Now that the restrictions are easing and gyms are opening, people are trying to get their fitness back. According to dietitian Melissa Meier, you can ditch the corona kilos without obsessing over the scales. Here’s how…
You’ve put on a few kilos during quarantine, and now that normal life is somewhat re-emerging, you want to get back to your usual weight – I get it. While you might think the best way to track your weight loss success is to weigh yourself every single morning, for many people, that’s not actually the smartest thing to do. Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons to ditch the scales.
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It can become obsessive
Weighing yourself every single day can quickly become an obsessive habit that hinders your relationship with your body and with food. It can muster up feelings of guilt or shame if you haven’t hit the particular number you’ve got stuck in your head.
But *news flash* your weight is by no stretch of the imagination a reliable indicator of your overall health. Someone can be slim but have a poor fitness level and high cholesterol, just like someone with a larger body can be as fit as a fiddle and have excellent blood test results.
Exercise does far more than just manage your weight
Yes, exercise burns kilojoules which will ultimately help with weight management in the long haul. Focusing solely on this effect of exercise on the scales, however, is ignoring many of the more motivating outcomes of a regular sweat sesh. Training can boost your energy levels, improve your mood and even help you sleep better, as well as reduce your risk of heart attack and type two diabetes.
Eating well does far more than just manage your weight
In a similar fashion to exercise, the benefits of eating well go far deeper than a trim waistline. A nutritious, well-balanced diet makes you feel good from the inside out, and that’s very important to remember. Eating well is also protective against a myriad of health conditions, including many types of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Plus, food has an incredible ability to bring people together and evoke joy – it is sooo much more than a way to reduce your weight.
It’s not an indicator of body composition
The scales don’t always reflect the changes in your body that you’re working so hard to achieve. You see, your healthy lifestyle changes could actually mean you’re losing fat but building muscle at the same time, which doesn’t always have the effect on the scales you’re hoping for – but that doesn’t really matter. Simply looking at yourself in the mirror and paying close attention to how your clothes are fitting you can be much more productive than narrowing your focus to the number on the scales.
Long-term healthy habits are king
The healthy behaviours you develop (and can stick to for good) are far more important than a reading on the scales. Over time, building a repertoire of healthy habits will help your body to achieve its healthiest weight – and while that mightn’t give you the quick results you’re after, you’ll be more likely to maintain and manage a healthy weight long term, rather than constantly fluctuating and feel like you always have to ‘diet’.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.