Trying to shift some weight? Then throw away the scales! Ok so that might be a bit drastic but at least hide them at the back of a cupboard for a while. Being on a quest to reduce any unwelcome kilos can lead to a compulsion to step on the scales a little too frequently shifting from foot to foot in the hope that the indicator will drop. And when the scales tell you that no there's no change, or (God forbid) you're a tad heavier than when you started, watching what you eat/exercising/vowing that you refuse to buy clothes in those bigger sizes, it can be so disheartening that you may feel like reaching for the Tim-Tams.
That's not to say you should completely disregard how much you weigh or stop in your tracks from eventually going on and charting any weight loss or gain. The advice here is to just take a break from the scales for a time particularly if you feel you're not getting anywhere with a weight-loss plan.
It's easy during these times to feel hampered by a number and when that number doesn't seem to want to meet your expectations it's easy to become frustrated and think ‘what's the point of all this watching- my-weight malarkey anyway?' As long as you're regularly keeping active not buckling under stress and not consuming too much food that has a high calorie and fat content, you should find that this is enough to stop weight from creeping up on you.
If you find yourself clinging on to a constant urge to weigh yourself every day pick one day during the week to weigh yourself instead. If you're already weighing yourself once a week stretch it out so that you're doing it once a month. In my late teens, I went through a phase of stepping on the scales every other day and was pushing 70 kg. Now I don't obsess as much and have embraced better habits that have become second-nature and whenever I weigh myself - which might be every three to four months at a friend's house because the only scales I own now are the kitchen ones - I'm usually around the 57 kg mark. Go figure.
Let's shift the focus away from scrutinising kilos or pounds for a bit and recognise that there are other ways that can be an effective gauge of maintaining a healthy weight.
- Body measurements - Take out the soft tape measure and make a note of those inches from around your hips, waist, arms, and legs. If clothes fit right on you without any straining of zips and buttons then take this as a good sign.
- How do you feel? - If you feel that you have a consistent amount of energy to last you through the day, a sufficient and undisturbed sleep pattern and generally have a positive outlook this is often an indication of a healthy metabolism.
- Looking good! - If you look in the mirror and approve of what you see or if somebody offers you a compliment of genuine proportion don't let a disappointing scale reading ruin this.
- General health - If teeth, gums, skin, hair, and nails are in good nick, this usually suggests that you're getting a good balance of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Stable blood pressure and low cholesterol level are some of the invisible indicators of health.
Remember weight-watching rather than weight-obsessing. Pinning all your progress on a number on a scale can hinder your efforts and do more harm than good. How much you weigh does not necessarily always reflect how healthy you are.
Written by Cassandra Duell