Agnes, our Registered Nurse, and exercise and activities coach, suggests that SCALES should be trashed.

She feels dependence on scales can lead to discouragement and abandonment of the cause. Weight changes in sporadic amounts, one week you may lose a very noticeable amount, and then while eating the same way in the next week, lose just a little.

Your body defends itself
It isn’t your scale that is the problem. It is how the body works. It tries to adapt to changing conditions. Fast and you may find no loss of weight for a period of time as your body tries to cope with the sudden “starvation mode.”

The way to lose weight is to determine what calories level is best for a slow weight reduction for you. For example, perhaps your body type requires about 2200 calories a day to maintain itself. Then, reducing the calorie intake by just 200 or 300 calories will not shock the body into defensive mode but allow it to adjust to and accept the slight caloric reduction. Your body will cope with the reduction and accommodate to it and your weight will drop, slowly.

After a while, your body may adjust itself to the calorie reduction. Stay with the course, your body will resume reduction again once it stabilizes at the current level.

Your scale is not your friend
However, your scale may mislead you. The first week, you will likely see a noticeable drop in weight. The next week, nothing or nearly nothing. Your body is simply adjusting to the calorie reduction. Once it adjusts itself, it will resume with the weight reduction. So your scale is not your friend.

Add movement to your calorie reduction, even as little as a 15 minute walk each day. Or even every second day for a few weeks. When that habit has been consolidated, try doing each day. That little bit of activity will help with weight reduction.

Back to your enemy
Instead of using it as your gospel of weight loss, switch to another way of measuring your success. Try on a “tight shirt” or a pair of “tight pants.” After a reasonable period of eating better and being more active, say 3-4 weeks, try on those tight pants or that tight shirt. Voila, a little less snug, maybe even loose. Bravo, you’re on your weigh, oops, way.

Next step

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