Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rule 3- Weigh Yourself Everyday

I'm choosing a rule, with a sub-rule from Refuse to Regain (by Barbara Berkeley, MD) to write about. My opinions are my own, your experience may vary.  I would highly recommend the book.

Weighing In Daily

Daily weighing in is the second most important weight maintenance tool I use. The first is avoiding "S" foods- (sugar, starchy foods, grains) . The author, Dr. Berkeley recommends weighing even if you've had a bad day day before "weigh bravely"- I totally agree.

What works for me

1. Recording: Weighing in the first thing in the AM and entering my weight at "My Fitness Pal" keeps a record of my weight data.

2. Trending:My weight is a number. It's data. When I plot my weight, I can more easily spot trends upwards, note any temporary gains.

3. Tracking strategy :My weight graph helps me decide if I need to start tracking or logging food (My scream weight- where I would flip to my weight loss plan- is 119, although I feel best around 114-115, so I will start to track food around 116 or so)

4. Examples -Exercise: My weight graph indicated that my weight really stayed in a "locked in" position during the month of Sept. What I did differently: I was involved in a "walking challenge" and I was walking 10,000 steps a day. In October, my walking dropped to closer to 8,000 steps a day. Once I boosted my  walking to 10,000 steps and scaled my fruit in-take back to 1.5 servings, the scale leveled off in an area that I feel really dialed and healthy. I would not have picked up on this. Lesson learned- my exercise needs to be closer to 1 hour a day. 30 mins worked for weight loss, not for weight maintenance.

Scenic stop on Hwy 1,Central California
5. Examples- Diet: See the sharp spike up on the far left side of my graph, Last week of Aug? I was on vacation in the central coast of California. I stopped at farmer's market and bought a lot of golden raisins. And they were good. And, I ate them every day. And, it was too much sugar. Lesson learned. I still eat raisins, but only once and a while. If I do this again, I will get a single serving of raisins.  Without that data in the form of a weight graph, I would have missed that lesson. Worse, I might have set myself up for a weight gain and taken myself out of my maintenance area.

6. Temporary spikes (gains)- yes, I have them. This is no big deal because I have learned to deal with temporary gains. It's normal for me. I hop on the scale, I weigh 1-2 pounds higher with no change in diet or any reason. And then the scale goes back down and stays down. Daily weighing has helped the way I deal with those days. It's completely normal. When the weight goes higher and stays higher- I revert to tracking my food again and looking at what I'm eating and why I'm eating it. The answer is ALWAYS there.

What didn't work

1. Not weighing daily or weighing in monthly. Not enough of a quality check.
2. Not taking action when I was trending upwards the moment I noticed I was trending
3. Flawed thinking (I'll go back to my WW meetings when my weight is back down)
4. Thinking I could loose weight by exercising my poor food choices.
5. Eating the foods that got me overweight and expecting to stay in maintenance
6. Freaking out over normal, temporary gains. I had no way to see them before.

Wow!  What a lot of great lessons learned with the daily weigh- in.  I work in the science field, and evaluating graph based data and making decisions is part of my job. I'm just glad that I can apply what I do at work in my home life and use that tool to it's fullest. This rule rocks- in my opinion.

I know that this is not the right tool for some people. So if daily weighing is not right for you, don't do it. (find another tool- like how your clothing fits) I hope you'll find your own applications for your daily weigh-in.


  1. I went thru a problem with the scale for almost two years. It had to do with the practice of weighing "empty" I then underrate. The scale reinforced that empty feeling.

    The answer I found was to switch and weigh full. I weigh after breakfast, after exercise, after water, as I am getting in the shower mid day.

    That works for me.

    It doesn't matter that I weigh full, as long as I always weigh full.

    I think you are very smart in how you are gathering/using all your data.

    It will serve you well because as your body changes, you will adapt.

    A LOT of people sort of go "look mom, no hands" when they are in their first couple years of maintenance.

