The Scales of INjustice

There was a time when I used to weigh myself 2, maybe 3 times each day. For some strange reason, I believed I could gain or lose a lot of weight at different times, during the SAME day. Then I cut back to once a day. Finally, I stopped weighing myself, except on certain occasions, of which I can’t think of any right now. But I certainly remember when I got on the scales and weighed myself daily – if I had gained weight, I would be depressed, and I decided to eat. If I had lost weight, I would be happy, and I also decided to eat. So it wasn’t exactly a win/win (or lose/lose, as the case may be) situation.

What happens, I’m afraid, with folks who weigh themselves too often is that they become confused with the difference between WEIGHT gain and FAT gain; or most often the opposite: weight loss and fat loss. Let’s say I weigh 143 pounds, which occasionally is the truth. If I sit down and drink 16 ounces of iced tea, and then get back on the scale, my weight would be 144 pounds. Now you and I both know I did NOT just put on a pound of FAT. I put on a pound of weight, and as long as my kidneys are healthy, that water weight will be gone within the next day or two.

Unfortunately, people get on the scale and look at the differences in weight, and then pass judgment on themselves. And what’s even more unfortunate, most of the time the judgment is an unfavorable one. Let’s say someone goes out for a lovely evening of dinner at a new restaurant and tries new foods. Then, for whatever reason, they get up the next morning and decide to weigh themselves. Of course they are going to see a WEIGHT gain – their body hasn’t had enough time to breakdown the food, and it still working its way through their digestive system.

Believe it or not, it takes a long time to gain/lose a pound of fat. When I’m working with clients who have lost, say, 5 pounds in one week, I get concerned. I must explain to them that part of the weight loss is water weight, and the loss won’t continue at such a quick rate. What I need them to understand is that the behaviors that led to such a large weight loss probably isn’t something they can maintain for a long time (skipping meals, eating excruciatingly small portions). When I see someone losing 1⁄2 – 3/4 of a pound/week, or every two weeks, then I know they are making slow, realistic changes they can live with. This type of loss, which is most likely a fat loss, will stay off. You have to work on small changes in behavior you can live with for a long time. Above all else, you must be honest and realistic with yourself about the changes you are willing to make in order to lose weight, fat.

Don’t buy into diets that promise quick weight loss. Please understand that while you may indeed lose weight, that weight is mostly water. You won’t be making any changes that lead to your overeating, and the weight will come back. You won’t be losing fat, which is what you want.

Don’t be fooled by numbers on a scale. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the salespeople making impossible promises. Justice isn’t served when diet promoters convince you to buy into their schemes. The fact that they can do it is  — well, a crime.

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

NOTE: Information in this site should not replace any medical advice you have
received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.