Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Weighing in on a regular basis
Most people who are concerned about their weight own a bathroom scale. Weighing in is one way of monitoring yourself and assessing your progress. It can also be a good motivating tool, giving you the push you need to work a little harder on your goal, as long as you don’t become a slave to your scale.

The following sections tell you when to weigh yourself and how to maintain a weight-change chart.

Knowing when to weigh yourself

A scale is a useful tool for tracking weight changes and documenting progress. Weighing yourself allows you to keep a record of how far you’ve come and how far you have to go to reach your goals.

When you weigh yourself, remember that your weight can fluctuate up to several pounds for any number of reasons, including hormonal changes, a rise or dip in your level of body fluids, and the type of food and drinks you consumed that day. These weight fluctuations have nothing to do with your true weight. For that reason

  • Weigh yourself no more than once a week.
  • The numbers on a scale generally don’t lie, but they may not always be an accurate reflection of your true body weight. Don’t be alarmed if the numbers move up or down in inexplicable ways. A certain amount of weight fluctuation is normal from week to week or day to day, even from hour to hour, which is why you don’t want to weight yourself too frequently.
  • Always weigh yourself on the same day of the week, at the same time of day. Morning is probably best for motivation, because you haven’t eaten yet and weigh less than you will at any other time of day.
  • Weigh yourself when you’re naked and dry. You could add up to several pounds of false weight from clothing or wet hair.

Filling in a weight-change chart
A weight-change chart (see Table 4-3) graphs your weight loss (or gain) from week to week so you can monitor your diet and exercise changes and be sure they’re working for you.

You may also begin to see a pattern of slight weight gain from time to time, and you’ll also be able to see that this weight gain levels out again after such periods. When you see the repetitive pattern on paper, you’ll be better able to accept these fluctuations as naturally occurring events and trust that they have nothing to do with real weight.

Use the following steps when using your weight-change chart (shown in Table 4-3):

1. Begin by filling in your current weight (starting weight), in the space provided, a few lines down from the top of the chart.
2. One week from now, weigh yourself.

Go to week number 1 at the top of the graph.

3. If you’ve lost weight, move down the graph until you reach the row for the number that represents your weight change for this first week.

Put an Xin the appropriate column.

For example, if you lose 2 pounds, stop at the –2 row and put an X in the Week 1 column.

4. If you gain weight, move upthe graph until you reach the row for the number that represents the number of pounds you gained.






Start Weight















Table 4-3: A weight-change chart is a handy, easy-to-use tracking too.

5. If you gain or lose a half pound, draw a diagonal line through the center of the appropriate box.

6. Repeat each week, graphing the total number of pounds you’ve lost since Week 1 or since the last time you gained weight.

If you continue to gain, graph the total number of pounds you’ve gained since you stopped losing weight. If you don’t gain or lose any weight during a given week, check the 0 row for that week.

For example, if you lost 2 pounds during Week 1 and 2 more pounds during Week 2, mark the –4 row in the Week 2 column. If you gain 1 pound the following week, mark the +1 row in the Week 3 column. If you lose 2 pounds the following week, mark the –2 row again in the Week 4 column. (But if you gain another pound during Week 4, mark the +2 column in Week 4.) Continue this way for several months to see if your weight fluctuations have a pattern. What you may find is that you lose weight steadily for a period of time, only to gain a pound or two whenever your normal schedule is interrupted or when you experience hormonal changes.

If you’re really into graphing, use dots instead of X’s, and connect the dots for a more graphic representation of your weight fluctuations. Note: This chart doesn’t graph your actual weight or your total weight loss, only the number of pounds you lose (or gain) each week and how your weight sometimes fluctuates.

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