By: Jill Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC
Working with clients, particularly those who are struggle to lose weight there is a common theme…they all are focused on the number on the scale! Once they let go of weighing themselves they stop focusing on calories and food and end up loosing weight!
Why is this?
When you weigh yourself, you feel good if your weight is where you want it and badly if it is not where you want it. This reaction to the number on the scale can fuel your mood for the day causing negative (or positive) thoughts and emotions particularly related to body image and food choices. You may find yourself restricting calories or food to try to lose weight or making poor food choices because your weight is where you want it. Why does your weight make it okay or not okay to eat certain foods?
By focusing on your weight, you are so focused on changing the number on the scale that you are not actually listening to what your body needs and this can cause many weight issues. You are also not taking into account that your weight can fluctuate a great deal during the day and depending on what is going on with your body.
What is the answer?
If you have to weigh yourself, do it once a week as an objective measure. Don’t let the number define you. Remember that the number you see on the scale says nothing about your body composition including body fat versus lean muscle. It does not account for height or body frame.
Focus on how you feel in your body. When you are eating well, exercising in moderation, and your clothes fit well, you are going to feel good about your body! When you stop focusing on the number, you can focus on how you feel and what your body needs (as far as food, sleep, nutrition, exercise, meditation, etc).
How can you get to a healthy weight?
Focus on balance. Eating foods that are healthy most of the time, and those less healthy foods in moderation- don’t deny yourself, eat less.
Diet: Focus on eating breakfast everyday and then eating every 3 hours.
Exercise: Aim to exercise most days of the week for 30 to 45 minutes/day.
Sleep: Get enough sleep! If you are tired, your body will think it needs energy and you will end up eating more!
Stress: Manage stress with exercise, meditation, and yoga. Stress can cause weight gain so managing it daily is essential.