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Old 04-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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Don't put all your eggs in one basket, or why the scale doesn't tell the whole story

I know I keep saying it, but please do not let the scale be your only guidepost.

I have lost 1.2 pounds since March 10. That's right, 1.2 pounds in over six weeks, and that amount came only in the last few days. So I was basically the same weight (or within a few pounds over it, thanks to water retention) for over six weeks. And I have a LOT to lose, so conventional wisdoms says I should be losing more like 10-15 lbs in a month. Nope. 1.2 lbs.


But.



I lost some inches all over, went down a size in jeans, and two sizes in tops and skirts.

If I were only looking at the scale, it would look like nothing was happening, while the jeans that were sort of loose in early March now look like clown pants, and the jeans that I could barely button are now loose. If you stay on plan, keep doing what you know works, things keep happening.

Measure yourself on a regular basis (I weigh daily, measure monthly), keep trying on clothes that don't fit yet, and keep moving forward.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reminder! You are so right.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #4
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Awesome post and much needed. Thank you!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:24 PM   #5
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Very true! Sometimes I think it's easy to let that number haunt us, even when other good things are happening with our bodies... thanks for the reminder!

And congrats on the inches lost, and breaking your stall too! That's great!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:40 PM   #6
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there is no doubt about it. Our weight is only part of the picture.
I have lost only 3 pounds in the past month or so, but all my clothes are
hanging off of me and it's time to go shopping.....again
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:40 PM   #7
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This is why I refuse to weigh myself but every 6 weeks. I work too hard in the gym and too hard avoiding carbs to see little or no weight loss.

Instead I focus on the intensity, accuracy, and proper form of my exercise. I relish the fitness gains of strength and stamina (and they are truly astounding to me, especially after switching from low-calorie to low-carb).

I consider the fact that I've gone almost 6 weeks and have not "cheated" once on this program a huge success. The fact that I have no cravings for sweets or carbs of any kind is better than seeing what the scale says.

And yes, going to the next notch on the belt and getting rid of 2 garbage bags of old clothes is way better obsessing numbers!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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Congrats!!!!! Sounds like you are doing GREAT!! Good work staying on plan, even when the scale wasnt given you the numbers you wanted!
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTH View Post
This is why I refuse to weigh myself but every 6 weeks. I work too hard in the gym and too hard avoiding carbs to see little or no weight loss.

Instead I focus on the intensity, accuracy, and proper form of my exercise. I relish the fitness gains of strength and stamina (and they are truly astounding to me, especially after switching from low-calorie to low-carb).

I consider the fact that I've gone almost 6 weeks and have not "cheated" once on this program a huge success. The fact that I have no cravings for sweets or carbs of any kind is better than seeing what the scale says.

And yes, going to the next notch on the belt and getting rid of 2 garbage bags of old clothes is way better obsessing numbers!
We all do what works best for us.

I like weighing daily, even when I'm not seeing scale losses. Weighing daily and charting it helps keep me on track, and it helps me to see my weight loss patterns. It really helps me to see how I lose long term, and how I retain water like a freaking camel.

I knew I wasn't in a stall, thanks to the monthly measurements and the fit of my clothes, but I'm not saying I didn't get frustrated sometimes. There were a couple of days I was just ready to have pizza, but I knew that I needed to keep on track, and I knew that, even if I didn't gain anything but water weight from one indulgent meal, I wouldn't be happy with myself. There will be off-plan meals occasionally. But only occasionally, and I don't like to do it out of frustration. I prefer to eat that rare off-plan meal when I'm at a special restaurant, or for a very rare special occasion, not because I'm in a rut. So I have been 100% on plan since I restarted January 3rd.


Congrats on your six weeks!

Last edited by Ntombi; 04-23-2013 at 09:55 PM..
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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This is a great point! And I don't think people necessarily consider it on a daily basis. It's just too easy to get into the mindset that today's weight directly reflects what you ate yesterday, without considering the myriad of complicated physiological factors that are unrelated to actual fat loss, which can significantly contribute to the scale number. So I think this is a point that could be repeatedly stressed, if only to help people avoid feeling like *failures* when they have a *perfect* day on plan without seeing the scale move.

I feel like some part of the frustration is related to the psychology of dieting. On some level, I feel like I've finally taken charge of my health and my body so, because I'm in charge now, everything that happens is either to my *credit* or it's my *fault*. But this isn't exactly true with regard to dieting. The body is an intricately complicated machine that we have a fairly limited level of control over. Controlling what I eat doesn't necessarily mean that the body will immediately show the results of that control.

