Ever wondered why what you’re expecting to happen when you try and lose weight – erm, doesn’t? Well I just read a great piece that appeared recently in the Guardian newspaper. In it, the journalist Martin Robbins weighed everything that went into his body over a weekend and everything that came out and then weighed himself once an hour – and saw what happened to his weight on the scales. The answer was, in the words of Mr Spock ‘illogical captain.’
Things just didn’t tally…
- He lost more weight than he should considering the actual mass of what was going in and what was going out – let alone anything to do with calories. In fact he lost nearly 2kg in three days. (which sounds decidedly unfair, if I’d done it I’d have gained more weight than even humanly possible in three days just because I was going to have write the figures in a newspaper).
- He realised that actually, that trick of only weighing yourself after you’ve pooped doesn’t work as you actually don’t lose so much that way (I may admit to also having tried before and after in the desperate hope that I actually poop out around half a stone – and I can also tell you that it doesn’t actually work).
- That his weight varied by 4lb between days – yep, sounds familiar. Seems I also just gained 1.5% body fat overnight which I’m pretty sure is some kind of medical impossibility,
His overwhelming verdict in all of this was that the body is just doing too many things at any given time for that one minute of it that we’re standing on the scales to ever truly represent our weight and therefore, frankly, the scales suck….which, yes, we know but still they call, like little mermaid creatures loitering next to the bath intending to dash your good mood onto the rocks like the sirens of yore did to sailors….sorry, I’ve gone off on one, this weighing yourself thing doesn’t tend to turn me a bit mad.
So what are you going to do? You could do the sensible thing and stop worrying about the numbers and just make sure your clothes fit. You could, get your body fat measured by someone at the gym as frankly, fat vs muscle is the only thing that matters anyway (Note: I did just have my fat measured by a nice man at The Gym and it was 4 percent LESS than my own horrible scales are telling me).
If you do want to monitor yourself by standing on a small square object in the bathroom Robbins suggests weighing yourself daily and then creating an average for the week or two – and monitoring the pattern of that average, which I actually think sounds pretty sensible and I shall be adopting this as my own new plan in life (as the nice man at The Gym probably won’t come and live in my bathroom).
Or, you could also buy these new scales from Qardio at getqardio.com Called Qardiobase, Instead of showing you a number, they give you a happy face if you’ve lost or maintained (or a sad face if the number has gone up). Now in a way I admit, this could be worse….if he frowns, you could be getting really really p’d off about merely adding a tiny 100g (though you can switch the numbers back on), but, my reckoning is the best approach is to combine avoiding actual numbers with Robbin’s advice and just count the smiles – if you’ve got more per fortnight than frowny faces everything’s going just as planned. Yay you.