It may seem strange or even absurd to view weight loss as a negative experience as you strive to drop those stubborn pounds and inches. But believe it or not, it is important that this happen from time to time. Here are the reasons why:
1. IT ELIMINATES THE COMPLICITY
Sometimes it's completely unintentionally easy to consume more calories than we realize. This is especially common after a few weeks on a weight loss plan, when we feel different and notice our clothes are being lost. It's human nature to be happy when your hard work pays off, but it can also lead to the nutritional plan being relaxed a little and extra calories creeping in.
Complacency is subtle but dangerous.
Only when we jump on the scales and see the numbers static or go in the wrong direction do we get back to basics and reduce the excess calories. This is often a portion size oversize, a snack that sneaks in before bed, or maybe that extra glass of wine because we're on the go for a confidence boost! So there we go, that little kick in the teeth just rules us again so we can look ahead and get closer to our actual weight loss goal.
2. It shows that the scale is not the best guide
The problem with an ordinary scale is that it doesn't tell you body composition, so there's no telling how much of your total weight is water and how much is fat or muscle mass. Water in the body is like a flood that goes in and out all the time. Women retain water throughout the menstrual cycle, and factors such as dehydration, exercise, and alcohol negatively affect fluid levels every day. Hence, after a great week of diet and exercise, the scale can go up, but only negative if the rise in body fat occurs. When the muscles are great, the body is firmer and the exercise pays off. If the surge is fluid it could be for a variety of reasons, but it will decrease in due course provided that sufficient water is consumed each day.
It reminds us to see the scale as it is, a very simple machine that doesn't depend on every week.
It also reminds us to examine other things for signs of progress and to believe in what we are doing. Measurements are the best guide as bodies shrink with fat loss, clothing is also a good guide. Don't let the scales put you off with bad news, don't let your judge and executioner convince you. So many people give up, put it away, weigh once a month and focus on daily behavior, the secret to long-term success in losing weight, because of this negative tool.
3. IT PREPARES YOU FOR WEIGHT MAINTENANCE
Losing weight week after week is great at this time, but only when you hit a plateau will a lesson be learned. It is important to prepare for the time when the target weight has been reached and staying there becomes the new focus. This is the key to why many people lose weight again. They are great on dieting, but the new lifestyle has not been established and the causes of overeating have not been recognized.
Anyone can chase numbers, but real success relies on changing your mind and overcoming the triggers that led to weight in the beginning.
If the scale isn't moving, then it is time to examine what behaviors may have been causing it, and this underscores the importance of psychological changes, not just physical ones.