Properly weigh yourself
But in this case, it’s key. One of my biggest misconceptions about weight loss so far was in how to measure. I was worried that lifting weights, walking, etc., would increase my muscle mass, and therefore I’d weigh MORE, not less. Or I’d drink a gallon of water, to make sure I was hydrated/less hungry, and gain 8lbs on the scale.
It took a friend — and I honestly don’t remember who, so if you’re reading this, hit me the next time you see me — pointing out that I work with analytics all day, I can surely set up a tracking system to properly get an idea of my weight, without confusing myself too much.
Here’s what I did:
Once I knew I was committed to this, I bought in on the FitBit Aria. You can get that one, or literally any other “smart” scale. The goal is one that will send you your weights and graph them.
I weigh myself three times a day: right as I wake up, right as I get home from work, and right before bed.
This gives me three different daily tracks to manage. Typically, my morning weight is the middle of the road, right after work is the lightest, and then right before bed is the heaviest, because it’s only a little bit after dinner.
Looking at just a single day, it would look like I’d actually gained weight, which is why I look at the average of three days. I take the last three morning weights and average them to get a closer approximation to my real weight, and then compare that number to three days earlier. This allows you to not worry so much about a bad meal, or cheat day, or weekend, because you’re looking at your diet in a 72 hour time period, and you’ll be able to adjust for it. It’s a much healthier/saner way to correct bad diet habits, because you’re not swinging wildly on your diet plan, overreacting for a cheeseburger by only eating an apple the next day.
“Are you really sitting down with an excel sheet and tracking all this stuff? Doesn’t that take forever, NERD?”
Well, OK, no, thank you, imaginary reader. Typically I like distracting myself while I’m on the treadmill, so I spend half an hour figuring out the last three days averages and then the 3 day period before it to compare. It gives me something to do, and it gives me a little motivation, either to run/walk a little faster, or to demonstrate how effective it’s been thus far.