A very common question asked of us: “How often do you recommend I weigh myself at home?”
Before answering this question, it is important for each individual person to understand her/his “relationship” with the scale. That word “relationship” is one that would not usually be referenced when discussing a live human being and an inanimate weight measuring device. However, there are many people that are scared of the home scale, scarred by seeing the number that is shown when those people step on the scale and therefore avoid using the scale entirely. There are others that “live and die” by seeing what the scale reports and will hop on this device multiple times a day. Jubilation occurs when a favorable number is seen and conversely, despair occurs when the weight is higher than expected/desired.
Complete avoidance of using the scale is a sort of “denial” behavior and will ultimately result in the weight going much higher over time. For those patients coming back to us to restart the SP Program that have gained 20, 30, 40 or more pounds, there is a good chance that they completely avoided weighing themselves for a long period of time. By the fit of the clothes and how they felt, they knew for certain lots of weight was gained, but not wanting to see how “bad” the situation was precluded the use of the scale.
“Overuse” of the scale (i.e. weighing yourself multiple times a day) is a sort of OCD behavior and this may result in those people becoming too fixated on their weight and this is not a very healthy emotional ride.
Here are my recommendations: At the very least, we should all weigh ourselves once a week. Additionally, keep a running list of the date and weight. When the weeks occur when the weight goes up a bit (and guaranteed there will be those weeks) obligate yourself to Phase 1 of our dietary plan for the following week and that should reverse the gain that occurred. If this action is taken, gone are the days of “Oh no, I gained 20 pounds”.
At the very most, weigh yourself once a day. Personally, this is my strategy. I weigh myself every morning and if a number appears that I am not happy with, I will adjust my eating that day, being a bit more stringent on my carb intake.
The scale should not be viewed as an “enemy” or “friend”. Rather, think of this as a tool that allows you to channel your behavior patterns into ways that bring you higher levels of health and happiness.