So then, what is the best way to check and record your weight loss transformation on a diet?
Simply: do not just rely on the scales to check your progress.
You must keep a log of weight, inches and most importantly how close you’re getting to fitting into that pair of jeans that you bought more in hope than expectation, all those years ago.
First let’s start with the scales.
People always say to me, “Gaunty, how many times a week do you weigh yourself ?”
The answer is always the same, I’d say “How many times a week? – Don’t you mean how many times a day?!”
Well, it is because even though I know the scales lie I am obsessed with weighing myself just as I am obsessed with checking my blood sugar. I want to see what meals and what exercise affect my body. Only by learning about my own personal reactions can I take back control.
However, as I say, the scales are only one part of my log. You will see in my upcoming book, on the website and on social media, there are loads of pictures of me just in my boxer shorts – sorry ladies! But these photos serve a real purpose, as they are a visual reminder of where I am coming from and going to. Always take the picture in the same pair of pants and in the same place with the same lighting. Get your partner to do it for you. Do not rely on a selfie.
Once you’ve done the photo get them to measure your neck, chest, waist (around the belly button) and then your thigh and knee. Write the measurements and the date down and keep the log. You will be amazed by how motivating this can be. However, I will be honest, the measurements have caused rows between Lisa and I, when the inch loss isn’t what I expected or wanted. A supportive partner will really help at this point.
Remember that the inches need to be, pardon the pun, weighed alongside the scales and the underpants photo each time. Plus, as I say the best motivator is always to buy a pair of trousers 2 inches smaller than you can get into and use these as your target. Once I got into a pair of 52-inch trousers I immediately ordered the same pair in a 50 and hung them on the bedroom door as a daily reminder of my mission. Once I was in them, without the use of a crow bar, I immediately ordered the next size down and so on.
Do it, I promise you it works.
Back to the scales.
Remember the following facts.
The body is made up largely of water, so how much you have drunk will affect the needle on the scales. Did you know that one litre of water is equivalent to 2 pounds or 1kg in the body? So, if you’ve just had a drink you will be heavier and if you’ve just exercised and sweated you will be lighter.
Clothes can weigh up to 2 pounds so always weigh yourself naked, but not at the doctors!
Always use the same set of scales in the same place, that should be a no-brainer.
Muscles, of course, weigh more than fat. Yes, I know it’s a cliché but it is a cliché because it is true. Plus, you will always weigh more after a weight or a resistance training session as the muscles are pumped up. This impact can last up to a day.
By eating Low Carb High Fat you are eating much healthier, so bone density will increase and therefore they will weigh more, this is a good thing! So, the old cliché about being big boned is almost correct!
The dreaded constipation can also affect the scales by up to 4 pounds, so keep eating green veg and healthy, fibre and keep the water intake up to avoid this!
Hormonal changes for women throughout the month can increase fluid retention and cause temporary weight gain. You will know how your body changes so don’t get disheartened in the week before your period. Lisa never weighs herself during this week, and if she feels extra hungry during the days before her period she will snack on tuna, mayo and cucumber, or cheese, pastrami and gherkins. Tasty, satisfying and diuretic!
So, in conclusion the scales are just one indicator and they can lie.
The most important thing to state is that we are involved in a marathon here. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and it is certainly not a sprint. Look at all your results and track the progress over the long term.
Do not let one result or one measurement knock you off your long-term goal of taking back control of your health and wellbeing.
Remember the Simple As Fat Members group is there for you to share your progress so far! Maybe you are not yet seeing the difference on the scales but your clothes are feeling a little looser? Share your success with the group here.