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Scale Depression

October 30, 2013

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THE SCALE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. Whew, it felt good to get that off my chest. I am all for data tracking but the obsession with weight is in itself unhealthy. When people see dramatic weight loss like they do on TV shows like the Biggest Loser it gives people unrealistic expectations that set them up for failure. I have a client right now who has made really good progress in the last 6 weeks but she cannot see it because for her it isn’t happening fast enough.

When I first meet with a new client we go over weight once and that is just to get a baseline number. Yes we do weight checks but my rule is to do it 1-2 times a month. In our sessions we go over healthy behaviors and lifestyle change. When you start doing healthier things your body will fall in line. Success is gauged by how clothes are fitting, energy levels, productivity, blood work results, etc.

Weight loss can be a challenge and there are many factors that influence it. Here are some reasons why the scale seems to be stuck:

1. Water levels: Your body weight can fluctuate 3-5 pounds during the day because of how much or how little water you have inside of you. I can almost guarantee that what you weigh at 8 am is going to be lower that what you weigh at 1 pm.

2. Medications: Certain medications that are used to treat mood disorders, seizures, migraines, diabetes, and high blood pressure can cause weight gain. So if you are eating right and exercising but the weight won’t come off check the side effects of your meds and discuss with your doctor.  

3. Exercise intensity: If you are not working out hard enough to burn more calories than you take in you will either maintain your weight or even gain a pound or two.

4. Slowed down metabolism: If you have not been eating enough your body will go into “starvation” mode where it will store fat and not let go of it. The best way of getting around this is to eat smaller meals throughout the day.

5. Fad diet side effects: Most fad diets use low calorie techniques to speed up weight loss. That will work for a little while then your body will get smart and go into “starvation” mode. You will notice weight loss slowing down then just stopping altogether because that type of weight loss is not sustainable.

The scale only tells one part of the healthier living story. Do not be discouraged if you don’t see the scales move. Focus on all the positives that come with your new lifestyle such as looser fitting clothes, more energy, etc.

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