    Honestly, a LOT of people only see their low weight, on the scale, ONE TIME, before they get on wobbly ground and start to regain.

  2. That was under ATE

    That is the problem with iPad auto correct

    1. LOL on the iPad auto correct. I get into trouble all the time with auto correct- especially on the iPad, early in the AM, before I've had coffee. Thanks for your comments, Vickie. It's so true about newbies being at goal weight only for one or two weigh ins. Sad, really. There needs to be as much support, study, and topics for weight maintenance as there is for weight loss- IMO.

    2. Vickie,

      Also, I think it's key to weigh-in in a consistent manner. I still go to WW meetings for the support and the access to lifetime weight loss members for support in real life. I always weigh in post breakfast, coffee, and with jeans. Freaks people out, but I'm consistent and always 3 pounds heavier than weighing in first thing in the morning. Doesn't really matter- just that I'm consistent with it.

  3. You and all your wacky ideas about being accountable and proactive! ;) I agree. I don't weigh *every* day but at least 4-5 times a week to make sure I'm where I'm supposed to be and to make myself take action if I'm not. Now stop making so much're going to confuse some people! ;)

    1. Norma- LOL!! Data = power. If you choose to use it. Not everyone is wired that way, but if you don't use weight, I'd go as far as to say you'd have to have every other emotional and physical aspect of your life completely dialed in.

      Weighing-in is relatively painless, except for how chilly it is some mornings. Since I am in So. Cal, I will shut up now!! ;)

  4. I usually weigh at least six times a week. I weigh first thing in the morning after a trip to the bathroom and before coffee. Doing that consistently works just fine. I do weigh more at Weight Watchers because I eat breakfast before I go and have coffee. I wear the same outfit and take off my shoes. So, I'm also consistent there.

    One thing I hate to see here in blog land is people giving up after they've worked hard all week and the scale does not cooperate. Then people start telling them to eat more. Really? I don't think it is a good idea to take advice from people who are not losing weight and who eat pizza every other day. Sigh.

    1. You have a good point, Caron. When I lost and the scale did not move, I hung in there. I lost in stair steps- so plateaus were part of the normal progression. If I gave up, I'd gain weight. If I hung in there, I would loose inches and eventually get back to loosing pounds.

      That's why my weight graph was important during loss, too. Once I knew I was in a holding pattern before a loss, I knew to keep going and that it was normal. Tough to wait, but essential. The lessons in weight loss and in weight maintenance graphing are different for me. And, the tendency to plateau makes it more important than ever to graph my weight in maintenance. Because I can head back to a weight plateau that is higher very quickly. Pizza would send me in the other direction on the graph.

      I would love to see us put months/years maintained at the top of our blogs. It could help us navigate the weight blogs of the web... Karen P

    2. I agree about putting background front and center on blogs. I have extensive info on my side bar.

      I also find it helpful when people list their height and age, with their weight, each time.

  5. Wonderful info as always, Karen! Always so thankful to have become blogfriends with you right at the time I began maintenance. Your precise and factual way of communicating data is perfect for me. I am a daily weigher as well - that is what works for me. I can usually tie a spike back to either a meal out or something involving wheat (since I no longer eat white flour, the "wheat" is one of the "good" kinds, but still may cause a temporary spike!)

  6. Thanks , Sharon. So you still eat whole wheat? Is it choice or accidental exposure? Thanks for your kind words. It's so good to be on a journey with other weight maintainers. There is much to learn and a lot of day to day work to be done. So much easier with support from others.

  7. Great info as always, Karen. I am a daily weigher myself to keep myself on track. It is too easy for me to gain and I refuse to let it slip past me. I've tried to go back to letting myself have a few S foods and that was not good. I'm not quite ready to have them in my diet. Need to have my 3 months of maintenance before I go there, haha.

    I'm loving Refuse to Regain. I think I'll read it over and over ;)