Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Weigh, Or Not To Weigh...

On my run this evening, I was preoccupied not with the diet, nor with the exercise, but rather with my weighing schedule.

I've always been, even from the very beginning, a weigh-a-day man. However, I know that some of the blogs I read only weigh once a week, or sometimes even less frequently. This got me thinking about the pros and cons of the two methods, and as I have nothing more interesting to share, I shall be writing about these this evening!

- The reason I like weighing every day is that it gives me a regular, constant snapshot of my progress. You can immediately see the impact of every large meal, every run, every big night out. It also helps you to spot patterns in your weight-loss, such as your optimal rate of loss, danger-days where you tend to gain, what diets or exercises have the best impact etc.

However, there is a drawback to this system that I have noticed, and that is the fact that good progress earlier in the week can lead you to slack off over the weekend. I have done this myself in the past - worked hard and lost quite a lot of weight between Monday and Thursday, only to them relax, as I'd 'already gained a good lost', and actually lost some of the progress.

- Weighing only once a week was tempting at first. A regular part of losing weight is seeing random (and sometimes enormous) fluctuations in your diet. I have noticed this most clearly when I switch from a low-carb to a higher-carb diet. When weighing every day, you see ALL the fluctuations, and it can lead you to the wrong conclusions.

On the other hand, I know that on those lazy weeks when I do perhaps only weigh at the end of the week, my progress tracking goes right out of the window. If I don't check my weight every day, I start discounting the little binges and lack of exercise, convincing myself that its not that bad, and it won't make much of difference. Then, when I come to weigh in and see the impact, it can really knock you back. This sudden kick in teeth would have been avoided if I were weighing every day.

So, there you are! It's probably a good thing that I don't have a running buddy - if this is the kind of thing that goes through my head when I'm on a run, I probably wouldn't make very good company!

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