If you’re having a hard time losing weight or a hard time keeping off the weight you have lost, here are my weight loss best practices. These 5 best practices have been proven effective over and over again.
1) Create an official weekly weigh-in day and time. I know that it’s human to want to step on the scale multiple times a day when you’re working to weigh less. That’s okay as long as you don’t let the daily and hourly ups and downs of the scale upset you. It’s normal for body weight to change during the course of a day by as much as 2 or 3 pounds. That’s not indicative of body fat fluctuating, but rather changes brought about by fluid and food currently in your body. If you want to weigh yourself often, that’s okay, but so you can really track your progress have an official weigh-in each week at the same time of day wearing the same (or very similar) clothing.
2) Monitor your food. Whether you count calories or something else (we at Weight Watchers count SmartPoints) be sure to keep track everything and every time you eat. Writing it in a journal or tracking it using a computer or mobile device keeps your tracking accurate. Be honest because if you aren’t, the calorie counter in your butt will be!
3) Apply complete neutrality to your food choices. Remember, this is about weight loss. It goes without saying that some foods provide better nutrition for the calories. It’s smart to do your best to eat a high quality diet for the benefits to your health, vitality, and appearance, but it doesn’t mean you’ve done wrong or made a mistake when you choose foods that are not so nutritionally superior. What really counts for weight loss is calories although the source of calories, while important too, won’t have much affect on the direction the scale moves.
4) Moving is important but doesn’t make up for eating too much. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be active. The more active the better. Physical activity helps to firm and tone muscles and improves self-confidence. Picking activities that are fun make exercise a form of entertainment rather than a punishment. Do move a lot, but don’t overestimate how many calories you’re burning and undo the benefits of burning more calories by habitual, big splurges “because I exercised today.”
5) Don’t let the scale throw you off course. Sometimes the scale will read a number that seems inconsistent with how famously you stuck to your plan. On weeks when you were 100% the scale may not move and on weeks when you barely adhered to your plan by 20% the scale shows a big loss. Don’t think that means you lose better with poorer adherence. It just means we’ll never completely understand why the scale moves the way it does on a particular week. Continue to do your best each week regardless of what the scale says on any given week. Use your weekly average weight loss to evaluate progress.