I know Weight Watchers recommends weekly weigh-ins, but I weigh-in daily. Years ago when I was working on losing 35 lbs, the weekly weigh-ins worked well for me. But at that point, I was all about LOSING. I didn't dedicate much brain-power to thoughts of maintaining. Now I've got my eye on maintaining, and from what I've read a big key to maintaining is daily weigh-ins. So even though I'm trying to lose weight now, I'm weighing in daily to prepare for maintaining the weight loss. I want to be in the daily weigh-in habit.
I'm not pulling this daily weigh-in idea out of my (larger than ideal) ass. Here are some articles on research which support the daily weigh-in game plan:
- Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
- Annals of Behavioral Medicine (heh heh heh, I said annals)
- International Journal of Behavior, Nutrition and Physical Activity
I'm not saying everyone should jump on the scale daily. I'm not one of those preachy types who assumes what is good for me is good for the world. I am, however, a research-geek. It's true - I believe in well designed research, and the research suggests this is a good plan for most folks. Now, it isn't a good plan for people with eating disorders. And if you really honestly can't handle the daily weight fluctuations up and down, it probably isn't a good plan for you.
You may be able to learn to deal with the daily weight fluctuations, though. I had a little bit of a problem with the daily weight fluctuations at first, back in October when I started losing again. What helped me work through it was some positive self-talk and watching the trend. Even though my weight went up and down through a two week period, it always trended downwards, and I always saw a drop from the beginning to end of the period. Well, that's what I saw if I was following the Weight Watchers plan.
I also began to learn what behavior affected my daily weigh-in results ... after a long hard exercise session I might see an initial spike in weight the next day but then a nice big drop a day or two later. If I eat sushi or Chinese food or any other high-sodium treat I'll gain some water weight. If I travel by plane my weight goes up a bit (even if I eat well), but then it goes back down after a day or two (and what is up with that? Do you see that, too? Does anyone know what causes that? It is a mystery to me ... but that's the pattern I've seen). Learning those types of patterns and telling myself that if I'm working the Weight Watchers program the program works (it's true!) helped me get comfortable with the daily weigh-ins.
Anyway, if you're eating disorder-free, here's my suggestion. If you weigh-in weekly, you might consider weighing in daily. It may not work for you, but it might be worth at try. It appears to help folks maintain, and if it helps folks maintain, that's a good pattern to learn, right? Because I can tell you, losing the weight is great, but gaining it back sucks. Isn't losing it and keeping it off what it's really all about?
That's my plan this time around. Losing the weight and keeping it off.