Flex Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE

Our philosophy is around flexibility and building a sustainable lifestyle around food and fitness that works for you. 

Hands up who is honest and documents or records when the weight goes up as well as when it comes down?  I do... Why?


I've had discussions about montioring weight loss with various people over the last 18 months or so -  SO, PTs, friends and I've learned lots from all of those about the values of the different methods, and most of all I've learned lots from the experience of my own journey.  A healthy attitude towards monitoring weight for me is to be able to be honest, scientific and inquisitive about weight fluctuations and what causes them. You almost have to remove the emotional elements of looking at the numbers on the screen, mainly because for most it will elicit an emotional response since you want your weight to come down not go up in most cases. There are the odd exceptions where you might want to gain weight, in which case the same applies.


The trick is to record your weight, increases and those losses, along with your food and activity so that you can monitor and spot trends against what's happening with your body. Otherwise you don't get a true reflection of your journey. Nor can you apply your learnings going forward.  Note I said 'your' journey.  Because everyone is different, we all have a different starting point, different goals, different lifestyles and live in different environments, not to be compared with anyone elses.


For example, Look at the screenshots below from my MFP (My Fitness Pal) account. They clearly show peaks and troughs. WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT LINEAR!!!!  Which should tell you that it's a bumpy road!  The peaks tend to happen for me after the leanest part of my month, which is when I'm carrying less water and not feeling bloated, due to my hormonal fluctuations (The joys of being female).  Peaks will also appear on my progress charts when I eat more carbs and so retain more water through that combination of foods. And I know that because I can look back on my MFP and see my macros and specifically the days where I've had higher carb content in my food.


Logging weight daily (the ups and the downs) and the foods I eat and when, helps me to understand which factors are affecting my weight and how, and that will in turn help me rationalise where I am what I need to do. Which, if i'm on a weight loss plan, is usually to continue on the plan and hold my nerve. Fluctuations happen guys!!!  So you need to be able to put them into context so that it doesn't make you throw in the towel and feel like you have failed.  It's a journey, one number up on the scale (or even 6!) does not mean that you have failed, or that you're not progressing.


I know that I carry a few pounds in water due to my menstrual cycle for one week out of the month, actually it can be up to 6lbs!!!! Imagine if it had taken you 3 months to lose 6lbs (which it had on average in my case) and the scales told me I'd put it back on literally over night!!!! Is it possible ? Technically yes, but not in fat. I'm retaining water, and water weighs a lot of pounds. I now know from experience that over the course of the next week that the water will subside as my hormones level out and, as long as I continue to eat consistent amount of calories and similar macros, the scales will return to normal and if I'm losing weight then I will continue my loss on average over the month.


If I panic at seeing the scales, get emotional, demotivated and think 'screw it' and blow the cals and macros then that's when I'm likely to halt my weight loss and perhaps gain some fat back.


It's vital for your well being to understand the impacts when recording and monitoring throughout your journey and important for emotional stability to be honest in your recording and monitoring your food and weight, otherwise constant weight monitoring can be detrimental.

 

Monitor

Acknowledge

Understand

Rationalise

Evaluate

Learn

Apply knowledge

Improve

Be confident and consistent

 

This article does not just apply to females, I've used menstrual fluctuations as just one example of a potential cause of weight fluctuation, men experience changes in hormones too, sometimes due to the combination of foods consumed, or medication they may be taking.


It's a mindset we all need to get into in order to avoid beating ourselves up when we have a bad day, or our weight fluctuates for no apparent reason and we want to throw in the towel. It's usually one day or a couple and you can just continue the next day to get back on the horse and apply the usual principles for good nutrition and sustain a healthy, and flexible approach to living and eating well.

 

Unless you're a body builder or a bikini competitor the goal is more often than not to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight you're happy with long term with a sustainable diet and lifestyle. With that in mind, be kind to yourself and don't let your emotions and the scales give you a stick to beat yourself up with. Use the knowledge as power to inform your choices.  A healthy mind is the best place to begin for a healthy body.

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