I only weigh once per month so I've only seen the scale go down since I started. But I still get frustrated because I want to be wearing a smaller size TOMORROW -- as payment for all of the work I've done today -- but it takes me months to move between sizes. As thrilled as I am with how far I've come, it's still difficult to not feel like I *deserve* to have gone even farther. I'm honestly not sure if it's my individual character flaw or if it's just human nature.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:13 AM   #11
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That's a great point. Actually, several great points.

I've been dealing with some health issues during this stretch, some chronic, some acute, and I also had surgery three weeks ago. That, plus some meds that tend to make losing hard, have all contributed to what could be construed as my slow loss. But I have to take the long view in several ways. One, I didn't put on weight, like many people on these meds do. Two, I lost several inches. Three, I didn't let the pain and frustration with these health issues derail me. And four, to your point: I don't have ultimate control over these illnesses, how they affect my loss, and when this latest infection will finally be gone (four months and counting!), but I do have ultimate control over what I put in my mouth. Whether the "reward" comes tomorrow or in six weeks, I just have to do my best to make good choices.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:32 AM   #12
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I'm one of those people where the scale and sizes line up perfectly. I wish I had weeks where I didn't lose anything but lost inches/sizes when I was losing weight.

I also weigh daily and when you do that you have to be aware of the fluctuations. I ate a lot of pickles the other day and chased them with a ton of water so the next day I was up 3 pounds, I knew it was just water weight from the sodium. Then today I lost those three pounds again and once again I know it's not fat that I lost but water weight. You also have to keep in mind the weight of the digested food, how often you go to the bathroom, and how late you ate. I also lose water weight when I drink because I get a little bit dehydrated. So I don't think the scale is wrong necessarily, you just have to know that it counts all of those things in your weight, including of course your bones and organs.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post

I knew I wasn't in a stall, thanks to the monthly measurements and the fit of my clothes, but I'm not saying I didn't get frustrated sometimes. There were a couple of days I was just ready to have pizza, but I knew that I needed to keep on track, and I knew that, even if I didn't gain anything but water weight from one indulgent meal, I wouldn't be happy with myself. There will be off-plan meals occasionally. But only occasionally, and I don't like to do it out of frustration. I prefer to eat that rare off-plan meal when I'm at a special restaurant, or for a very rare special occasion, not because I'm in a rut. So I have been 100% on plan since I restarted January 3rd.

Your persistence is inspiring. I think that's one of the most significant factors in weight loss- you keep going, day in and day out, no matter what.

And, I am the same way with off plan meals- they are ok if they are planned ahead of time and are something special, but if I decide to eat something crappy on an impulse then it's a problem.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:47 AM   #14
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This is soo true! If I just counted on the scale I would be discouraged,congrats on your inches lost
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #15
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I think you're just so awesome. I mean, it's one thing for you to keep motivating yourself day after day, but the fact that you also think of us and carry us along with you just makes me so happy!! Thank you for all your intelligent, honest and kind posts that you share with us all!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ntombi View Post
I know I keep saying it, but please do not let the scale be your only guidepost.

I have lost 1.2 pounds since March 10. That's right, 1.2 pounds in over six weeks, and that amount came only in the last few days. So I was basically the same weight (or within a few pounds over it, thanks to water retention) for over six weeks. And I have a LOT to lose, so conventional wisdoms says I should be losing more like 10-15 lbs in a month. Nope. 1.2 lbs.


But.



I lost some inches all over, went down a size in jeans, and two sizes in tops and skirts.

If I were only looking at the scale, it would look like nothing was happening, while the jeans that were sort of loose in early March now look like clown pants, and the jeans that I could barely button are now loose. If you stay on plan, keep doing what you know works, things keep happening.

Measure yourself on a regular basis (I weigh daily, measure monthly), keep trying on clothes that don't fit yet, and keep moving forward.


Always good to be reminded.

Love reading your posts Ntombi! You always seem to have a very level headed approach to the WOE and great advice to those of us that may get off track or start obsessing about little stuff.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:04 AM   #17
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Sure has happened to me, but only in *reverse*...

I'd throw on something, look in the full length mirror and see the looseness and say to myself, "wow, I've must have lost a few more pounds without even really trying"...( I only weight myself occasionally now...)

I anxiously, then jump on the scale to see just how much, only to find that I hadn't lost an ounce Yet and still, some of my clothes are getting looser I'm an avid exerciser though ( kettle bells, power walking, etc) So I'm certain this has something to do with it...

