Disclaimer: I'm not a real doctor nor do I have a medical background. Nothing in this entry should be construed as medical advice, it's just my own research and experience. All care but no responsibility taken. May cause nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Batteries not included. Must be installed by a licensed electrician.
I've ranted before about the evils of bathroom scales and how you can't rely solely on their results. Today we have a real life example of how this works.
Let's take these twin sisters. Identical in weight, height and body structure. They've both been losing weight by eating smaller portions of better food and doing more exercise.
This month, our two heroines have both weighed in and discovered that over four weeks, they've only lost 1.4kg (3lb) each. Now, that's still a loss, but they are disappointed that their weight loss rate has slowed down. Strangely, though, their favourite jeans are falling off their hips.
Tree1, who relies entirely on the results of her bathroom scales, wails in despair at her weight loss slowing down and can't understand why her jeans are loose when the scales tell her she's still a long way to go from goal (aka still a fat heifer). In her despair, she trips and falls face-first into a gallon of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream and has to eat her way to freedom, weeping pitifully with each bite.
Tree2, who has been taking her measurements ever since they made positive changes to their eating and exercise habits, frowns at her jeans and at the scales and pulls out her trusty tape measure. Tree2 understands that her scales don't tell her the whole story and while they are saying that she still has a long way to go to goal (aka still in fat heifer territory), other measurements might tell a different story (she's a stunning goddess of fabulous proportion). She takes the same measurements she has been every month; neck, upper arm, bust, under bust, waist, abdomen, hips, thighs and calves.
Her eyes get very big.
Her measurements are very small. She's lost a total of 18cm (7") in the past month. While her weight loss has slowed down, her body is rapidly shrinking. She realises that all her exercise has helped her to lose fat but also to put on muscle, which would cause her weight loss to slow a bit, but would show up in shrinking dress-sizes. By taking her measurements as well as weighing herself, Tree2 gets a better picture of her weight loss progress.
Tree2 is so happy, she manages to avoid the Ben & Jerry facial and treats herself to a new pair of jeans instead.
This is why it is so important to make sure you don't just rely on your scales. Seriously, the number on the scales is just a nice goal to aim for. In the grand scheme of things, it's only really important if you're a jockey or a boxer. What's more important is fitting into that favourite dress or feeling healthier or lowering your cholesterol count.
This is a dramatisation. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Except I really did lose 18cm this month. Woo!
This has been another quality rant by Dr Tree™ - Making nutritional and fitness mistakes for 20 years so you don’t have to.