When people say to you, “I hate to say I told you so, but…” you know they are lying! Everyone loves to tell you they told you so! Why? Because they enjoy proving they are right and you are wrong!
Except for me of course!
I have recommended you weigh yourself every day, as well as have your clients’ weigh themselves every day, for decades and I have been attacked by numerous “fitness and nutrition gurus.” These gurus all have the same obsolete claims that are as follows:
Claim 1 – If you are exercising, the scale doesn’t tell you the whole story and confuses “weight loss” with “fat loss” and/or “muscle gain.”
To which I respond – “I know people who have put on 10 pounds of fat during a “cheat weekend.” I have never seen anyone put on 10 pounds of muscle in a weekend. Also, most of your clients’ look in the mirror and can see the difference.
Recommendation: Take an accurate Body Composition Test of all your clients’ on a periodic basis.
Claim 2 – When you lose weight, you lose more than just fat, you can lose muscle and water.
To which I reply: “not if you are doing it right.”
Recommendation: Weight Loss Programs should be Fat Loss Programs when you incorporate healthy exercise, nutrition and hydration.
Claim 3 – You can lose weight, but losing fat takes time…more time than most people think.
My reply: “Studies routinely show that people underestimate by 40% how many calories they consume and overestimate by 40% how many calories they expend.” One of the reasons I recommend weighing every day is to education clients’ on how much they are eating! I don’t want them to lose a pound a day, but I do want them to see the consequences of over-eating. Plus, fat loss can be achieved with programming.
Claim 4– The scale can be off because loading up on simple carbs can cause excess water gain.
My reply: “You are precisely right and weighing every day is a tool to teach clients’ that loading up on breads, cake, donuts, pasta, pizza and other simple carbs will increase their weight.” Fortunately, up to 80% of the weight gain can be water that binds to the simple carbs, so you can lose a lot of weight in a 24-48 period by eating clean again…which is another reason to weigh everyday!
Recommendation: Teach your clients to consume the appropriate amount of food groups!
Claim 5 – You may see weight gain if you have a large intake of salt (sodium).
My reply: “Right again!” One more reason to learn to eat clean and avoid processed foods is to avoid high sodium intakes, that once again causes a large intake of water. Sodium is in high concentration in many processed foods: a single cheeseburger contains over 500mg of sodium, a tablespoon of soy sauce about 900mg of sodium. Having your clients weigh themselves daily may be the best way to tell if they have taken-in too much sodium.
Recommendation: Get your clients religious about reading labels. Keep sodium intake to 2,300mg or less. The average American eats too much sodium: around 3,400mg/day.
Claim 6 – You may be gaining more muscle than you are losing fat.
My reply: “God bless you, if you are!” In reality, your greatest muscle gains come in the beginner weeks of a training program and you can see it and feel it. Your clients’ can look in the mirror and feel it in how their clothes fit.”
Recommendation: Have your clients’ look in the mirror, and pay attention to how their clothes are fitting. Explain to your clients, as they lose fat (because fat takes up so much volume..much more than muscle), they will feel their clothes getting loser. And then go on to a psychological motivational tool I use: “When your cloths are getting so loose they are starting to fall off of you, you are going to be dying to go on a shopping spree for your new body, but DON’T!!! I want you to wait until we achieve your goal and then have at it, SHOP TILL YOU DROP!!! That’s your award for a job well done!” This is music to the ears of all woman and more than a few men!
Claim 7 – Your weight will be different at different times of the day, under different conditions.
My reply: (after I stop laughing) “Wow! You must be the first person on the planet to think of that…No, wait…I did think of that…that must be why I tell my clients’/patients’ to weigh themselves the same time, under the same conditions every day.”
News Alert: According to Dori Steinberg, an obesity prevention and treatment researcher at Duke Global Health Institute in Durham, N.C., “We are seeing more and more research showing the optimal frequency for weighing oneself is EVERYDAY.”
According to studies by Dr. David Levitsky, Professor of Nutrition and Psychology at Cornell University, “Stepping on the scales should be like brushing your teeth.” Dr. Steinberg stated they found no negative outcomes with her studies. Though people with a history of eating disorders were screened out. We do have proof through these studies, that no one developed an eating disorder as a result of weighing themselves every day.
So, here it comes….I TOLD YOU SO!
And my additional recommendations:
1) Weigh yourself every day, same time and conditions. First thing in the morning is ideal.
2) Get a new scale of the best quality, you can afford that will track your weight, percent of body fat and BMI. Though, BMI is least important if you are strength training.
3) Track your results via the scale. (Newer scales can send your daily results to an app to easily record your results or, go old-school with good old pen and paper training logs)
4) Make immediate adjustments when you see your weight jump in a day due to “cheating,” with too much carbs/sugars, calories, sodium, etc.
I have used these recommendations with GREAT results for decades! Before you jump on the “I don’t believe it” band wagon, give a fair, open, honest evaluation of these techniques! Though you may have some emotional doubts, you will find they work very effectively!
I wish you and your clients’ all the best in achieving your goals!
Dr. Jim Bell