Weighing in on the Scale
It's no secret that many of us allow our moods to be determined by a number on a scales. If it's the right number - elation. If it's the wrong number - deflation.
But how much stock should you really put in this number? In fact, it's not as reliable as you might think. CalorieKing weight-loss therapist Pat Fiducia helps unveil the mysteries of the scale and shed some light on how to use it effectively.
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Mind over scaleDo you ever feel like the scale has too great a hold on your mind and emotions? You're not alone. Pat Fiducia has seen countless examples of people caught in the clutches of the scale.
"Once I was at the gym when a woman went to weigh herself. Before she jumped on the scales she was in a cheerful, upbeat mood, but when she read the number on the scales her mood changed dramatically; she was devastated. And I mean devastated," says Pat.
"But she hadn't noticed that her purse handle was leaning on the scales, making the reading about one kilogram heavier than it should have been. That one-kilo difference almost ruined her day - until someone politely pointed out the trespassing purse handle. When she removed the guilty party from the scales and saw the number dip by one kilogram, she was ecstatic. Again, all was well with the world."
This reaction may not be unusual, but Pat explains that whether it's a purse handle, water retention, or “that time of the month”, daily fluctuations on the scale should never be taken too seriously. She also admits it can be hard for people to see things this way. She describes one client in particular who had high blood-pressure and was on medication, and as a side-effect experienced extreme water-weight fluctuations - up three kilograms one day, down three kilograms the next.
"Try as I might to tell her that the changes were not a measurement of success or failure, but a result of the medication, she couldn't see it that way," explains Pat. "Her perceptions had little to do with the fact that she was making excellent progress in changing her eating and exercise habits, and losing weight gradually; everything revolved around the scale."
Pat advises that if small changes on the scales affect you in a similar way, you should try to remember that they reflect many things, not just the loss of fat or the increase of lean muscle mass, which are the two indicators of true weight loss.
Let's take a look at some of the factors that can change the reading on the scales and whether or not you should pay attention to them.
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