In weight loss, the term “monitoring” can refer to monitoring your weight, or monitoring your behaviours. At Morelife, we like to encourage people to do both.
Jumping on the scales for the first time is often thought of as a scary experience; it’s got a bad name for itself, mainly because we tend to see a number we don’t really want to! However, being weighed is a really important part of starting a weight loss journey – without knowing where we are starting from, how are we to know where we are going? Not only that, it could be the last time the scales ever say that number, from then on, it will be a good experience, one that you will be proud of.
Seeing that you have lost weight provides you with positive feedback and reinforces that the healthy lifestyle changes you have made are really working.
Regular monitoring allows you to see if you have gained weight and respond accordingly and quickly; remember it is the sustained overeating and under activity that leads to a bigger weight problem; tackling small gains when they happen can ensure you manage your weight more effectively.
You may be in a situation where you have been on holiday and gained a couple of pounds. This is no big deal and can be easily rectified over the next couple of weeks. However, if you don’t weight yourself at regular intervals then over a few weeks 2 pounds can turn into 4 pounds, or 6 pounds, or even more. Once you realise this, the weight you have gained may be harder to lose. Essentially, regular monitoring can prevent gradual weight gain.
Monitoring behaviours can also be done in conjunction with monitoring your weight. This may involve keeping a record of what foods you are eating, when you eat, how much you eat, who you eat with, how active you are, what snacks and drinks you consume etc. This is a great tool to help behaviour change as you can link weight changes to your lifestyle behaviours. You can then change behaviours that will then impact on your weight in the long term.