can lead to definite weight loss in course of time for these individuals. Inch loss is a definite indicator of body fat loss which gives a positive feedback on the person’s weight loss efforts. To know how to measure your hips, waist and thighs, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com where guidelines to note down these measurements are shown with diagrams. Our RDNs can effectively help you lose body weight with healthy diet plans and workout schedules. So, keep your machines in one corner of your room and don’t ever go near them before the designated time of week to check your weight.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.
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