Time to scrap the scales
Weighing yourself every day’s just a waste of time, what’s important is what your shape tells you
Join my campaign to take the worry out of weight loss, says Thinking Slimmer founder SANDRA ROYCROFT-DAVIS
STAND BY Slimpodders, here’s the best weight loss advice you’re ever going to get: Ditch the diet, throw away the scales and buy yourself a measuring tape. Let your clothes be the guide to how you’re achieving your goals, as feeling the way your body’s changing is so much more important than weighing it. Because for many people, their body shape will change quite quickly whereas their weight may take a while to start falling.
A lot of people have the wrong ideas about weight loss, and then get frustrated because they’re not achieving what they want. There are so many common misconceptions about what we should and should not be doing when we’re trying to lose the pounds and this can often lead to disappointment.
So here’s the facts and then I’ll tell you about the healthy approach to a sustainable healthy lifestyle, which will ultimately lead to the changes you want to see in your body.
Science shows why diets don’t work in the long term
THERE are so many reasons why diets don’t work and are the wrong way to lose weight; one major problem is that of yo-yo dieting. You’re up and down because you never make the permanent changes which lead to a consistent healthy lifestyle. So ditch the diet plan and toss it in the bin.
Lifestyle change is so important in building a healthier and thinner you; and so one reason that a diet won’t work is that it’s only about food. Sometimes people can think that merely eating fewer calories is the answer, but it’s not – your body is affected in a negative way if you starve yourself.
The science is amazing: If you don’t eat the nutrients you need on a daily basis it triggers your body into burning fewer calories. It’s counter-productive. And starving yourself also means you’ll be more tired physically and mentally. You need to be eating the right things, not eating nothing. That’s one reason diets don’t work.
Unlike Slimpods, diets don’t change the way you think about food or the way you behave towards it. That’s why when we’re on a diet most of us are totally unable to control our cravings. Making positive decisions about your overall lifestyle means you’ll be able to stop thinking food and banish your cravings.
Because you’re still eating, not starving yourself, you won’t be hungry. You’ve just substituted empty calories for healthier options. On top of that, if you’ve made decisions about wanting to be more active you’ll feel better because your journey won’t be tied up with worrying about eating but will be so much more positive about actually doing something. So start today and scrap the scales!
Scrap the scales and get a mirror
A HUGE barrier when you’re trying to lose weight is weighing yourself. So chuck away the scales and buy a tape! That might sound confusing to some, but so often our weight has little to do with how well we’re doing at living a healthy lifestyle. There are many reasons why we may not be losing weight quickly even though we’re doing all the right things, so it’s important we measure the other changes in our life too.
One important distinction to make for those who are addicted to jumping on the scales is that you need to consider your fat loss, not your overall weight loss. If you’re working hard on a consistent fitness regime then you may be surprised to learn that you probably shouldn’t expect very much weight loss to start with.
This is because by using muscles that haven’t been used so much before you are stimulating a thing called the ‘Human Growth Hormone.’ This flows through your blood and converts fat into energy for the muscles – but muscles are made up of much more densely-packed tissue than fat, which means that as they are growing you may even gain weight.
If you were simply a scales watcher you’d be pretty horrified to see that after hard work there was little change in your weight. But if you notice other positive changes (for example – the fact your clothes may fit better or be looser) then you’ll be happy with what you’ve achieved. Remember, you’re losing fat, not necessarily weight.
Another good reason to avoid the scales is that your weight fluctuates greatly throughout the day. It can go up or down by as much as two pounds so if you’re weighing yourself too often it’s impossible to get an accurate picture of how your body really is changing. If you’re two pounds heavier it’s not going to be from eating: You’d have to eat roughly 4,000 calories more than you were burning to put that much on in 24 hours and that’s almost impossible.
A number of factors affect your weight at any given moment. It’s often down to how much water we have in our body (a real problem for women at the wrong time of the month). This can confuse the scales, so don’t make them a big part of the road to becoming that fabulous slimmer person who you want to be.
Changes that make you feel better
SO, we’re all agreed that diets and constant weighing are not the best ways to lose weight and become a positive, healthier person. So how can you feel better about what you’re hoping to achieve? Well, there are many ways.
Firstly, you need to make sure you’re eating the right things which will help sustain a more active you, because activity is key in making a thinner and healthier person. There are dozens of healthy, nutritious meal ideas on our website, so do take a look for inspiration. A Slimpod will help you to avoid food containing empty calories, things like biscuits and snacks; you will need some sugar for energy but it’s best to get this naturally from fruit.
It’s very important to eat lots of protein, as this is vital to help muscle growth (which as I’ve explained isn’t necessarily good for the scales but is great for the fat loss). Complex carbohydrates are important so you have the energy to maintain a better fitness regime. The best complex carbohydrates come from vegetables, wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals like porridge, Shredded Wheat and Weetabix.
Muscle growth is important because it speeds up your metabolism – even after exercise, the muscles will still be active, using up the body’s store of fat and turning it into healthier lean muscle tissue. To make sure you help your muscles to burn off the fat you should vary the types of exercise you do – cardio is great, but it shouldn’t be all you do.
If you go for jogs or brisk walks, or use an exercise machine at home or in the gym, it is important to remember to do resistance exercises as well as cardio. Resistance exercise is important to push muscles that you don’t often use by repeating the same type of exercise again and again. Things like free weights or resistance bands are really good at speeding up fat loss as they increases the number of places across your body burning it off.
Lose weight – think about your day
WHEN you use a Slimpod you should find that your unconscious mind takes over after a short while and guides you towards making healthier choices about your eating and your exercise. You won’t need to count calories but it may be useful to be aware of the food you’re eating and how active you are in an average day. This is why it’s so important to keep up your daily success log so you can be aware of how much less you’re eating and how more active you’re becoming.
Don’t get hung up about one day ‘s weight or one day’s eating. Your Slimpod will guide your mind to make the right decisions and help you to balance things out without you having to make a conscious effort. If you feel hungry, then eat but only as much as you need to. If you don’t feel hungry, don’t eat.
Listen to what your mind and your body are telling you about food being a fuel to burn off by doing more. They know what’s best for you so trust them to guide you in the right direction.
Don’t waste your life counting calories, just enjoy your life burning them, and you’ll soon start to notice a big difference in your body shape. At first you’ll see it on the measuring tape, not on the scales. But remember, it’s not a race: In time, weight loss follows inches lost.