Nonetheless, CONGRATS to *YOU* and thanks for sharing this, as no doubt it will help others
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:23 AM   #18
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On the subject of how often to weigh yourself,
I weigh in daily. I do find that yesterdays eating habits are reflected in todays weight, at least to somewhat predictable degree.
For example, I know that if I go a little heavy on the peanut butter that the next morning will show an increase. I also know that if I severely restrict my carbs to <30 that the next day will show a loss.
For sure there are days when the weight fluctuates for no apparant reason, but I'm finding that the more 'in touch' with my body I become, the more I can predict outcomes.
This has helped me with weight control, but also with knowing when to stop working out at the gym to avoid injury, getting enough sleep, stress management etc.
And it all started here at Low Carb Friends!
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
On some level, I feel like I've finally taken charge of my health and my body so, because I'm in charge now, everything that happens is either to my *credit* or it's my *fault*.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trillex View Post
It's just too easy to get into the mindset that today's weight directly reflects what you ate yesterday, without considering the myriad of complicated physiological factors that are unrelated to actual fat loss, which can significantly contribute to the scale number. So I think this is a point that could be repeatedly stressed, if only to help people avoid feeling like *failures* when they have a *perfect* day on plan without seeing the scale move.
So true.

I have a spreadsheet I keep with my daily calories, fat-protein-carb grams. On yesterday's line I put this mornings weigh-in. Typically I eat about 2300 calories a day for weight loss. Some days I eat closer to 2000 and show a gain the next morning. Some days I eat closer to 2700 and show a loss. My woe is NK so I watch protein grams closely but on a steak or rib day I may be way over my protein goal and see a whoosh.

If you can get past the mental kick in the pants of seeing bounces on the scale, daily weighing forces you to look at the trend over time. As long as, of course, you are a nut like me about data keeping and tracking stuff lol.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #21
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Thanks to a fellow member who directed me here! Because I've been down over the number on the scale... But I'm right there with you! Been doing the southbeach lifestyle for over 3 weeks now with not one single pound lost. But what I have lost is inches. Over 2 inches all around my body. I SEE the difference in my body. And I fit very nicely into a pair of jeans that I had to lay on the bed to zipper a few months ago.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #22
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I tried on a pair of pants this morning that I couldn't wear last month. I really haven't lost much, maybe 2-3pounds.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:31 AM   #23
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
So true.

I have a spreadsheet I keep with my daily calories, fat-protein-carb grams. On yesterday's line I put this mornings weigh-in. Typically I eat about 2300 calories a day for weight loss. Some days I eat closer to 2000 and show a gain the next morning. Some days I eat closer to 2700 and show a loss. My woe is NK so I watch protein grams closely but on a steak or rib day I may be way over my protein goal and see a whoosh.

If you can get past the mental kick in the pants of seeing bounces on the scale, daily weighing forces you to look at the trend over time. As long as, of course, you are a nut like me about data keeping and tracking stuff lol.
Yanno, I read in a magazine just recently that those who weigh daily tend to have a better handle on their weight than others...

Way back when I first discovered LC"ing, I was a daily weigh-er, a fanatic even,...But now Its been so long that I've now settled in to the *new me*. Although I am no longer strict low carbing, I am, however, carb conscious, and live an active life style.

I now go by how I feel and how my clothing fits, more-so than anything else, I don't need yet another thing to beat myself over the head with Everyone's different though and I totally respect that!!..
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #25
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Thank you for the post. I've been bouncing around the same numbers for the past two weeks. I do weigh in daily. Yesterday we did measurements. I'm down 2 inches in my thighs and about .5 inch in my hips since my last measurements 2 weeks ago.

I've really noticed how my clothes are just hanging on me. I only have 20 days left of work (teacher) so I'm trying to just wear what I have and not purchase anything too new until August.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:33 AM   #26
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Someone at my gym today told me how my gym shirt (the one I usually always wear) is hanging off of me. I can most definetly see a difference in my abs!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:31 PM   #27
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Someone at my gym today told me how my gym shirt (the one I usually always wear) is hanging off of me. I can most definetly see a difference in my abs!!
That's great
I can see improved muscularity in my arms and shoulders, but alas the abs are still hidden by some belly fat.
I've made great improvements and more is yet to come.
But I gotta tell you that I admire those "6 packs"
good for you!!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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I could not agree with you more! I have not lost weight on the scale in a while, however I can tell I am losing inches all over, so I will take it
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:11 AM   #29
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Awesome advice and info! I need to remember this myself! Congrats on your inches lost!!!
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