"Don't weigh yourself more than once a week," is the often-heard advice preached by the diet industry. Pointing out that body weight may fluctuate up and down from day to day, many diet authorities thus claim daily weigh-ins are futile.
"Not true!" responds Ron Brown, weight management expert and author of The Body Fat Guide. "Daily measuring of your weight and body composition, as well as daily monitoring of your diet and activity are critical to establishing lifelong weight management habits. Once those habits are firmly in place, only then can you skip your daily weigh-in, but not until then."
Brown points out that following a diet only appears to free you from the need to weigh yourself everyday. "It's one of the features the diet industry advertises to attract people to their programs. As long as you follow the diet's rules you will lose weight without bothering with weighing and measuring."
But, according to Brown, diets don't teach you to properly balance your diet and activity to maintain your weight and keep the weight off when the diet is over. He says, "In order to establish the proper balance of lifetime diet and activity habits, monitoring and modifying your calories becomes critical. However, the public remains in calorie denial because the quick-fix diet industry discourages the very habits that can help us manage our weight, including weighing ourselves every day."
But, what about those day-to-day fluctuations in body weight the diet industry mentions? Won't those fluctuations skew your weigh-in measurements? Brown answers, "You simply learn to take the fluctuations into account. It doesn't mean you ignore weighing in. These fluctuations are usually caused by water retention and changes in gastrointestinal contents. My book, The Body Fat Guide, shows you how to separate these types of fluctuations from changes in your muscle and body fat levels."
"Remember," summarizes Brown, "it only takes 1 day to gain body fat or lose muscle! Why wait a whole week to measure it? Weight management is a day-by-day process. The sooner you are able to see your weight going off track, the sooner you can take action to get back on track."
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