Food Talk

Signs That It Is Time To Step Off The Scale

Date added: August 2013

What is with this obsession we have with the scale? For most people, the scale can be an adversary or an ally, depending on the day. We often hate what it says or argue with it, but we still feel the desire to use it. When used properly and taken for what it is, it can actually be a very useful tool for weight management.

But for many, the scale does more than measure the total weight of all your various parts. It somehow defines who you are as a person. And sadly, it can determine your own self-worth. We read way too much into this single-purposed tool.

Here are signs that you might put too much weight on weighing in:

1. You constantly worry about weighing in.

When you're trying to lose weight, it's normal to experience some hesitation when it's time for your weekly weigh in. After all, you want to see the numbers go down as confirmation that all of your hard work has paid off. If you find yourself preoccupied with worrisome thoughts of what the scale is going to say tomorrow or the next day, then you might be a little too obsessed with the scale.

2. You weigh in more than once per day.

Your body weight can and will fluctuate from day to day, and change throughout a single day, too. There is no sense in putting yourself on that roller coaster of ups and downs. In the war on weight, if you become so concerned that you weigh yourself daily or several times a day, you are fighting a losing battle and you will be discouraged.

3. You can recite your weight to the nearest fraction at all times.

This is a sure sign that you are relying too heavily on the scale. Anyone who can tell you not only how much they weighs each day, but measures their weight loss to the nearest quarter of a kilogram is probably weighing in too often. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see a lower number on the scale, but remember that weighing in is more about trends (an average decrease or consistency in weight over time).

The Road to Weight Loss Body Transformation

Date added: June 2013

People often ask me what the road to weight loss transformation looks like. They have imagined this vision of a yellow brick road leading off into the sunset.

In reality, they should be picturing a route full of twists and turns, hills and valleys, detours, and changes in speed (or kilograms lost) that may even cause them to have to make a u-turn or two as they navigate the road to their weight loss goals.

As with any journey, if you start with an honest desire, create a plan and are prepared, you'll be able to overcome obstacles, stay on course, and successfully reach your destination.

Before you embark of this journey, it is important to take a self-inventory of why you desire to do this. Remember, you never HAVE to lose the weight, so don't kid yourself by saying that it is something that you need to do. Losing weight is something that you WANT to do. Never forget that. When you are on your 29th minute on the treadmill and your body wants to stop, remind yourself how much you want to be there! Think about the outcome and how bad you desire it.

Once you have committed to the journey, it is important to create a plan and have realistic expectations of the obstacles ahead. The obstacles are our triggers: the people and events that elicit a strong emotional reaction within us. They can range from something as simple as sitting on the couch and watching your favorite TV show, to stress at work, to an argument with your mother-in-law.

When we encounter triggers, emotions come flooding in and we are driven to turn to our addictions. However, we can use powerful tactics to navigate around the triggers and stay on course! Put these effective tactics in your arsenal of tools to navigate your way to success:

Emotional triggers
  • STOP! Self inventory. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Feel your heartbeat.
  • Ask yourself if you are really, truly hungry.
  • Are you happy? Sad? Depressed? Anxious?
Random food cravings
  • Create an environment for success (first step). No junk food in the house.
  • Avoidance is necessary.
  • Find good substitutions for your favorites (eat this, not that).
  • Portion-controlled trigger food (not highly recommended).
Eating out successfully (when you must!)
  • Order from the appetizers only (smaller portions).
  • Always ask for sauce and dressings on the side.
  • Split your entrée with your dining partner.
  • Avoid any bread, chips, etc. before the meal.
Make the workplace work
  • Create an environment for success - stock drawers with healthy, no-cook snacks and protein sources to always have on hand.
  • Avoid the areas of the office where you feel tempted (vending machines, cafeteria, etc.).
  • Prep and pack your food to bring with you.
Eating late at night
  • Create new rules for your environment, such as no food in the TV room or bedroom.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Relax with a warm tea or flavored water (if you crave sweet).

RONALD ABVAJEE: WEIGHT LOSS PROGRESS

Date added: May 2013

How many times have you started a strict diet, gotten through a week, maybe two, maybe even more, and finally just said FORGET IT, I can’t do this forever, and given up completely? Perhaps you or the plan you chose laid out strict rules that you were supposed to follow at all times. Maybe all you could think about was just eating some potato chips or pancakes, and you felt that you had to choose: continue on your diet and forgo those things forever, or just give up the diet. Many approach their diets with this “all or nothing” attitude and end up giving up altogether.

But this time, don’t think of it as an all or nothing. You do not have to have perfect eating and adhere to a certain strict lifestyle for the rest of your life. That’s unrealistic for just about everyone, and setting yourself up with unrealistic expectations will only lead to failure. This is not about perfection, this is about progress.

Any movement in a forward direction is progress, but when it comes to adhering to a healthy diet, I try to aim for healthy eating 80-90% of the time, and the other 10-20% I allow myself “fun” food if I want, or I leave myself that much room for error in case I have a bad night or weekend. If I know ahead of time that I can always start over, no matter how bad it was, and if I know ahead of time that my eating won’t always be perfect, or I might miss a workout here and there, there’s not so much pressure and fear of failure. I don’t care what anyone says, even the fittest people out there fall off the wagon from time to time. Maybe you’ve dined out with one of them and watched them eat something that is “forbidden” for yourself and thought “No fair!”. What you’re not seeing is that for their other 20 meals a week, they’re adhering to their plan and sticking to good nutrition.

The secret is simple…change your lifestyle from eating unhealthy, high calorie foods the MAJORITY of the time, and make it the MINORITY, and vice versa. Do your best and at your own pace. You may have to work up to 90% healthy and 10% not, in baby-steps. You can keep a visual of this by keeping a food journal, or even making yourself a chart. Mark the chart every time you eat a healthy meal, then at the end of the week, add it up and see if it’s in the majority or the minority. Aim higher the next week until you’ve got it at consistent healthy eating.

This will give you a chance to adjust, to visualize what you are doing, to learn what foods you like and can’t stomach forever, and most importantly, it takes the pressure off.